Day of Wreck-oning

24 05 2018

Downtown

2:

New proposal to allow City Alderman to review Mayor Krewson appointments

A new proposal will be introduced to the St. Louis City Board of Aldermen Thursday which would force Mayor Lyda Krewson to get approval from the board for all appointments to city boards and commissions. Sources tell Fox 2, this move is in response to the mayor’s support of ward reduction.

In 2012, voters approved a plan to cut the number of city wards from 28 to 14. This would also eliminate the number of Board of Alderman positions. The plan is set to take effect in 2022.

Several aldermen are supporting a bill asking voters to reverse that decision in hopes of saving their jobs. Alderman John Collins-Muhammad tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he also fears ward reduction will hurt the black community.

By “ward reduction will hurt the black community,” John Collins-Muhammad means that it will expose the uselessness of people with names like John Collins-Muhammad.

In the greater scheme of things, the conventional wisdom among the professional civil rights crowd is that, in a hypothetical city that has a million people, is half black and half white, has twenty aldermen (city council members), and keeping all other things equal, if the city board of aldermen (city council) uses single member equal population districts rather than electing all twenty at-large over the whole city, it marginally helps black political power, whereas at-large rather than single-member hurts black power and accrues to the benefit of activist whites.  The reason is that while the districts have to have roughly equal population, in the case of our hypothetical city, 50,000 people per district, the black districts will have by percentage more people under 18 who can’t vote, more convicted felons on probation who can’t vote until they’re off paper, and just more disinterested and apathetic people by percentage.  Which means that, all other things being equal, the total voter count from the 50,000 total population black wards will be noticeably lower than the 50,000 total population white wards.  Meanwhile, if the whole city elects all twenty aldermen at-large, it means that the higher voting percentage whites will overwhelm the lower voting percentage blacks.  Meaning that single-member districts will mean ten white and ten black aldermen, while at-large probably results in something like thirteen white and seven black.

While St. Louis isn’t moving directly from 28 aldermen to at-large, it is moving from 28 to 14.  Reducing the number of single-member districts is partially functionally the same as going from 28 to at-large, in terms of the effect it will have on black representation on the St. Louis City Board of Aldermen.  My educated guess is that it will amount to a one seat in fourteen, or two seats in 28, functional marginal swing from black to white.

Of course, being St. Louis City, it’s not as if the whites marginally benefiting are any kind of Theodore Bilbo.


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