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St. Louis Currents The Must-Have Resource on the Region.

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Presentation on theme: "St. Louis Currents The Must-Have Resource on the Region."— Presentation transcript:

1 St. Louis Currents The Must-Have Resource on the Region

2 Critical Perspectives on Key Issues More than two dozen authors examine where the region has been and where it’s going after a century of planning. This outstanding volume has over 400 pages of critical essays and insights by some of the region’s top leaders and scholars.

3 An Amazing Piece of History In 1907, St. Louis became the first city in the United States to develop a comprehensive city plan. A high-quality digital reproduction of the entire city plan is included, along with its historic photographs and illustrations. This rare volume is presented here in searchable PDF format. (191 pages)

4 The Proposed Public Buildings Group for Downtown St. Louis

5 Is the Mississippi River the Middle of the Region or the Edge? Cultural Distinctions between Missouri and Illinois Andrew J. Theising Institute for Urban Research Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

6 The Region Approximately 900 units of government 2.8 million people 1.1 million households /x285.xml Illinois: 25% of population 45% of government Missouri: 75% of population 55% of government

7 Missouri and Illinois Political Cultures Eastern Missouri is Traditionalistic Interpersonal Relationships Social Hierarchy Status Quo Illinois is Individualistic Democracy as Marketplace Laissez-faire politics Struggle with Corruption From the scholarship of Daniel J. Elazar Temple University American Federalism: The View from the States (1966)

8 Missouri!

9 Interpersonal Relationships A handshake means a lot Leaders are accessible “Where did you go to high school?” Family Rule is common

10 Family Rule! Clay Blunt Carnahan

11 Social Hierarchy “those at the top of the social structure… take a special and dominant role” in decision-making Civic Progress, formally (the business group, not the punk band) Elite social circles, informally Ties back to family rule—Slay, Danforth, Taylor, Schlafly Many small fiefdoms

12 Social Hierarchy The Reality of Racism –Race relations are difficult in Traditionalistic states –Most southern states tend to be Traditionalistic in political culture –Creeps into many discussions, analyses, and debates While great progress has been made, there is much work to be done Southern Illinois shares Missouri’s traditionalistic streak—and the state has had three race riots (1909, 1917, and 1919)

13 Status Quo Missouri Hancock Amendment –Tax Expenditure Limitation movement –Strips legislature of the power to implement new taxes or tax increases Missouri lags in government spending per capita New programs are difficult to fund and implement, unless strong popular support exists

14 Illinois!

15 Democracy as Marketplace Lots of small government in Illinois Townships and Special Districts Many decision-makers High degree of bargaining (pluralism)

16 Laissez-Faire Government A history of “merging public and private prosperity” (Boorstin) Many examples of company towns –National City 1907 –Roxana 1917 –Monsanto 1926 –Alorton 1944 Lots of power pushed to the local level

17 Corruption Anybody wanna buy a Senate seat?!?

18 Corruption Governor Dan Walker Fraudulent Loans Convicted in 1987 Sentenced to 7 Years Governor Otto Kerner 17 counts of bribery Convicted 1973 Sentenced to 3 Years Governor George Ryan 22-count Indictment on Corruption Convicted in 2006 Sentenced to 6 Years Governor Milorad “Rod” Blagojevich Abuse of Power Impeached and Convicted by the State Legislature 2009 Federal indictment 2009

19 Is it really that bad? No. Both Missouri and Illinois have political baggage, just like other states There are some excellent assets in the region St. Louis enjoys stability, a relatively low cost of living, and accessible institutions This is a region that has deep traditions and has preserved more of its past than other regions

20 What the people want… Governments that are comfortable… Elected officials that are approachable… Change that is fully justified and incrementally implemented… Avoiding too much risk in abandoning the familiar for the unknown… A balance between keeping close what should be nearby and joining forces when most would benefit from cooperation… (From Terry Jones, 2000, Fragmented by Design)

21 The End!

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