Wrigley Field and Chicago Weekend

With Ustadh Ubaydallah Evans and Dr. Musa McGuire after a delightful Turkish meal
Reppin STL at Wrigley Field



Toasted-ravioli. A St. Louis invention now stolen by Chicago


Giodano’s Chicago-style lasagna-sandwich pizza




My Endorsment: Do Your Duty Vote For Dooley


MY dear friend and local businessman Zuhdi Masri with Charlie Dooley. Do Your Duty Vote For Dooley!!! Tell Every Jack and Julie Vote For Dooley!!!
MY dear friend and local businessman Zuhdi Masri with Charlie Dooley.
Do Your Duty Vote For Dooley!!!
Tell Every Jack and Julie Vote For Dooley!!!

You work hard and so does Charlie Dooley. That is the message of the campaign for the re-election of St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley. Can anyone dispute Dooley has worked hard for St. Louis County? Like Mayor Francis Slay Dooley represents a hands-on leadership that takes him out in the field. Personally I’ve run into Dooley all over the city and county. You can see Charlie Dooley schmoozing at the Ritz-Carlton in Clayton; but you can also find him rubbing elbows with union members in Lemay and reaching out to poor children in Kinloch.


Charlie’s worked to make St. Louis County the best place to start a business, raise a family and develop a great career. Again, can anyone question this? From the Bosnian families achieving the American Dream and purchasing their first home in South County, to the white-collar professionals buying new homes in West County, to the working-class families in Pine Lawn and Northwoods Dooley has promoted pro-business, pro-family and pro working-class policies for St. Louis County.


Charlie helped create thousands of new jobs making us the #1 county for job growth and new business starts in the state.  Over 5,000 new jobs created in 2013 alone. Again, can you dispute this? I remember a time when streets like Evans and Terwood in Berkeley were some of the most dangerous and drug-infested blocks in the region. Today they are home to Express Scripts and a Hilton Hotel. I remember watching the Chesterfield Valley go underwater in the Great Flood of ’93. Today it is home to thousands of jobs pumping large amounts of wealth into the local-economy.


His tough leadership guided the County through the financial crisis, we have the highest bond ranking by the three agencies in the state, saving taxpayers’ millions. Again, who can deny this? North St. Louis County was one of the hardest hit places in the country during the sub-prime meltdown and financial-crisis. Of course this is combined with issues of massive white-flight to St. Charles and Lincoln Counties. Yet, in the midst of all of that, we have seen tremendous development in North County. A pedestrian and bike friendly shopping and nightlife area has emerged on Florissant Rd in Ferguson, the city of Florissant has completed a number of successful developments over the last few years, and there has been new construction throughout North County.


He fought to protect our families reducing crime to a 42-year low.  And he’s expanded access to mammograms and healthcare.   Our health system has the highest accreditation score in the state. Again, who can deny this? St. Louis County is suffering not from a high crime-rate (outside of a handful of problematic areas that were in bad shape a long time before Dooley as elected); but from a perception of high-crime often fueled by racial stereotypes. Crime is at a 42 year low in St. Louis County, it’s a safe place to live and work, and Dooley is pursuing policies to continue that success. Dooley has also worked with DePaul and SSM Health-Care, Christian Hospital and BJC, St. Anthony’s Hospital, and the various hospitals in West County to ensure the county government is doing its part in promoting effective health-care to the people. In addition to this under the leadership of Dooley St. Louis County has built new and first class health-clinics for the un-insured.


Now Charlie is creating bold public-private partnerships to bring the county more jobs and build stronger neighborhoods.   The Mosaic Project and St. Louis Economic Development Partnership are models for attracting talent, entrepreneurship, and industry. Again, can anyone in their right mind question the wisdom of the Mosaic Project?


He’ll work with Mayor Slay to consolidate government services to save taxpayers’ money, create growth and provide better healthcare to our families.  Let’s keep the County moving forward with Charlie Dooley. Again, who would be against this? Instead of a city mayor and county-executive at each other’s throats we have two progressive leaders promoting regionalism. We are one region and working together is a whole lot better than being at one another’s throats and fighting over resources. A great historical mistake was made when St. Louis City decided to leave St. Louis County. We finally have two leaders interested in righting that historical wrong.


In closing allow me to say this. Even though I was born in North St. Louis and currently live in Old North St. Louis I grew up in North County and attended school in the Ferguson-Florissant School District and later the St. Louis Job Corps Center in Pine Lawn.  Most of my family is still in North County and NoCo is very near and dear to my heart.

There are many things Charlie Dooley is being blamed for which are out of his control. North County began its decline in the 1980’s when white folks (including family members of mine) began stampeding out to St. Charles County. De-industrialization also hit St. Louis County hard which outside of West County was mostly a blue-collar middle-class economy based on good union jobs. On top of that this entire nation is witnessing a phenomenon of double-migration. Mostly young, socially-liberal, mostly single, secular, affluent and often gay, people moving back into the city fueling gentrification sometimes and other times rejuvenation of declining neighborhoods. The other migration is that of middle-class and upper middle-class families out to exurbia (St. Charles, Lincoln, Warren, Franklin and Jefferson Counties).  This leaves the inner-suburbs with an older housing-stock, newer and poorer residents priced out of cities, and an aging population. A very difficult terrain to navigate. Yet, Charlie Dooley has managed to steady the ship.

This is also a new St. Louis County. A diverse County with a growing African-American population. A Mexican-American community in the Ritenour School District larger and more vibrant than Cherokee Street in South City. A county with a rapidly growing Muslim population with new mosques opening in north, south, and west county during the Dooley Administration. A county with one of the most vibrant Jewish communities in the Midwest.  A county with an emerging Chinatown in University City, Bosnian neighborhoods emerging in South County and Russian clusters emerging in West County.  Some may remember a bland and vanilla county. That’s in the history books if it ever existed. These days a weekend trip to Queeny Park in West County will have you seeing Indians and Pakistanis playing cricket and at a trip to St. Ferdinand Park in Florissant you’ll see Nigerians playing soccer. At every step, at every opportunity, Charlie Dooley has let it be known that he fully supports diversity in St. Louis County and sees it as a blessing and not a problem to manage.

Charlie Dooley has also strongly opposed right-to-work and strongly defends the right to organize and labor. He deserves the full-support of Labor Unions and as Dooley has always stood with labor it leads me to question why some in labor aren’t returning the support.

In the race for St. Louis County-Executive I strongly encourage voters to re-elect Charlie Dooley.