WHAT IS TAKE BACK ST. LOUIS?
Take Back St. Louis is a city-wide campaign to reclaim our public tax dollars from corporations and instead invest in distributed development, green jobs and renewable energy. For 9 months, over one hundred volunteers collected thousands of signatures on the initiative. At the end of August, the Board of Elections announced that we qualified by the ballot by gathering over 22,000 signatures! We will now bring the question of how development happens in our city to the voters, probably in March 2014.
The Take Back St. Louis initiative would change the charter of the City to do three things:
- Assert the right of St. Louis citizens to a sustainable energy future.
- Stop the city from giving tax breaks and other incentives to corporations that mine coal, gas and oil, and any corporation doing $1 million of business with a mining company.
- Create a sustainable energy plan in the city that would invest public money in and open up land for renewable energy and sustainability initiatives like weatherization programs, urban farms and solar arrays.
WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT:
For years, groups and individuals in the Take Back St. Louis coalition have been concerned with the allocation of tax breaks and other incentives to large corporations, and in particular to corporations that are contributing to the climate crisis. For example, in 2010, Peabody Coal, the world’s largest coal corporation, received a tax break from the city on $61 million of purchases. Companies like Peabody Coal that profit off of the destruction of the communities where it mines, its workers and the environment do not deserve our taxpayer dollars, nor do they need it.
This current approach to development, where corporations get massive tax breaks, fails to create more jobs for the region; instead, it just seeks to shuffle them around in a “race to the bottom.” We want to shift those taxpayer development dollars into renewable energy sources and sustainability initiatives that will create green jobs in a new local, sustainable economy.
When up against corporate money, what we have is people power. Join us in getting the word out about the campaign, talking to voters and preparing to win at the ballot box next March! Call 314-862-2249 or email Arielle at Arielle@organizemo.org.