You have the most generous heart. So many of your residents put their energy, time, and money toward something positive, something they believe in. Per capita charitable giving in St. Louis County is the highest in the state and earns top scores on rankings of our nation’s most generous places. Collectively, we’ve invested in world-class cultural amenities, outdoor attractions, places of worship and healing and gathering spots where we can come together to enjoy good food and good fun. I’m an optimist by nature. I disagree when people say there’s not enough investment in St. Louis.
If anything, there is so much generosity. We are such a generous region. But we’re not always efficient, and our efforts are often duplicated. It would be great if we could be more strategic and unified in our objectives, otherwise we will never move the needle for our region to advance. I believe it’s possible for us to come together around a common goal. Early in my career, I was a lobbyist in St. Louis City and St. Louis County. I had the opportunity to truly get to know our leaders, their interests, and their values, regardless of their party. I learned that while we may disagree about the best path to accomplish our goals, at the end of the day, we all want the same things.
We want people to feel safe. We want crime to go down. We want businesses to thrive. We want newcomers to move here and longtime residents to stay. When we operate from our shared interests, it’s impressive how many stakeholders can move something forward, no matter how big the goal. I acknowledge that there are real challenges on the ground, but I believe we can work together to foster opportunities for all. It’s also possible to focus on region-wide priorities while also impacting lives on a day-to-day basis. As a representative of construction contractors, our industry provides pathways into life-changing careers that provide generational wealth.
While we focus on industry-wide priorities, we also dedicate time and resources to educate young people who might not know of these opportunities. The footprint Beyond Housing serves will always be near and dear to my heart. My father was an immigrant from Sicily who owned a union cabinetry shop in Pagedale for 35 years. Through his hard work and the community’s support of his business, he was able to provide for our family well and send seven children to Catholic schools.
My hope is focused through my lens as a man of faith, a father, a husband, and an uncle. I hope everyone in the entire St. Louis community will have access to secure housing, a safe living environment, quality education, fulfilling careers, thriving families, and economic growth.
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