FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
December 17, 2008
Contact: Tom McNeil 314-647-3008
Joseph J. Hunt, General President of the Iron Workers International, and Thomas McNeil, Jr., Business Manager of the Iron Workers Local 396, are proud to again endorse FRANCIS G. SLAY for another term as Mayor of St. Louis.
• The 45th Mayor of the City of St. Louis has proven himself a loyal friend of the ironworkers and working families. In the face of a national economic downturn, we trust him to continue to safeguard the city's finances while at the same time defending the livelihoods of the backbone of our community.
• St. Louis has enjoyed a building boom under his leadership, issuing a record number of permits by his third year in office. For the fourth straight year, we've seen over $1 Billion in construction activity.
• Mayor Slay has brought new life to eyesore buildings that have blighted St. Louis for decades. People have been moving back into the city for the first time in 50 years.
• He has helped turn around Downtown (a 1/3 of the city's tax-base) including a new ball park, the Washington Avenue loft developments and the redevelopment of the historic Old Post Office. In 2008 alone, over $300 million in additional investment and more than 650 residential units were expected in Downtown.
• Mayor Slay began a new initiative in 2008 with labor leaders, elected officials and business leaders to help connect the workforce to good jobs in construction, manufacturing and other six other sectors.
• He has spurred innovative and progressive "Green" energy upgrade projects city-wide.
• Mayor Slay has spoken out against "large profitable corporations (that) should not be allowed to shift their health care costs onto taxpayers" and recognized those employers that are good corporate citizens.
• He is passionate on the need for a stable and strong middle class and the need to lift people out of poverty by supporting living wages. He has not been afraid to speak up for workers, saying "People who sweat for a living are the bedrock of a strong middle class."
In the words of Mayor Slay: "Despite the cautions ahead, this is still one of the most exciting and productive times in the history of our City.
All of the construction workers, scaffolds, and cranes are evidence we place on our historic buildings - and evidence that old and new can work together. It is proof of the confidence people - residents, bankers, developers, and businesses- continue to have in the future of St. Louis."
The Iron Workers are gratified by the leadership shown by Mayor Slay and are happy to say "four more years!"