St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson Will Not Seek Re-Election in 2021

St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson recently announced that she will not seek re-election in 2021 after just one term of service. Elected in 2017 as St. Louis’ first female mayor, Krewson has acquired quite a lengthy track record, both for productive achievements and more controversial actions. 

Her positive points of action fell under community engagement and development of city property. Her administration has overseen the renovation of the Union Station, a major overhaul of the dilapidated railroad station into a bright and shiny city attraction, including the new St. Louis Aquarium, ferris wheel, arcades and ice cream shop. The Cortex Innovation District was another major success during her term. The 200-acre development project created a hub for business and innovation in Saint Louis. 

However, her triumphs in the field of urban design and development have not made her immune to significant criticism by citizens. Krewson has been condemned for her reaction and treatment of the Black Lives Matter Movement and overall racial injustice movements and rallies. According to St. Louis Public Radio, “Krewson faced demands to resign over the summer after she read out the names and addresses of individuals who had written her letters calling for police reforms, something for which she later apologized.”

Before the COVID-19 outbreak, the city launched the Better Together campaign, which aimed to combine the city of Saint Louis with Saint Louis County. The proposal was met with harsh criticism, causing the proposal to be revoked in May of 2019. According to the Riverfront Times, the argument of the people was “that in its present form, Better Together would harm black political representation and rely on outstate voters to foist upon metro area residents an unpopular plan serving as a Trojan horse for a libertarian billionaire’s economic theories.”

Her administration was also called out by the community for the acquittal of Officer Jason Stockley in 2017, which was seen as a gross miscarriage of justice regarding the murder of Anthony Lamar Smith. 

Moreover, homicide rates in the city increased two-fold during the outbreak of the virus. While 223 citizens of Saint Louis have died from the virus, 232 have died of homicide, and much like COVID-19, the numbers are steadily rising.

Krewson’s choice to not seek re-election comes as a surprise, however, her morale and mindset seem to be for the betterment of the people. In lue of her departure in April, she believes that “a new mayor will lead us forward,” and while many still question the social leadership of her administration, she said that she is “proud of what we accomplished, but elections are about the future, and I know that in St. Louis we have the talent and the heart to build a better St. Louis.”