Mark’s Core Principles for St. Louis County
Effective leaders have core principles and values that form the basis for their commitment to serve others. The following thoughts represent a few of Mark Mantovani’s values and commitments that many are finding to be a source of inspiration and hope for the future of St. Louis.
Mark’s vision is to participate in changing St. Louis, founding that process not on promises, but on challenges. He is committed to ending the regional divisions and decline that have afflicted St. Louis for decades, and reversing it; to reestablishing the region as a global community of prominence for the 21st Century. It is time to break the grip of the status quo and reject complacency. In the coming days, there will be great need for the intense personal involvement of many St. Louisans. There is no time and no room for small thinking. Mark’s great affection for the region, awareness of the basic decency of its people and appreciation for its many strengths give him confidence that, with different leadership, St. Louis County and the surrounding region will achieve its potential for greatness.
Effective and Ethical Government
We will help the region reach its potential by reforming the culture of corruption in St. Louis County government and creating a more ethical and professional government and system of doing business in St. Louis County.
- Working with the St. Louis County Council as partners, not as adversaries
- Improving county contracts and procurement processes
- Supporting auditing activities and delivering transparency
- Removing the appearance of impropriety associated with political and campaign-related activities of elected officials
Enlightened leadership is built upon collaboration and trust. We will build this trust and collaboration across all local municipalities and all parts of the Metropolitan St. Louis region.
- Working with all leaders and groups in a sincere effort to bring our community together, reduce local competitions and recognize that the future of every resident of greater St. Louis is bound together
- Bringing a collaborative and truly regional focus to all economic growth opportunities and community challenges
- Reducing redundancies and inefficiencies
- Increasing transparency
- Strengthening accountability
Economic Growth and Development
We will accelerate the growth of St. Louis County and the greater St. Louis region.
- Growing our population
- Attracting and retaining all of our young people
- Encouraging immigration
- Continue developing our workforce into a world-class body of workers
- Supporting entrepreneurship
- Fueling innovation
- Improving infrastructure by looking toward a multi-modal future
Jobs and Wages
We will strive to create more high paying jobs across the region and its neighborhoods and be more effective at speaking to the global economy about the many positive qualities of the St. Louis region.
- Identifying and building upon the equity and strengths of our neighborhoods
- Fighting to raise the minimum wage for working families by supporting initiatives like Raise Up Missouri
- Working to stop Right to Work legislation in the interest of the shrinking middle class and collective bargaining rights and in support of unions
- Expanding AgTech, manufacturing and other sectors
Diversity and our Community
St. Louis County is a richly diverse community. We must celebrate our racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity and enhance inclusiveness across the region, especially within St. Louis County government. In this regard, we must all reexamine our own attitudes – as individuals and as a community.
- Creating economic opportunities and jobs for diverse business enterprises and individuals
- Developing equitable standards that are inclusive of minority and disadvantaged groups
- Advocating for minority contracting that complies with national and state standards
There is no better return on investment than early childhood education. We will work to expand this building block which is crucial to the future of the region.
We will also advocate for the continued improvement of our schools, as high quality K-12 education is a right for all St. Louis County children, an obligation of all, and crucial to the future of our community.
We recognize that many disparate factors affect educational outcomes. In this respect, poverty, health, nutrition, transportation, housing, and a myriad of other variables must always be evaluated for their impact on educational outcomes.
We will encourage efforts to educate the whole child, to promote social-emotional and character development, as well as academic skills.
Crime and Public Safety
Crime is a community challenge and requires a collective community response. We will work to enhance public safety by encouraging all affected parties to be more open to collaboration and innovative responses to these challenges, and progress in consideration of the findings and recommendations of the Ferguson Commission.
The health of our citizens is an additional important responsibility of the County Executive. Across its footprint, our community has shocking life expectancy disparities. High quality healthcare, including reproductive rights, mental health care and the opioid epidemic, should be accessible to all people regardless of their income.
Government can be an effective leader/partner in the effort to assess and enhance community health with attention to environmental factors, as well as access related issues.
The Environment and Our Health
Like many of you, I was outraged by the effort of Steve Stenger to give away 40 acres of Creve Coeur Park to private entities including the St. Louis Blues hockey team. Public parkland belongs to the citizens. Elected officials are temporary custodians of those public assets. To betray this trust is unethical and cynical. I assure you, I will always act as a steward of public assets including parks and other open spaces.
The Open Space Council, the Sierra Club, and other citizen organizations raised so much opposition that this parkland giveaway was stopped, but not before the land was scraped clear and 40 acres of beautiful forested park land were left as a scarred prairie. It is a sad reminder that we must hold our elected officials accountable for their violation of the public trust.
- I will never act in such an unethical and cynical manner. And, to make sure that no County official does so in the future, I will actively support the charter amendment which is expected to on the ballot in November to require a vote of the people before any parkland could be sold in the future.
It is clear that by not removing the nuclear contamination from Westlake Landfill and Coldwater Creek, we are killing our people. The County is not powerless to intervene.
- While this is a multi-layered governmental responsibility, as County Executive I will use all the powers of my office to make sure the Federal and state governments clean up the area.
- At a minimum, while we are energizing the EPA and the state government to remove the nuclear waste, we must begin relocating people who want to move out of the contaminated zone.
In addition, the asthma rate in the County is unacceptably high. The American Lung Association gives the County a very low grade.
It’s clear that we need a strategic approach to addressing these health issues, many of which are related to environmental policy. My approach to governance will be to hold the health and well-being of our citizens as the preeminent standard by which we measure policy.
Simply put, my mission is to make our region as environmentally friendly -- and energy efficient -- as possible.