Election tensions are high. A lot is at stake. I want to offer seven strategies for moving forward in the pursuit of justice even when the ground feels uncertain: How to Stay Grounded in Hope.
Tomorrow’s elections are also powerful. The act of voting is a tool we use to turn our visions for change into reality. Casting your vote will impact the lives of our students and community.
We will have the opportunity to vote for many important positions like state and U.S. Senators. In St. Louis city, where our Power-Builders are running GOTV canvasses and phone banks, the ballot includes candidates for the district’s elected school board.
City residents — if you don’t yet have a personal vote plan, make one using this helpful chart! If you’d like to collect signatures at the polls with Better Budgets Better Schools campaign, reply to this email. I'll connect you with the coalition.
We know that the work does not end when we submit our ballots. We must continue our efforts to build long-term change by supporting and listening to resident-led calls for change. With this in mind, will you join us the Wednesday after the election at the Public Hearing on Why Equitable School Funding Matters?
We have an abundance of updates and pictures for you below! I hope you enjoy them and they inspire you to connect with us this coming month.
powering our future together,
North City Education Power-Builders Alums turn Organizers
Following their Better Budgets Better Schools Teach-In at Julia Davis Library, the inaugural class of Power-Builders gathered for a graduation celebration. Gloria Nolan wrote an op-ed published in St. Louis American: My fight for better budgets and better schools for all SLPS kids.
Alums of the Academy, Monti and Elise, have continued the work of the campaign as field organizers. They have led our wonderful volunteers to phone-bank and canvass to get out the vote (GOTV) in North St. Louis City wards 3, 4 and 22 where there is a history of low voter turnout. This week’s cover story of the St. Louis American details their efforts!
The Better Budgets Better Schools coalition invites you out on November 14th for the Public Hearing on Why Equitable School Funding Matters! Over dinner you will hear community members and leaders testify on the need for policy solutions and share best practices from other districts. Free dinner will be provided to all who RSVP here.
North City Power-Builders want schools to be equitably funded AND to have more funding. They want students to have the resources they need to thrive! They stand with the third goal in St. Louis Public Schools’ latest strategic plan is to achieve the “equitable distribution of human and material resources across schools.”
However, they believe the district’s goal of equity cannot be reached without increasing transparency and community input into the budgeting process. Equity includes intentionally putting those most impacted at the center of discussions and decisions.
They are calling for our district leadership to formalize a long-term commitment to equitable practices so they become imbedded into the culture of SLPS. Will you sign onto the demands by sending a letter in support to SLPS superintendent Dr. Adams?
East St. Louis Education Power-Building Academy
Our second 6-month Power-Building Academy launched in September in partnership with organizer Jessica Wernli and the East St. Louis Center. This Academy is based in East St. Louis and is focused on education policy reform.
Early in the Academy, we embarked on a tour facilitated by social justice legends Eugene Redmond and Reginald Petty of historic places in East St. Louis. More recently, Power-Builders reviewed East St. Louis education data during an Academy session.
We co-hosted and sponsored this year’s Vision conference that brought together hundreds of St. Louis entrepreneurs interested in launching and scaling new ventures. We loved connecting with the participants at our booth! It was also such a pleasure to host venture capitalist and trailblazer Arlan Hamilton as this year’s keynote speaker.
Intro to Entrepreneurship
We are hosting three Intro to Entrepreneurship events with the Promise Zone to share resources and hear what community members in North city and county need most to launch and grow successful businesses. Space is still available for the third event on November 15th, 6-8PM. RSVP here!
Black Census Project
As part of our Engage Community programming, we are partnering with Black Futures Lab on the Black Census Project. The project engages Black residents in conversations about what’s important to us. Kristen Trudo, St. Louis field organizer with the Black Census Project, reflects on the Project’s recent community organizing training in Atlanta: Visioning Our Futures through Courageous Conversations.