Charles Bryson is my senior neighborhood executive. He reads the weekly newspapers. He takes them very seriously.
He recently sent me a note about his co-workers. According to Charles, ten of the Cabinet’s 20 members are African American. Two of my 4 senior advisors are African American.
I picked each of my Cabinet members because they were bright, honest, dedicated, experienced, and hard-working. I picked my staff because they had those same qualities and they were willing to work as team members. It’s a hard job. Most of them would be able to make a lot more money doing other things. In fact, some have left to do just that.
Still, reading Charles’s note reminded what a diverse — and accomplished group of people work here.
Rodney Crim, the first African American executive director of the St. Louis Development Corporation, has overseen $3 billion in new investment in our City.
Ron Smith, the first African American man to serve as the City’s Operations Manager, runs our City on a day-to-day basis. Ron also has turned around our program to protect children from dangerous lead poisoning.
Marjorie Melton, the first African-American woman to hold the post of president of the Board of Public Service, is responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars of public works projects.
Kevin Dolliole is the first African American director of the airport. He leads a staff of 560 people and administers a budget of $142 million.
Angela Morton Conley, an African American female who is the first executive director of the Affordable Housing Commission, is responsible for creating more affordable housing in our City.
Tom Jones, the director of the St. Louis Agency of Training and Employment, works with a budget of $8 million and a staff of 29. Melba Moore, the commissioner of the Health Department, manages a budget of $21 million and a staff of 192 people as she pushes our antiquated health delivery system closer to the 21st Century. Rodney Boyd leads our lobbying efforts in Jefferson City. Marvin Teer, president of the Mound City Bar Association, is a municipal judge. (And, Charles Bryson himself is a senior staffer responsible for improving the quality of life in our neighborhoods.) Tom, Melba, Rodney, Marvin, and Charles are all African Americans.
Thanks for mentioning it, Charles.