A letter to the editor in the St. Louis Business Journal:
Another statewide campaign season means another round of anti-urban television and newspaper ads.
I am a St. Louis Democrat who plans to vote for Democrats in November, but I have a strong appreciation for elected officials whose words, votes, and official actions support the city of St. Louis and its suburbs. That means that I am grateful for what Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, a Republican, has done to advance the city's revitalization during the past four years, both in the Missouri Senate and as chair of the Missouri Development Finance Board.
Mr. Kinder has supported St. Louis in a wide variety of recent and successful initiatives. These initiatives include, among others, CORTEX (which capitalizes on the city's strong reputation as a center for science and technology research by translating that research into jobs and businesses, including the new Solae headquarters and research complex); and the Old Post Office development (which transformed 2 million vacant square feet of office space into a nine-block redevelopment area now filled with new residents, businesses and a Webster University campus). Most recently, Mr. Kinder was an invaluable partner in addressing a downtown parking issue and paving the way for Thompson Coburn to renew its lease in downtown St. Louis.
Mr. Kinder's actions as a state senator and as lieutenant governor have demonstrated he understands that the future of St. Louis is important to the future of the state, that all of our country's strong regions are characterized by strong central cities, and that businesses considering new homes in Missouri usually look for urban environments that can attract and keep bright young new workers seeking exciting mixed-use lifestyles and "workstyles."
This important understanding may not get Mr. Kinder my vote, but it certainly should not earn him attacks by opponents and their partisans who will also need urban goodwill to get elected.