The St. Louis Post-Dispatch endorses Antonio French for Mayor!

"The March 7 mayoral primaries offer St. Louisans a basic choice: Maintain an unacceptable status quo or take a chance on a substantially new direction. Democratic voters’ best option to put our city on a better course is to choose 21st Ward Alderman Antonio French.

We remind readers that this newspaper isn’t in the business of predicting winners or losers. Our job is to interview the candidates and advise the public on the best choice based on their answers, temperament, experience and preparedness.

French, 39, stands out by far among the top tier of candidates for the energy and leadership qualities St. Louisans should demand in their next mayor."

Help us keep this ad on television! Help us bring home an incredible underdog victory on March 7th! Help us bring real change to St. Louis! DONATE TODAY!


Show your support for this campaign by endorsing it and sharing why!

  • Dennis Ellis endorsed

    “He is a smart progressive who implements his plans and has a history of doing so. The other options are stagnant and will lead to more of the same.”

  • Delores Sisson endorsed

    “The right choice for change begins and ends with Antonio French as mayor for St Louis. Join me. Choose the right change by choosing Antonio French. Vote vote for change.”

  • Frank Donahue endorsed

    “Because he's not in it for himself. He's genuine.”

  • Gregory Diener endorsed

    “we need a voice for the voiceless more than ever.”

  • Barbara Shaurette endorsed

    “I support Antonio French because he's been an outstanding community leader, not just on a local level, but on the national stage as well.”

  • Bassem Masri endorsed

    “As one of the many voices of the Ferguson movement Antonio French marched side by side with me in the name of freedom. He is a man of integrity and will be the perfect man to lead our great city.”

  • Cheryl Smith-Brown endorsed

    “Antonio stays focused on addressing the problems African Americans have been going through in the city of St. Louis for over 100 years or more. When everyone is treated fairly life will be better for everyone. Go Antonio.. I stand with you, Dr. Cheryl Smith-Brown”

  • Mary Ann McGivern endorsed

    “Pope Francis declared this a Year of Mercy. Mercy is a willingness to enter into chaos. Antonio is always willing to enter into the chaos around him, sharing what he has and making a path to something better.”

February 18, 2017

HUGE endorsement!

Fantastic news, guys! St. Louis' daily newspaper just endorsed Antonio for mayor!

This is what The Post-Dispatch had to say about our candidate:

"The March 7 mayoral primaries offer St. Louisans a basic choice: Maintain an unacceptable status quo or take a chance on a substantially new direction. Democratic voters’ best option to put our city on a better course is to choose 21st Ward Alderman Antonio French.

We remind readers that this newspaper isn’t in the business of predicting winners or losers. Our job is to interview the candidates and advise the public on the best choice based on their answers, temperament, experience and preparedness.

French, 39, stands out by far among the top tier of candidates for the energy and leadership qualities St. Louisans should demand in their next mayor."

We only have 17 days left for before Election Day and this endorsement is HUGE! Help us maximize this momentum. Donate today to help us get our new ad on TV!

Read the full endorsement here.

January 29, 2017

Help Us Get our Ads on TV

We only have 37 days left until Election Day. We've created some fantastic ads that have been doing very well on social media, but we need to get them in front of a larger audience. That means TV and that means money. Help us get on TV during these last few weeks of the campaign.

Check out our ads:

"Both Sides of Delmar" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7M8RoKZwCJE

"Small Biz" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0e6sm8K0OiM

"Public Transportation" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHc6fjfbLJY

Our campaign is fueled by PEOPLE, not big money or special interests. Thanks for your support!

January 24, 2017

Rush your matched contribution today!

Team French, good morning, I have some exciting news!

We have our last fundraising deadline in just a few days and a group of donors have agreed to match our contributions for the next 48 hours!

Will you rush a matched contribution for the campaign today? Your $20 becomes $40 and your $100 becomes $200!

The establishment candidates are relying on special interests and lobbyists, but we're a grassroots movement and we rely on supporters like you. Rush your matched contribution today!

Thanks,

~ Ryan Hawkins, Campaign Manager

January 10, 2017

A Mayor for Both Sides of Delmar

Have you seen our latest web video, "A Mayor for Both Sides of Delmar"? Go to www.AntonioFrench.com to watch.

For generations, one street has represented the racial and class divisions in St. Louis -- Delmar Blvd. The Washington Post wrote about "The Delmar Divide" in 2014:

"To get a sense of the fracture that cuts this city in two, drive along Delmar Boulevard, a major four-lane road that runs east to west. Hit the brakes when you see an Aldi grocery store and put your finger on the blinker. Decide which world to enter.

In the blocks to the immediate south: Tudor homes, wine bars, a racquet club, a furniture store selling sofas for $6,000. The neighborhood, according to U.S. Census data, is 70 percent white.

In the blocks to the immediate north: knocked-over street signs, collapsing houses, fluttering trash, tree-bare streets with weeds blooming from the sidewalk. The neighborhood is 99 percent black."

Antonio is running to be a mayor for both sides of Delmar.

Help us win this important election. Share your support on social media. Tag @AntonioFrench.

January 3, 2017

Read & Share!

Team French: If you haven't heard by now, our opponent, Alderwoman Lyda Krewson, is on a mission to promise everything to everyone. Why let little things like facts or actual budgets get in the way if she can keep voters distracted while she and her establishment friends run their campaign?

Check out this article we found the other day; it's independent evidence of what we've been saying for a while, that Lyda Krewson's "plan" to reduce violence will bust the budget and is completely unrealistic.

We need your help!

Share this article with your friends. Let's keep the pressure on our opponent and help spread Antonio's message of positive change for St Louis.

Thanks,

~ Ryan Hawkins, Campaign Manager

December 20, 2016

New Video: Public Transportation

Hey, Friends!

Click here to check out our new video "Public Transportation".

A good public transportation system is essential to having a city with a high quality of life. As mayor, I'll make major investments in public transportation -- and not just light rail, but bus transportation too.

Check out our video and share it on social media (be sure to tag @AntonioFrench)! Let's make sure St. Louis is talking about the things that matter most to improving people's lives.

-- Antonio

December 19, 2016

Get The Inside Scoop

Good afternoon Team French!

Over the course of the campaign I'll be releasing inside information from the campaign such as polling updates and strategic memos, but only to our Campaign Insider email list. So make sure you sign up today. Just send us an email with the subject line "I'm in" to info@antoniofrench.com and I'll be sure to add you to the list.

There's a movement happening here. You can feel it on the ground. Don't miss out on these important campaign updates.

Thanks,
Ryan Hawkins
Campaign Manager

December 17, 2016

Deadline Approaching

We have an important fundraising deadline fast approaching. Can you make a donation today (of any amount -- $9, $7, even $5 will help)? Then please share your support on Twitter and Facebook and encourage your friends to also donate.

This is how we'll win this campaign -- through the power of people working together!

Best,
Liz Peinado
Finance Director

December 14, 2016

Antonio's Plan to Reduce Violent Crime

In October, USA Today reported that St. Louis had once again been named the "most dangerous city in America". Now, whether or not St. Louis is indeed the most dangerous city is the subject of much debate. But regardless, what is clearly true is that there are way too many people being shot and killed in our city. And it's been getting worse in recent years, not better.

Antonio developed a plan to reduce violent crime over a year ago. He urged the current administration to adopt it. They refused, instead choosing to stick their heads in the sand again. But when they came pushing a plan to help build a new football stadium to keep the NFL in St. Louis, Antonio blocked the bill until they adopted a plan.

The plan that the current mayor adopted included only a few parts of Antonio's plan, and even those few parts haven't been effectively implemented by the current police chief (who Antonio has called on to resign and be replaced with someone selected from a national pool of applicants). As the old saying goes, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink."

It's time for new leadership. St. Louis deserves a mayor who understands the neighborhoods most affected by violent crime. Someone who knows the needs of the community. Antonio's comprehensive crime plan calls for investments to transform the conditions that exist in the 15 neighborhoods that account for 60% of the violent crime in the city.

Learn more at www.comprehensiveplan.org.

And WATCH OUR LATEST VIDEO on crime and how to effectively fight it by investing in jobs, neighborhoods, kids, and repairing the broken relationship between police and the community.

December 11, 2016

Trump picks worst of St. Louis

Hi, Team French! It's Liz Peinado, the campaign finance director.

I wanted to share with you how disgusted I am with President-elect Trump and his pick for Labor Secretary. CNN's Christine Owens said it best: "Trump has tapped fast-food magnate and conservative commentator [and former St. Louisan] Andrew Puzder to head the Department of Labor, the federal agency responsible for ensuring workplace safety, wage and hour standards, unemployment insurance benefits and other core rights

It's hard to think of anyone less suited for the job of lifting up forgotten workers than Puzder, a billionaire CEO who vocally opposes any meaningful increase in the minimum wage, who talks glibly about replacing workers with machines, and who consistently attacks rules that protect both workers and law-abiding employers."

We can turn the page on 2016 and shove a giant win down their throats because the road to stopping Trump begins right here in St. Louis! Our goal on CrowdPAC is $20,000. We can knock a huge chunk of that out tonight. Can you do $30 before midnight so we can continue to show the strength of our campaign?

There's a movement happening with this race. You can feel it on the ground and our momentum is growing every day. In fact, we just had 1,400 St. Louisans participate a telephone town hall last Thursday! Your $30 allows us to continue doing things like that town hall so we can build on our success all the way to victory on March 7th!!!

Thanks,

-- Liz

December 9, 2016

Over 1400 people join Antonio for a Telephone Town Hall!

Good morning Team French!

Last night, over 1400 people from throughout St Louis joined Antonio for a telephone town hall to discuss reducing violence and making our city a safer place to live, work and raise a family.

Be sure to visit our Facebook page at facebook.com/french2017 where you can view the entire event as we streamed it via Facebook Live!

There is a movement happening here, you can just feel it on the ground, I think we are really going to shock the establishment and show them what happens when you bring real change and leadership to this city! Thanks for all you've done for our campaign but we still need you so stay tuned.

~ Ryan Hawkins, Campaign Manager.

December 2, 2016

"Antonio Gets Stuff Done" #373: A Fund to Help Create New Businesses in Low-Income Areas

Antonio is the candidate who gets stuff done. Today the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports on the city's efforts to provide tax incentives to help the St. Louis Cardinals organization expand their Ballpark Village development downtown. This $220 million project will build a new office building, residential tower, as well as retail and entertainment spaces on what is currently a surface parking lot.

Antonio argued that if a big business like The Cardinals is going to get some help then so should small businesses and entrepreneurs trying to start new businesses in poor neighborhoods in the city.

From the Post-Dispatch:

An additional amendment offered by 21st Ward Alderman Antonio French, a candidate for mayor, would divert $250,000 annually from the tax revenue generated by Ballpark Village into a fund that would provide grants and low-interest loans to help new small businesses open in low-income areas.

French said city leaders had a long track record of providing financial assistance to projects downtown and in the central corridor at the expense of poorer areas of the city.

“I think it’s time we provide some benefits to the neighborhoods that are struggling,” he said.

December 2, 2016

"Antonio Gets Stuff Done" #372: New Health Center Opens in Underserved Area

Antonio French is the candidate who gets stuff done. This week, The St. Louis American newspaper reports on the new health center that opened in the O'Fallon/Penrose neighborhoods of north St. Louis. This was the culmination of many months of work by Antonio and partners he brought to the table, including the Myrtle Hilliard Comprehensive Health Centers. The result is a place located right in the community where people can get their health needs addressed. The facility even includes dentistry services and a pharmacy.

Read the full article here: http://www.stlamerican.com/business/business_news/health-center-opened-in-o-fallon-park-neighborhood/article_69975b4c-b749-11e6-afce-571d66b82ecd.html

November 29, 2016

It's official!

It's official! I filed my paperwork yesterday to become a candidate for mayor of St. Louis! I'll be the first name on the ballot in March, just like I'll always put the people first as mayor.

Here's how you can help this week:

1.) Donate $20.17 today to help us win in 2017.

2.) Like our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/French2017/) and post an endorsement or a message of support. And share the page with your Facebook friends.

3.) Sign up to help the campaign at www.Volunteer.AntonioFrench.com. There are lots of ways to help: volunteer a few days a week to make calls in the office; volunteer to canvass on the weekend; or sign up to host a meet-n-greet or a fundraiser.

Thank you for your support. This race is wide open and with your help, we can move our city's government back on the side of the people in 2017.

— Antonio

November 22, 2016

Giving Thanks

This is the week in which we come together with our families to show our appreciation for our blessings, none of which are greater than family itself.

I spent some time Saturday at the Demetrius Johnson Charitable Foundation's annual turkey giveaway. This great event brings together St. Louisans of privilege to help serve St. Louisans in need. There are many other similar events across our city during this time of year.

I was reminded of the words of Franklin Roosevelt:

"The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little."

How do we define success or greatness in our city? I define it by how well we meet the needs of all of our people.

We have work to do, friends. Take this week to rest and be grateful for all you have. Then resolve yourself to work even harder to help our city meet the needs of those who have less.

Thank you for your friendship and support. And Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours.

- Antonio

November 9, 2016

Local elections matter even more now

President Trump. Dear God. Help us all.

American voters have spoken and what they had to say was incredibly disappointing. We now face the possibility of much of the progress our country has made under President Obama now being rolled back by a racist, xenophobic, misogynistic president with zero experience in elected office.

It's always been true that people's lives are most affected by local elected offices, not Washington D.C., but it is now more important than ever that we elect local elected officials that can stand up against Trump's backwards agenda. And keep pushing forward with issues like lowering violent crime, improving police accountability and community relations, criminal justice reform, and improving public education.

Life will go on. We will continue to push for better lives for our children, our neighbors, and our fellow citizens, regardless of race, gender, income, class, sexual orientation, religion, or national origin. That's who we are.

Keep your head up. We've got work to do.

Sincerely,
Antonio French
Candidate for Mayor
City of St. Louis

November 3, 2016

"An Awful Distinction"

For yet another year, the City of St. Louis has been named "Murder Capital of America". Our city had more homicides per capita than any other city in America. This is an awful, embarrassing distinction. But beyond the shame, this statistic represents the reality of violence that tens of thousands of St. Louis families are forced to live with every day. And this is just a measure of homicides, not shootings. Those numbers are much, much higher.

I've published a comprehensive plan to reduce violence in St. Louis and improve the qualify of life and conditions that lead to violence in our poorest neighborhoods. Visit http://comprehensiveplan.org/plan/ to learn more.

This is a crisis. Reducing the level of violence in our city would be my #1 priority as mayor.

This is a solvable problem. We need a mayor committed to the solution. With your support, I look forward to being that mayor.

Thank you,
Antonio

October 20, 2016

#TrumpBookReport

Antonio has gone viral!

The day after Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump faced off for their final debate, a hashtag has been trending all day, and it turns out it started right here in St. Louis.

Last night while St. Louis Alderman Antonio French was watching the debate, he sent off a tweet suggesting Donald Trump sounded unprepared while discussing foreign policy.

"Trump's foreign policy answers sound like a book report from a teenager who hasn't read the book. "Oh, the grapes! They had so much wrath!"" he tweeted.

From that tweet, the hashtag #TrumpBookReport was born.

From The Wall Street Journal:

"It’s Twitteriest of Twitter events.

It started last night with a single tweet, after @realDonaldTrump’s performance in his third debate against @HillaryClinton. Antonio French, who is currently running for mayor of St. Louis (and has a Twitter following of 136,000), compared Trump to a kid who hasn’t done his homework."

From The Guardian:

"Inspired by Donald Trump’s responses during the third presidential debate, Twitter users are humorously attempting to explain great works of literature through the Republican’s eyes using #TrumpBookReport.

The idea seemed to have been spawned from a widely shared tweet from Antonio French, a city alderman and mayoral candidate in St Louis, Missouri, criticizing Trump for his vague, surface-level remarks during the debate."

From Entertainment Weekly:

"This current election season has been no stranger to comedic memes. So it isn’t any surprise that Wednesday’s third and final debate between current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump produced yet another popular hashtag: #TrumpBookReport.

It first started when local politician Antonio French commented on Donald Trump’s answering style, likening his seeming unpreparedness to a student who might not have done the necessary reading."

Antonio was also mentioned on The View this morning, as well as every local St. Louis TV station. And while the tweets and the hashtag have brought laughter to millions of people's day, Antonio also has made a point to emphasize the real meaning behind #TrumpBookReport.

"The fact is Donald Trump is woefully unprepared to be President of the United States," said French. "We must not, can not, will not let Donald Trump take this country backwards. He is a threat to the rights of minorities, immigrants, the LGBT community, the poor, and those of us who live in what he dismissively refers to as 'the inner city'."

If you enjoyed #TrumpBookReport, make a $5 donation to our campaign to help elect Antonio French as the next mayor of the City of St. Louis. His ability to connect with others and use social media to promote thought-provoking discussion is something that no other candidate has. He is the right leader for our city. ##

The French for Mayor Campaign Office is located at 4028 West Florissant, St. Louis, MO 63107. You can sign up to volunteer at www.volunteer.antoniofrench.com.

October 11, 2016

Campaign Office Opening on Saturday!

We're opening our first campaign office this weekend! The campaign is renting a storefront in The North Campus Learning Center, an after-school program founded by Alderman French. That way our rent money goes to support fantastic programs for St. Louis kids. Nice, huh?

So drop by to SAY HELLO, sign up to VOLUNTEER, or drop off a DONATION for the campaign!

(Pssst... it's also Antonio's birthday weekend. Shhhhhh... Don't tell him, but there might be cake.)

Event details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1616674635299536/

October 10, 2016

USA Today: French notes lack of discussion of #BlackLivesMatter at debate

The eyes of the world were on St. Louis last night as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both appeared on the campus of Washington University for their second debate. But as Alderman Antonio French noted on Twitter, and USA Today later reported, there was an important topic that unfortunately was not discussed.

From USA Today:

St. Louis is less than 15 miles from Ferguson, Mo., site of demonstrations in 2014 over the police shooting of a black teenager that sparked a national debate over law enforcement's treatment of African Americans in communities across the country.

It's an issue that's still very much a part of the national dialogue two years later.

So, naturally, that topic was front and center in Sunday night's debate, which was held in St. Louis?

Not exactly, noted Antonio French, a city alderman now running for mayor who became well known two years ago with his tweets documenting the Ferguson protests.

"I'm disappointed that the candidates weren't asked about policing and #BlackLivesMatter," French wrote on Twitter after the debate concluded. "Very important to our country and our city."

The subject of the state of America's urban communities did come up, with Trump, as he's said before, bemoaning the current quality of life in inner cities, saying they were "a disaster education-wise, job-wise, safety-wise."

French said he was "disappointed" by this "negative depiction."

Click here to read the full USA Today story.

Antonio French knows how important the issues of policing, criminal justice reform, and #BlackLivesMatter are to the City of St. Louis. Our city became the poster child for these issues in 2014. With the upcoming mayoral election (which now includes the controversial police chief as a candidate), St. Louis will have the opportunity to become a national leader in rebuilding the broken relationship between community and police.

St. Louis can set the standard for police transparency and accountability, and show how safer communities come from police and communities working together and holding each other accountable.

October 7, 2016

21st Ward Alderman Antonio French enters mayor's race

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

ST. LOUIS • Antonio French, alderman for the city’s 21st Ward, entered the mayor’s race on Thursday, announcing his candidacy by posting a video on Twitter that was captioned: “I’m in.”

French becomes the fourth person to publicly announce a mayoral candidacy since Mayor Francis Slay’s surprise announcement in the spring that he would not seek a fifth term.

In 2012, French founded the North Campus, an initiative modeled after New York City’s Harlem Children’s Zone. The model calls for schools to provide mentoring and after-school tutoring in addition to traditional schooling to low-income children.

Two years later, French gained a national profile in the immediate aftermath of the Ferguson protests for his tweets showing clashes between police and protesters.

His announcement video has several shots of him playing the peacemaker during those clashes interspersed with clips of him appearing on local and national news stations talking about public safety and the shortcoming of the justice system.

French, 38, initially hinted at a mayoral run last month when he began soliciting pledges from donors that he would accept only if he formally entered the race.

“I have been publicly contemplating this for a while, and I have been asking how best can I serve the city,” French said. “It’s time for me to move to a different office that has more direct control” over how the city is run.

Joining the race is inherently risky for French, a two-term alderman who is serving his eighth year on the board.

“I won’t be able to run for my 21st seat while I’m running for mayor, so it’s either up or out for me,” he said. “But I’ve chosen to sacrifice this period of my life in the spirit of community service.”

The 21st Ward includes portions of the Penrose, College Hill and O’Fallon neighborhoods.

French said the risk of losing his seat at City Hall is worth it.

“Not holding public office is not the end of the world for me,” he said. “This was part of my deliberations. How can I serve and have the most impact? It’s from the mayor’s office.”

French said his campaign will be centered on quality of life issues in the city’s neighborhoods.

“We’ve reached a point where people are leaving the city by the dozens,” he said. “We need to refocus our efforts not just in the central corridor — downtown to the Central West End — but to all the other neighborhoods where most people live.”

French said crime and neighborhood stability, including increasing job opportunities and finding uses for abandoned properties, will go a long way toward improving the quality of life for the average city resident.

But having collected only $3,000 in pledges from a crowdfunding site, and having just $3,000 in his campaign account, French is starting off at a distinct disadvantage compared with other candidates who’ve raised six-figure sums.

“It’s not about having more money” than other candidates, French said. “It’s about having enough money.

“I have not raised political money in many years,” he said. “I’ve been focused on raising money for educational programs, but I have name recognition and a large base and a large pool to draw from.”

French joins 28th Ward Alderman Lyda Krewson, Aldermanic President Lewis Reed and Police Chief Sam Dotson as the candidates who’ve publicly announced they’re running.

Collector of Revenue Gregory F.X. Daly and Treasurer Tishaura Jones have formed exploratory committees and are considering entering the race.

The filing period for mayoral candidates runs from Nov. 27 through Jan. 6. The primary election will be held on March 7. The general election is set for April 4.

Read the full story here: http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/st-ward-alderman-antonio-french-enters-mayor-s-race/article_880fd214-1459-56a2-a0b0-fa501002eb56.html

October 6, 2016

Sign up to volunteer on the campaign!

Can you make calls, knock on doors, host a fundraiser, or volunteer in the campaign office? Sign up here: https://goo.gl/forms/ZUSVbTaxcHj2bKS93

Thank you!

October 6, 2016

He's in! Alderman French is running for mayor!

Great news, friends!

Alderman French announced on Twitter this morning that he's in! He's running for Mayor of St. Louis!

Now the hard work begins. Spread the word. Pledge $20 or more today! Let's win this thing!

October 6, 2016

Police Chief entering race for St. Louis Mayor, Jeff Roorda defends his decision

Yesterday, the controversial St. Louis police chief, Sam Dotson, declared that he was entering the race for mayor. Even his boss, the current mayor, Francis Slay, took issue with the announcement.

"I want to be clear to the citizens of St. Louis that I will not condone a part-time police chief. Chief Dotson should be completely focused on the job he has. Our City deserves no less. Should Chief Dotson decide to become a candidate for mayor, I expect him to resign,” said Slay.

Dotson said he had no plans to resign.

Jeff Roorda, the divisive spokesman of the St. Louis police union, defended Dotson. He said he will "take Dotson's word" that campaigning won't take away from his job as chief.

Friends, we cannot let Sam Dotson become the next mayor of St. Louis. This will be a disaster for our city's post-Ferguson reform efforts.

Please pledge $25, $50, or $100 today. Tweet and Facebook the link to our Crowdpac page. Ask your friends and family to make pledge too. The stakes just got even higher. We need to a new direction in St. Louis. Help elect Antonio French as our next mayor.

October 3, 2016

NEXT CITY: How Antonio French Went From a Ferguson Jail Cell to the Clinton Campaign

Read the full Next City profile of Alderman French here: https://nextcity.org/features/view/antonio-french-ferguson-st-louis-alderman-crime-prevention-public-space

Some excerpts:

"After the Hollywood stars and several other local politicians speak, French takes the microphone again, urging his community to get the word out and get out the vote on Tuesday. He vaguely asks another campaign staffer how much longer something — it’s unclear exactly what — is going to take, and the answer is two minutes.

“Two more minutes, all right,” French repeats cryptically to the crowd. “It’s long enough for you to send out a tweet. It’s long enough for you to call a neighbor.” Then, appearing seemingly out of nowhere, a small army of suited officials moves a large podium into the unassuming multipurpose room — and Clinton herself is suddenly approaching the platform.

“What I saw last night in Chicago was deeply disturbing,” she says, quick to reference the previous evening’s clashes between Trump supporters and demonstrators as evidence of major work to be done across the nation. And then it’s on to assurances of a real plan for good jobs, quality education, affordable healthcare, student debt relief and criminal justice reform.

That last campaign promise hits especially close to home in the St. Louis region, where there’s increased awareness of racial disparities and renewed calls to action since events in Ferguson sparked a nationwide movement nearly two years ago. French has traded nights marked by tension and tear gas for days spent leveraging political support for related reforms at City Hall."

“If it weren’t for Antonio French, we wouldn’t be sitting in this building today,” says the retired schoolteacher, who has lived in her 21st Ward home for 60 years. He’s doing great work in the ward, she adds. “That’s why we keep voting him in.”

French’s own interest in the neighborhood’s health — and his inspiration to continue to strengthen it — is personal. He notes that he and his wife are “educated folks with options.” And the neighborhood that he grew up in, “at the height of homicide and murder in St. Louis City … where I had to get rid of everything red in my wardrobe,” is not something he wants his 5-year-old son to experience.

“For me, my son is really my hourglass,” French says. “He is a representation of the sense of urgency that I have to improve these communities. He is already at an age where he has begun to notice the decay. We were driving through the Third Ward on his way to school a few weeks ago, and he said, ‘Daddy, look: The dinosaurs came and crushed the buildings.’ … And so I can do what so many other people have done which is just, say, moving. Or I can work every day to try and improve it, and that’s what I’ve chosen to do.”

Read the full Next City profile of Alderman French here: https://nextcity.org/features/view/antonio-french-ferguson-st-louis-alderman-crime-prevention-public-space

September 29, 2016

St. Louis Mayor’s Race Wide Open

https://stlouis.cbslocal.com/2016/09/21/st-louis-mayors-race-wide-open/

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – In the race for St. Louis mayor, two candidates are definitely in, while others dance around the edge dipping their toes in the water.

Aldermanic President Lewis Reed is definitely running, so too is Central West End Alderwoman Lyda Krewson.

Alderman Antonio French says he’s also exploring a run, talking with friends and family. Key considerations for French — raising money and not wanting to split the African-American vote.

“There are a lot of people in the city of St. Louis who have felt left out in the last 15 or 16 years under the Slay Administration,” French said. “And now is a chance for them to get a seat at the table. I would not want to see their vote split so many ways that they would miss out on that opportunity.”

City Treasurer Tishaura Jones is “exploring her options, researching the pros and cons” of running for mayor. But in the short term, she’s focussed on winning re-election as treasurer in November.

Other possible candidates in the mix: Northside Alderman Jeffrey Boyd and Police Chief Sam Dotson.

September 29, 2016

Proposal made to put basketball courts in Forest Park

http://fox2now.com/2016/09/28/proposal-made-to-put-basketball-courts-in-forest-park/

ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – A proposal by a St. Louis alderman to add several basketball courts in the city is drawing some fire even before it comes up for debate.

The concern for some is not about the what, but where.

When Alderman French announced on Twitter he has filed a bill proposing at least four basketball courts be built somewhere in Forest Park, it became clear from some of the tweets he got back that idea makes some people nervous.

But French says the basketball courts in his north St. Louis city ward prove those fears are unfounded.

Forest Park is in Alderman Lyda Krewson's ward and while she says she does not anticipate problems if the courts are built, she also points out approval of the plan is not as simple as just passing the bill at the board of aldermen.

A spokesperson for the city did not offer us any objections to the proposal, but declined to comment further pointing out of the city's 109 parks, there are basketball courts in only 25.

September 29, 2016

Alderman wants to bring basketball to Forest Park

http://www.ksdk.com/news/local/alderman-wants-to-bring-basketball-to-forest-park/326993350

ST. LOUIS - An elected official in St. Louis wants to help tackle racial division in the region by shooting hoops.

Antonio French, the 21st Ward Alderman, said people have long complained about a lack of basketball courts at Forest Park.

He said he believes it was an intentional move to exclude some people from visiting the popular destination, including young African American males.

“I think we are better than that as a city. I think we can make this park one that all people can feel welcome in and want to embrace,” French said.

So this week the outspoken Democrat filed legislation at city hall to change that.

His bill would require the installation of an unspecified number of basketball courts at Forest Park next year. No exact location was given.

French said the addition would go a long way toward making people feel more welcome while providing new recreational opportunities.

He said, “I think we need to move past our prejudices in the city. I think this is one small way to do it.”

Currently, of St. Louis’ 109 city parks, only 25 have a basketball court.

Greg Hayes, the director of the parks, recreation and forestry department, said basketball courts were not included in Forest Park’s 1995 master plan.

Hayes said there’s no evidence the courts were intentionally excluded to make people feel unwelcome, but that he’s open to talking about including them in the future.

French’s bill would need at least one read by the board of aldermen’s parks committee before being considered by the full board.

September 13, 2016

Olin MBA alum seeks support for 2017 St. Louis mayoral run

http://www.studlife.com/news/region/2016/09/12/olin-mba-alum-seeks-support-for-2017-st-louis-mayoral-run/

French, who graduated from Washington University’s Executive Business MBA program in November of 2014, began his tentative campaign following St. Louis mayor Francis Slay’s announcement that he would not be seeking a fifth term in the next mayoral election in 2017."

August 19, 2016

In The News: French's After-School Program

Antonio French gets things done. That's one of the reasons he'd make a great mayor.

Many of you know about the great organization he created several years ago called North Campus. If you aren't familiar with the program which serves hundreds of kids every day, learn more at www.northcampus.org. Well, this week was the first week of school in St. Louis. And North Campus was preparing its locations for its popular after-school programs when Mother Nature unleashed flash floods on the city causing damage at North Campus locations. But Alderman French and his team refused to let their students down by missing the first day of school.

Local TV station KSDK reported on how Antonio French and North Campus worked to make sure their buildings were ready for kids. Check it out: http://www.ksdk.com/news/local/storm-damages-after-school-center/298653805

St. Louis needs a mayor who gets it. Antonio French knows the importance of education in a kid's life. He supports public education and created an incredible program that works with St. Louis Public Schools to help make kids successful. And most importantly, he gets things done. That's the kind of mayor we need in St. Louis.

Pledge $10 today to support Antonio!

August 10, 2016

We're just getting started!

Thank you to everyone who has made a pledge to encourage Antonio French to run for Mayor of St. Louis. The outpouring of support online and on the streets has been incredible. But we're just getting started.

Candidates for mayor don't file to run until November, but there are several candidates already publicly saying they're running and even more saying they're thinking about it. That means we need to help build enough financial support for Antonio to show he is the strongest candidate!

Here's what you can do:

1) Pledge again! If you've pledged $5 before, pledge another $10 today.

2) Spread the word! Get your friends and family to pledge 10 bucks. Post on Twitter and Facebook.

3) Recruit large pledges! Keep in mind: there are no campaign limits in this race. Other candidates in this race will receive checks for $50,000... $100,000... maybe even $1,000,000. That's the nature of politics in Missouri today. That's what we're up against. But we know people too. We know progressive artists, tech leaders, and business people who want change -- who know that we need leaders in cities like St. Louis who aren't afraid to stand up for real reform.

This race will have national consequences. St. Louis is the birthplace of the modern Black Lives Matter movement. Antonio French was there every step of the way. In 2014, St. Louis became the poster child of police militarization and the disconnect between communities and the people hired to police them. As mayor, Antonio French will help change that narrative. He will help make St. Louis a model for how cities can reform, how accountability and transparency lead to safer cities, how trust can be rebuilt between police departments and communities of color.

You're a part of this campaign. Let's make it happen.

July 29, 2016

Campaign created!

Show your support for this campaign by endorsing it and sharing why!

  • Laban King endorsed

  • Dennis Ellis endorsed

    “He is a smart progressive who implements his plans and has a history of doing so. The other options are stagnant and will lead to more of the same.”

  • Haden M. Smith endorsed

  • Mike McCoy endorsed

  • Delores Sisson endorsed

    “The right choice for change begins and ends with Antonio French as mayor for St Louis. Join me. Choose the right change by choosing Antonio French. Vote vote for change.”

  • Virginia Franklin endorsed

  • Lorraine and Valerie Hirschberg endorsed

  • Melissa Ritchey endorsed

  • Frank Donahue endorsed

    “Because he's not in it for himself. He's genuine.”

  • Duncan Cooper endorsed

  • Duncan Cooper endorsed

  • Drew Fleming endorsed

  • Gregory Diener endorsed

    “we need a voice for the voiceless more than ever.”

  • Eric Rakestraw endorsed

  • Yvonne M Ming endorsed

  • James A, Keys endorsed

  • Barbara Shaurette endorsed

    “I support Antonio French because he's been an outstanding community leader, not just on a local level, but on the national stage as well.”

  • Patrick Cook endorsed

  • Bassem Masri endorsed

    “As one of the many voices of the Ferguson movement Antonio French marched side by side with me in the name of freedom. He is a man of integrity and will be the perfect man to lead our great city.”

  • Geordan Neinstein endorsed

  • Jose daLuz endorsed

  • Cheryl Smith-Brown endorsed

    “Antonio stays focused on addressing the problems African Americans have been going through in the city of St. Louis for over 100 years or more. When everyone is treated fairly life will be better for everyone. Go Antonio.. I stand with you, Dr. Cheryl Smith-Brown”

  • Feddy endorsed

  • Damen Alexander endorsed

  • Mary Ann McGivern endorsed

    “Pope Francis declared this a Year of Mercy. Mercy is a willingness to enter into chaos. Antonio is always willing to enter into the chaos around him, sharing what he has and making a path to something better.”

  • Julie Dill endorsed

  • Jason Coleman endorsed

  • Richard Chatterton endorsed

  • Mary Andrews endorsed

  • Matt Welker endorsed