Date: Jul 11th, 2019

Time: 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm


Missouri History Museum

5700 Lindell Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63112

Save to Calendar
Equity in City/County Reform

Political Representation and Criminal Justice

Register here

While the Better Together plan has been withdrawn, the need for regional dialogue around the city/county issue remains. With a wide open field, the possibilities range from incremental (expanding collaboration efforts) to radical (unifying governance), and anything in between.

One thing we know is that any successful plan must encompass an open and direct community discussion on issues of racial equity. FOCUS St. Louis seeks to advance this conversation with an initial discussion on equity issues in the areas of political representation and in criminal justice.

The evening will begin with a briefing on the St. Louis City Equity Indicators Baseline Report by its author Cristina Garmendia, and the county version of that Equity Indicators Report, which is currently being assembled by Wray Clay, VP of Diversity & Inclusion at United Way. This will be followed by a panel discussion and audience Q&A moderated through Twitter.


Wesley Bell, Prosecuting Attorney, St. Louis County
Andrea Benjamin, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Missouri-Columbia
Wray Clay, Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion, United Way of Greater St. Louis
Hazel Erby, Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, St. Louis County
Cristina Garmendia, Author, City Equity Indicators Baseline Report, & Associate Director of Community Engagement and Applied Learning for the Race and Opportunity Lab, Brown School at Washington University
Captain Perri Johnson, Commander – Sixth District, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department
This event is free to attend, but space is limited and advance registration is required.

If the City and County were to pursue joint governmental reform, what are the questions we need to be asking regarding equity in political representation and equity in criminal justice?

  1. Would City/County political reunification create a more productive sense of common cause among St. Louis residents and local governments? And/or would it dilute African-American voices unfairly? What kind of a plan could insure all voices are represented in a new regional government?
  2. How would better collaboration (or even combination) among police organizations in the region affect equity in policing? Would professionalization of smaller departments be a win for equity? Or would the removal of local control over policing be a loss for majority African-American communities? How does this relate to the push for more community-oriented policing practices and budgets?
  3. How would better collaboration (or even combination) among courts in the region affect equity in criminal justice systems? Would it create a more level playing field across the region? Or would it unnecessarily distance judicial proceedings from local control?

5:30 p.m. – Check-in/networking
6:00 p.m. – Setting the Stage with City and County Equity Indicators
6:30 p.m. – Panel Discussion

Presented in partnership with: Forward through Ferguson, Equity Indicators, Missouri Historical Society, and United Way of Greater St. Louis