Michael Chance is an angry guy. A big shot in St. Louis City GOP politics for what it’s worth. The guy has run for office time and time again and lost time and time again. Chance is a guy with old ideas that will only lead to defeat. My platform is a revolutionary conservative platform that will deliver an almost certain victory for myself and the St. Louis City GOP. After offering to meet Mr. Chance this is how he responded to me.
The past hasn’t been so great for Mr. Chance and with an attitude like this the future won’t either. He can embrace my platform and evolve or stick to his stale ideas and perish.
My fellow Americans and St. Louisans I’m running for mayor of our city in 2017. I come to you at a time of crisis. Over the last year our streets have been filled with teargas, neighbor has been turned against neighbor, poverty is rampant, our schools are failing, and our murder-rate is off the charts. In 1950 our city had well over 800,000 residents. Today we have just over 300,000. St. Louis is a dying city. We are in need of a renewal. The politicians of old have steered us off course for decades and the proof is in the pudding. It’s time for a change. My candidacy is about hope and change and making St. Louis great again.
I’ve been asked why I’m running as a Republican. In all honesty party label is not that important to me. There are good people on both sides of the aisle and enemies of progress on both sides of the aisle. In the past I’ve voted for both parties. In the city of St. Louis the Democratic Party is a well-oiled and heavily-funded machine often hostile to change. A machine that has been at the helm during six decades of decline in our city. The Republican Party of St. Louis City is detached from power and open to new ideas and energy. I run as a Republican in the spirit of GOP lawmakers who fought segregationist Dixiecrats to pass civil-rights legislation and in the spirit of Abraham Lincoln. Not in the spirit of a Jesse Helms or Donald Trump.
I have a deep love for St. Louis. The Lee family moved to Missouri from Tennessee after the Civil War. My grandfather came to St. Louis seeking work in the Great Depression, served in the United States Marine Corps in World War II, and then met my grandmother at the old St. Louis Dairy downtown after the war. I was raised by my grandparents and the stories of the North St. Louis of their youth. A city bustling with jobs and street cars. It pained them to watch this city decline. All of us can help revive St. Louis in our own ways. However, it takes leadership at the top to support systematic change.
St. Louis is a city bitterly divided by race. As a white man I’m a beneficiary of white privilege and have seen first hand the damage of racism. All of my children are racially-mixed as are all 12 of my nieces and nephews. Fighting racism is fighting for their future.
St. Louis has a serious crime problem. We cannot solve crime in our city until we address root causes and bring ex-offenders back into society. Law-enforcement should be about the promotion of peace and not punishment. Just like many of our young people I was a young person often in trouble and yet I’m running for mayor. I want young people to know even if you’ve been in trouble the future can be as bright as you want it to be.
Diversity is what makes our nation great. Mayor Francis Slay is the grandson of Lebanese immigrants. African-Americans, immigrants and poor migrants built St. Louis. We are a city of many races and religions. I happen to be a Muslim; but I’m not running to be the mufti of St. Louis I’m running to be mayor.
Here is my platform.
1. Ending the War on Drugs
The late Tupac Shakur said “instead of a war on poverty you have a war on drugs so the police can bother me”. The war on drugs is a failure and has led to mass-incarceration. We need to put a stop to it. Some use drugs recreationally and they should be free to do that without interference from the government. Some are addicted to drugs and not only are their lives ruined they leave a path of destruction around them. This is not a criminal matter. This is an issue of treatment. Therefore as the mayor of St. Louis I would order the police department to stop making drug arrests and disband all units related to the “war on drugs”. This is also in keeping with the conservative ideals of individual-responsibility and freedom. Mass-incarceration is an assault on freedom as is telling people what they can and can’t put in their bodies.
2. Fair Development
An Umar Lee administration will not be giving out corporate welfare. Companies like IKEA and Whole Foods will not be rewarded with TIF money while existing small businesses are saddled with burdensome regulations. Gentrification is occurring throughout America driving working-class and poor Americans out of cities and is largely being done with taxpayers dollars directed by Democratic mayors. In city after city the poor and people of color are being driven out by supposedly liberal Democratic mayors and we are seeing the beginning of this process in St. Louis. I’ll fight TIF, eminent-domain, and all assaults on our freedom.
3. Ending Poverty, Homelessness and Hunger
As mayor of St. Louis I’ll fight to end poverty. While I’m a conservative and believe many causes of party are within the family, culture and upbringing there is much government can do as well. I will propose that the minimum-wage in the city of St. Louis be raised to $25 an hour. I will also lead a trade delegation to Russia, China, the Arab Gulf States, Iran and Venezuela to encourage foreign-investment in St. Louis.
I will end homelessness in St. Louis by ordering that the thousands of vacant buildings owned by the city of St. Louis and administered by the incompetent LRA be given to the homeless. I will also partner with the Reverend Larry Rice and work to get him a bigger facility such as the old Millennium Hotel. The money for this program will be generated by a casino-tax I’ll propose.
I will end hunger as mayor of St. Louis by purchasing food trucks that will feed the poor and hungry. These trucks will serve three meals a day at parks throughout the city and will be paid for by a food-tax I’ll propose for Whole Foods Market and all fancy restaurants in St. Louis (basically anywhere you need a reservation).
These are conservative ideas. There is no conservatism without a people to conserve. Housing, food and a basic-income are basic ingredients to the conservation and survival of a people.
4. A Refugee Hub
The world is experiencing a tremendous refugee crisis. The situation in Syria is the greatest refugee crisis since World War II. We have no control over where we are born. No matter our color, our race, our gender or our religion we’re all human. It’s our responsibility as a human family to take in those refugees in need. During the Holocaust the SS St. Louis came to the shores of our nation seeking asylum. The ship was sent back because the quota for refugees had already been filled and many in America didn’t want to see more Jews become Americans. Those Jews were sent back to Europe and death. Just imagine if they’d have been let in? Our city has lost 500,000 residents over sixty years and we have a capacity to take in hundreds of thousands. With a combination of LRA housing, city parks, and vacant lots for the building of temporary refugee camps we have the capacity to become the biggest hub for Syrian refugees outside of the region of conflict. This new population will lead to a rejuvenation of our city. While we will receive some support from the private-sector and federal-government for this the majority of the funding will come from a new tax assessed to flights in and out of Lambert International Airport.
5. Rams Departure Tax
What St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke is attempting to do to St. Louis is truly sickening. Our city built the Rams a stadium, gave the Rams their only Super Bowl victory, and supported the team despite year after year of a miserable product. I’m proposing a ten-billion dollar departure-tax for the St. Louis Rams. If they can’t pay it the team will become the property of St. Louis just like the Green Bay Packers are owned by citizens. One thing I won’t be doing is signing off on more corporate welfare to build the Rams a new stadium.
6. Fair Taxation
I will eliminate the payroll tax for the bottom 80% of city taxpayers. I will increase the city earnings tax to 3% for the 6-19 bracket and 5% for the 1-5 income-bracket.
7. Cardinals Tax
I will propose we tax the St. Louis Cardinals to create the top department of parks and recreation in the country and to create elite youth sports programs in sports such as wrestling, boxing, swimming and archery.
A great city has a great public transportation system. Go across America and you’ll find prosperous and modern cities invest in a moder transit-system. As mayor of St. Louis I will fight to create a north-south Metro rail line and added bus-service to the areas that really need it. I will also do a bike-lane assessment. Adding them where needed and removing where needed. Regarding the cab industry I’ll work to abolish the Metropolitan Taxi Commission and create a regulatory body not made up of those within the industry. I’ll also introduce a ride-share tax which will go to fund expanded Call-a-Ride service operated by Metro for those who are needy or unbanked.
9. Criminal Justice Reform
On day one in office I’ll remove Chief Sam Dotson and the entire leadership of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department from their duties. I will fight the cronyism and corruption in the department by hiring any new chief from outside the department via a national job search. I will implement body cameras for police, steroid testing for police, PTSD screening for new officers and mandate diversity-training for all officers. I will sell off any military-grade equipment owned by the police department. I will appoint veteran Ferguson protesters to the civilian review board and hire others as consultants to the department. Furthermore I will reach out to St. Louis street gangs and help them organize as “well regulated militias” and have them patrol their own turf. If they can end violence in their neighborhoods they’ll be rewarded. Furthermore, as a constitutional conservative I will end the erosion of our civil-liberties. I will work to get rid of all surveillance cameras, red-light cameras and the Real Time Intelligence Center.
I will work to cut the bureaucracy from the St. Louis Public Schools. I will lead an effort to bring professionals from major area corporations into the public schools as mentors. I’ll also support raising the salaries of city teachers by 40% to bring them in line with higher-paid districts throughout the country. In honor of the late Mae Duggan I’ll also fight to give poor children in St. Louis the same opportunity every middle to upper-class family has and that is a chance to attend private school. St. Louis is long overdue for a school voucher program and I’ll work with the Archdiocese of St. Louis and local churches, mosques, temples and synagogues to help create this program.
11. Gun Rights
I am a strong supporter of Second Ammendment rights. I will remove any barrier to open and concealed carry the city of St. Louis has placed. Furthermore, in accordance with Missouri Ammendment 5, I will order the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department to not arrest any non-violent ex-offenders in possession of guns.
12. Climate Change
I will order a city climate change study in order to create a greener and more sustainable city. I’ll also work to encourage the expansion of community gardens and urban farming.
13. Native American Memorial
The Gateway Arch is the symbol of our city and commemorates the westward expansion of our nation. We must realize that this expansion led to the genocide of the Native American people. Therefore I will use my position as mayor to propose the construction of a memorial to the genocide of the Native American people on the grounds of the Gateway Arch.
14. Great Depression and Great Migration Museums
I propose the construction of two world class museums in downtown St. Louis. One commemorating the Great Migration of African-Americans to the north and another for the Great Depression. These will become tourist attractions and help make St. Louis a hub for tourism.
I will work to make sure equal-pay becomes a reality in St. Louis. I’ll also propose a new and stiffer non-discrimination bill that will cover race, religion, gender, sexual identity, age and disabilities.
Follow my mayoral campaign on Twitter at @Umar4STLMayor on Facebook like Umar Lee for St. Louis and on Periscope @STLAbuBadu
Uber launched in St. Louis today.My thoughts? They’ll help the areas that are young, white and wealthy and those areas that are currently being slowly reclaimed by European-Americans. Campuses as well. Everyone else will get worse service in the long run. However, if you’re in Walnut Park trying to get to work at the Popeyes in Jennings stopping at the daycare on the way no one in this debate gives a shit about you anyways. If you don’t have a debit card and smart phone the best advice I think hipsters have for you is to jump off a bridge after donating all your old clothing to a vintage resale shop. Also, be sure to check the organ donation box and if you have long hair donate it for weave.
What is my prediction? In order to fight Uber you’ll have to be very astute from a political and business standpoint. Laclede Cab is neither. They’ve been able to win until now because of a great lawyer and being skillful in local politics. There are so many flaws in the business-model of Laclede Cab, not to mention their appalling treatment of workers, that they won’t be able to succeed in the future. My prediction is they’ll sell to St. Louis County-Yellow Cab after they sell their lot for millions which is now prime real-estate. County-Yellow, United and the airport cabs will then become the sole alternative to Uber and other ride share companies in St. Louis.
The fundamental facts don’t change. Driving a cab was once a union job with good wages and benefits. Both cab companies and ride-share companies conspire to drive down wages and eliminate benefits. This is part of an overall war on working people in America. Organizing is needed to improve the conditioning of drivers whether they be working for traditional cab companies or ride-share.
Here is my coverage of the 2015 World Wrestling Championships for the St. Louis American.
The 2015 World Wrestling Championships are in the books and they have been great to cover. There is no better place for these championships to gave occurred than Las Vegas. Six days in the entertainment capitol of the world. American fans brought their enthusiasm, international fans brought their flavor, and the wrestlers brought the action. Six days of wrestling at the highest level.
The last match of the tournament featured America’s best Jordan Burroughs winning by technical superiority and capturing his third world championship with a victory over Unurbat Purevjav of Mongolia. Burroughs fired on all cylinders the entire tournament and his only real test was world number two Aniuar Geduev of Russia in the semifinals. Last year Burroughs came to the world championships banged up taking third. This year saw a healthy Burroughs dominate.
Fellow South Jersey native and Nebraska graduate James Green powered his way to a 3rd place finish in his first world championships. Green started the tournament on fire with explosive takedowns before losing to Iranian Hassan Yazdanicharati in the semifinals. In his third place match Green regained his explosiveness and pinned Miroslav Kirov of Bulgaria.
American Tony Ramos at 57kg failed to medal even though he won his first two matches. Zach Rey at 125kg was bounced out after losing his first match.
Other world championships tonight we’re won by Vladimer Khinchegashvili of Georgia at 57kg, Magomedrasul Gazimagomedov of Russia at 70kg, and Taha Akgul of Turkey at 125kg. In another impressive feat Dagestani-Russian Bilyal Makhov became the first wrestler in 42 years to place in both the Greco-Roman and freestlye world championships (he finished third in both).
These six days have been great for me. Seeing great wrestling, meeting wrestlers from all over the world, and spending time with friends. Outside of a teabagger sitting behind me spewing right-wing rhetoric Las Vegas has been perfect. More great wrestling soon. Pan-American in Frisco, TX and Olympic Trials in Iowa. See you then.
Videos from tonight can be found at my Umar Lee YouTube channel and live coverage at my Twitter @STLAbuBadu photos can be found at Instagram @stlublee
Today things got a lot better for the American men’s wrestling team. 19 year old Kyle Snyder, just last year a high school student in Maryland, captured a world freestyle championship with an upset win over Abdusalam Gadisov of Russia (Dagestan). It was an exciting hard fight contest in which Snyder was the aggressor and Gadisov appeared to be gassed early. I have a feeling these two will meet again. Perhaps next year in Rio.
The other American men didn’t fare so well. The “Double Leg Ninja” Jake Herbert was bounced out after losing his first match. He’d looked very impressive leading up to the world championships; but failed to get his offense going. Reese Humphrey won his first match and then list his next two failing to medal.
On the women’s side 35 year old Leigh Jaynes-Provisor took a third-place bronze medal with a solid performance for the United States. In one of the most touching moments of the championships she was able to celebrate with her daughter after her victory.
Oksana Herhel of Ukraine captured a gold medal at 60kg in the only women’s weight class of the night. Haji Aliyev took home gold for Azerbaijan at 61kg. Abdulrashid Sadulaev of the Dagestan region of Russia captured gold at 86kg by defeating Selim Yasar of Turkey.
Videos can be found at the Umar Lee YouTube Channel and live coverage at my Twitter @STLAbuBadu photos can be found at my Instagram @stlublee