Commentary & Analysis

Real Reform in St. Louis Starts with Better Voting

What was your childhood like? Did your teachers spend quality time with you, helping you learn to read? Did you stop to play on the jungle gym as you walked home from school?

That’s how I remember half of my life.

Imagine, taking a 35-minute bus ride each day to attend school in one of the top school districts in Missouri. You spend your day learning from great teachers, with access to everything you need and more.

And then each night, you travel back home to the 5th ward of St. Louis. There is no playground. No community center. No opportunity.

You feel like an animal trapped in a cage. There’s no way out.

But I always knew I wanted to make a difference. So I didn’t let this discourage me.

Instead, I fought for better-paying jobs in my community, where the median income is $15,000. I served on the Ferguson Commission, to end the gun violence that makes a young person being shot in the streets just another day in my neighborhood.

But despite working hard to solve these problems, we haven’t made much progress. St. Louis still leads the nation in murders. And we have one of the highest child poverty rates in the country.

You’re probably wondering why. And after years of fighting for reform, I can tell you that while the answer isn’t exciting, it’s pretty simple.

To fix our problems, we need better leaders. And to elect better leaders, we need a better way to vote.

In the last five years, the city of St. Louis has elected 8 leaders who received less than 37% of the vote. And that’s all because of the way we vote.

Dozens of qualified, real leaders are stepping up to serve St. Louis. Leaders who truly want to solve the problems plaguing our city, like income inequality and gun violence.

But the way that we vote causes these candidates, who share the same values and are fighting to solve these problems, to split the vote. Great candidates lose because of the way we vote. And then we, the people, lose.

You can bring fairer, more representative elections to St. Louis. It’s called approval voting, and it’s a simple change that will make a big difference.

With approval voting, you’re able to check yes for every candidate you support. And that means that passionate, qualified candidates will no longer split the vote. Candidates who truly represent our communities will lead the city. And we’ll be able to tackle our problems once and for all.

But to do that, we’ll need to educate St. Louisans about how approval voting can solve our problems.

When you donate to The Center for Election Science, you’ll be educating every St. Louisan about approval voting and how it can fix these broken elections.

I may not have had the perfect childhood. But with your help, we can make sure the next generation of St. Louisans have a brighter future.

You have the power to make a difference in St. Louis—and beyond. With your help, the Gateway City can have fairer elections, elect more representative leaders, and serve as a beacon of democracy for the rest of the nation.

Fighting Alongside you for a Stronger Democracy,

Rasheen Aldridge, Jr.
Proud resident of the 5th ward of St. Louis, Missouri
Committeeman of STL Approves

P.S. With every $5 you donate, you’ll empower 20 St. Louisans with better elections and better leaders who are ready to tackle the tough problems St. Louis is facing.

P.P.S. A generous group of donors has agreed to match every dollar up to $40,000. Make your gift go twice as far when you give by December 31st.