St. Louis voters approve a capital improvements bond issue and an initiative on redistricting and elections on Tuesday

St. Louis voters approved both measures on their ballots on Tuesday. According to final election night results, 84% of voters approved Proposition 1, a $50 million bond issue, and 69% of voters approved Proposition R, a citizen initiative concerning election law, redistricting, and conflicts of interest. Proposition 1 required a two-thirds (66.67%) majority, and Proposition R required a three-fifths (60%) majority. 

Proposition 1 was referred to the ballot by the St. Louis Board of Aldermen. The measure authorized the city to issue $50 million in general obligation bonds for capital improvement projects, such as public safety facilities, correctional facilities, pedestrian and bicycle transportation facilities, streets, buildings, and bridges, neighborhood recreation centers, and firehouses.

Proposition R was placed on the ballot through a citizen initiative petition supported by the campaign Reform St. Louis. The initiative creates a redistricting commission for drawing ward boundaries. Currently, in St. Louis, the Board of Aldermen is responsible for approving the decennial redistricting maps. It also requires a public vote before a proposed change to voting methods can be adopted. The initiative also requires alderpersons to declare personal or financial conflicts of interest and abstain from voting when there are conflicts of interest.

Jami Cox, Policy Committee Chair of Reform St. Louis, said, “What’s at stake is making sure that the St Louis city government is operating in the most efficient and ethical way possible. If this proposition doesn’t pass, then we are looking at the redistricting process still being led by the people that are ultimately going to be running for the seats that they serve in and not having any hard outline processes in our city charter to reduce conflicts of interest.”

Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed said, “There is no need to have a special election costing the taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars solely for a proposal that the Prop R group admits is untimely, would be challenged in court, would not put into effect what it states it will and would not take effect for 10 years.”

In 2022, Ballotpedia is covering local measures that appear on the ballot for voters within the top 100 largest cities in the U.S. and all state capitals, which include St. Louis, Kansas City, and Jefferson City. In addition to St. Louis Proposition 1 and Proposition R, Kansas City voters approved three local measures, and Jefferson City voters approved one measure on April 5.

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