July 25, 2012Dear Neighbor:There has been an effort on the part of a handful of individuals to deliberatelyspread misinformation in our community for very selfish and political reasons. SoI am sending this letter to you to clear a few things up.
LIE #1: “Alderman French and the City of St. Louis are trying to shut downYeatman Market”
Not true. We are asking the City Excise Commissioner not to renew YeatmanMarket’s license to sell beer on that corner, across the street from the school.That location has been on the city’s nuisance property list since 2010.Problems ranging from loitering and public drinking to drug sales and evenshootings and a homicide have occurred on this corner in just the last 36months. It is for that reason that myself, the police, the circuit attorney’soffice, and representatives from the O’Fallon Neighborhood Associationtestified this week in favor of ending alcohol sales on this corner. The storeowners would still be allowed to operate and sell all other legal products(groceries, lottery tickets, cigarettes, etc.), just not alcohol.
LIE #2: “Alderman French is about to tear down our community garden toput in a parking lot.”
In 2011, I led the effort to purchase and save the vacant church on the corner of Red Bud and Rosalie and convert it into a place to serve the community. Iraised $30,000 for the purchase of the building and have since secured another $250,000 for rehab. The Sanctuary, as we named it, will begin after-schooland weekend programs for kids this fall. Around the same time we purchasedthe church, we also secured the rights to the vacant lot on the corner of RedBud and Carter in anticipation of future parking needs at The Sanctuary. Thiswas over a year ago. I then had the lot cleaned up and the sidewalks repairedon that corner. A year later, this summer, a group started planting a garden onthe lot, which was not a problem at all. They never asked, but had they, Iwould have happily given permission.
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ALDERMAN ANTONIO D. FRENCH
City of Saint Louis, MissouriTwenty-First Ward
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