Earlier this weeks the African American Aldermanic Caucus released a statement rebuking Mayor Francis Slay for vetoing a bill that would allow speed bumps in O'Fallon Park, echoing comments recently made by Alderman Antonio French.
"Members of the St. Louis African American Aldermanic Caucus believe that the denial of speed bumps in O'Fallon Park by the Mayor through his veto of Board Bill 43 is inequitable and does not allow for equal protection," the statement said. "Unquestionably, there are speed bumps in Forest Park and Tower Grove."
When French suggested two weeks ago that Mayor Slay does more to protect the people of south St. Louis than the people of north St. Louis, the racial undertones were clear. They were also pretty clear a month ago when the O'Fallon Park speed bump bill passed with every north-city alderman voting "aye" and every "nay" vote coming from south and central aldermen (though "ayes" from Aldermen Scott Ogilvie, Shane Cohn, and Craig Schmid swung the vote in favor of the speed bumps).
Of course, to those who follow St. Louis politics, this divide is nothing new. And to the African American Caucus, the speed bump issue simply illuminates it.
"Though there are many arguments about the merits of speed bumps, the issue to us is larger than this," the statement continued. "To us, it is an issue of equity, fairness, sensitivity to all parts of the City, safety and parity. If it is not allowable in O'Fallon Park, that has the same conditions, if not worse, than Forest Park and Tower Grove, then all speed bumps should be removed from all parks and other speeding remedies found and implemented."