For Immediate Release October 4, 2016
Statement by Jake Hollander, Founder of St. Louis Strong
We applaud the consolidation of four municipal courts (Charlack, Northwoods, Vinita Park, and St. Ann). The existence of 81 municipal courts was and is a symptom of a system designed to ensure the mathematical failure of many communities. Beyond Housing works tirelessly (and often thanklessly) to bring together and uplift communities. In addition, many elected officials do sincerely work to improve their communities and often do not receive the recognition they deserve. We applaud their efforts to reform an antiquated structure and recognize that many municipal officials are simply trying to navigate across a regional structure that is stacked against them.
While we applaud this small step forward, by no means do we forget the abuses and obstructionism incurred up until this point. Debtors prisons have no place in modern society. We hope to see continued and increased collaboration among municipalities in their effort to end abusive practices and enact policies that strengthen and empower all communities. The challenging task for St. Louis is to restore trust and a willingness to collaborate through the creation an equitable region. To do so, we must continue to deconstruct the barriers that divide us.