ST. LOUIS — Mayor Tishaura Jones delivered her first State of the City address two days before the first anniversary of her historic inauguration.
She discussed investment plans to transform this city into the vision she once had growing up with roots in north St. Louis.
She feels the city's best days are still yet to come.
"Every child deserves to grow up in a safe, loving community like I did," Jones said.
Jones delivered the address on Tuesday at Harris-Stowe State University, tackling the City's issues, first with crime.
"Since 2007, when requiring a permit to purchase a gun was repealed, gun-related homicides in Missouri have spiked by up to 47%," Jones said.
She plans to use American Rescue Plan Act funds to expand violence intervention programs.
"That's why I'm proposing the creation of a new office. The Mayor's Office of Violence Prevention to marshall all of the community, alternative response and enforcement resources at our disposal to improve public safety and improve the relationship between police and our community," Jones said.
Another high priority item on her list is competitive pay for city employees and incentives to retain the workforce.
"In this year's budget, I'm proposing a 3% raise for city employees on top of the step increase. I'm also proposing $1 million to cover paid family leave for city employees," Jones said.
That's something Love Holt has worked towards through her organization ProChoiceMO.
"I'm excited to be here and hear her say there will be $1 million of funds going towards that," Holt said.
Jones also announced a historic $150 million commitment to North St. Louis with remaining American Rescue Plan Act funds.
"We're going to use these funds to begin bridging the racial wealth gap that splits our city into two. It's time to put St. Louis on the road to economic justice," Jones said.
Frederick Bond who lives in the Greater Ville area feels Jones' commitment to North St. Louis is exactly what the children there need.
"Someplace safe and nurturing. I had that when I was growing up in St. Louis. I think we're missing it but I think Tishaura Jones is helping to find it and rebuild it and sustain it and I'm with her. I really am," Bond said.
Jones' aims to increase the city's utility workers and 911 dispatchers with the pay incentives.
City residents will likely be happy to hear that she also announced restarting the city's alleyway recycling services in May.