A couple days ago the Brewster McCracken for Mayor campaign posted this ad to their YouTube channel. In it, McCracken compares the history and relative rise and fall of the city of St. Louis as a warning that not all cities that were once great, continue to be so. Click here to see it (as the campaign has disabled it from being embedded).
On it's face, I think it is a fair comparison and critique. The St. Louis of today is not that of 1904 (nor is Austin for that matter). But the larger point is made- is our city filled with promise or is it growing so fast that we are not able to accommodate the expectations of both those who already live here as well as those who continue to move here because of what our city offers? That's an entirely reasonable debate to have, but politically, pointing out faults of other cities isn't exactly going to fly when you talk to their citizens.
Case in point, the following report from KMOV 4 in St. Louis which submitted the following local report in reaction to McCracken's ad.
The Leffingwell campaign responded (Lee flew to St. Louis during his years as a pilot for Delta).
He flew to St. Louis frequently for years as a Delta pilot.
“St. Louis is a terrific city and I don't believe it deserves to be compared unfavorably to any other city. There are lots of things about St. Louis that other cities, including Austin, ought to be envious of. Nobody should run down another city and insult the people who live there just to score political points at home.”
Update: Not all the locals in St. Louis are being knee-jerk reactionaries.
Mark Edwards: McCracken is spot on. The CITY of St. Louis has been allowed to die because of petty politics, a complete lack of vision for the region, and denying its residents essential services like well paved streets, decent schools, and functioning public transit.
As you can imagine, the locals here are up in arms about this shot at St. Louis. They're hurt, and I don't blame them. Its harsh, but its completely true.
St. Louis is the poster child of how to kill a city's soul, drive the people and businesses you need to thrive to the suburbs (where I live and could not be happier), and have city and county leadership spending too much time at the baseball stadium (with the vacant lot next door that was supposed to be a multi million dollar shopping/office/residential mecca in time for July's All Star Game) and not enough time looking around to see what a mess they've made or thinking of realistic ways to improve the quality of life in the region.
I don't know anything about Brewster McCracken. Wait, I do know ONE thing. He's got a better view of the sorry state of St. Louis than the people running our region do. Maybe our local leaders will take a minute, watch this commercial, and ponder what they've done to the once grand CITY of St. Louis.