In 2020, voters across Missouri could decide a ballot initiative to consolidate St. Louis city and St. Louis County into a single political entity named The Metropolitan City of St. Louis. The new city would be the 10th largest city in the U.S., with a population around 1.3 million as of 2017. Residents of The Metropolitan City of St. Louis would elect a 33?member legislative council, with members elected from districts to four-year terms, an executive mayor, a prosecutor, and an assessor.
The ballot initiative would amend the Missouri Constitution, as St. Louis city and St. Louis County are inscribed in the state constitution. Changes to the Missouri Constitution require a statewide vote.
Better Together, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, proposed the ballot initiative. St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson (D) and St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger (D) spoke at Better Together’s news conference in favor of the plan. Ben Keathley, a council member for the city of Chesterfield in St. Louis County, said he was opposed to not having a local vote on consolidation. He stated, “If this is the thing we want to do, then we should be the ones choosing it. People all over the state of Missouri shouldn’t be picking the government for someone else.”
Voters in Missouri had addressed several ballot measures related to the consolidation of St. Louis and St. Louis County, including in 1930 and 1962. Both of the ballot measures were defeated.
In Missouri, the signature requirement totals for initiatives are based on the number of votes cast for governor in the state’s most recent gubernatorial election in six of the state’s eight congressional districts. This means the smallest possible requirement to get an initiated constitutional amendment placed on the ballot for November 3, 2020, is 160,199. Signatures for initiated amendments are due six months before the general election, which is May 3, 2020.