3 min read
Posted on 10.04.11
  • 3 min read
  • Posted on 10.04.11

Remarks of Mayor Francis Slay at a reception for President Barack Obama, October 4, 2011

It is my honor this evening to welcome President Barack Obama to St. Louis and to introduce all of you to him.

This is not the President's first visit to St. Louis nor is it even the only time he and I have had a chance to speak. We have been together several times in the past four years and his White House office talks to my office all the time.

I expect that to continue ... for four more years.

Mr. President, I feel as if I have to explain something to you about what you may have seen on the ride in from the airport. St. Louis is a very blue city, absolutely the bluest city in the entire state ... except for today, when pretty much every sentient being in St. Louis is wearing something ... red. And that has nothing to do with politics. It is just Red October in the capital of Cardinal Nation.

You know, Mr. President, the White House asked me to explain something about you to this crowd of Cardinals fans.

They said to say: "President Obama is a fan of the Chicago White Sox. He, therefore, hates the Chicago Cubs. And that's as almost as good as being a Cardinals fan." And it is, sir. Almost.

Ladies and gentlemen, President Obama has been a direct and important part of this city's growth, revitalization, and economic recovery since he got to the White House. His understanding of the challenges faced by all of America's big cities; his focus on jobs, and schools, and jobs, and infrastructure, and jobs, and jobs are the reasons I am enthusiastically endorsing and supporting his candidacy and reelection as President of the United States.

I want to take just a minute or two more and talk about the American Jobs Act, the most important legislation now before the United States Congress.

The provisions of this legislation would create jobs immediately.

As soon as Congress passes it, one hundred twenty thousand small businesses in Missouri will be able to hire more workers using savings from a lower payroll tax. That is good news for one hundred nine thousand Missourians who have not worked in a long time. And its reforms to the unemployment insurance system will mean that more than forty thousand Missourians who are actively looking for work right now will not have their benefits cut off in six weeks.

As soon as Congress passes it, immediate investments in our state's highways and transit systems will create nine thousand new jobs.

As soon as Congress passes it, investments in deteriorating school buildings in Missouri will add five thousand five hundred new jobs.

As soon as Congress passes it, more than nine thousand police officers, fire fighters, and teachers throughout the state who would otherwise be laid off will be able to stay on patrol in the streets, staff fire houses, and teach in classrooms.

This is a good bill. It doesn't add a dime to the national deficit. It's completely paid for by closing some of the loopholes the richest companies and wealthiest individuals have been using for years. And that's the fair way to go about this.

I know something about legislative gridlock. Some bills that you and I care a great about are currently stuck in the Missouri General Assembly. As important as those bills are to St. Louis, this bill, The American Jobs Act, is to the entire state and to the entire country.

Congress must pass it now.

Mr. President, I wish you luck on this trip around the country. The stakes for the American people could not be higher. I am delighted that you chose to spend one of your days here in St. Louis. And please do not be alarmed if you hear artillery on your way out. That would just be our King, Albert the Great, swatting home runs.