Politically Speaking: Alderwoman Megan Green says state lawmakers should stay out of St. Louis’ way
St. Louis Alderman Megan Ellyia Green joins St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies for a second time on the Politically Speaking podcast.
Green has represented the city’s 15th Ward, which is just south of Tower Grove Park, since her special-election victory in 2014. She first was elected as an independent, rankling some Democrats, but now is a bona fide Democrat and holds state and national party posts.
Green was the primary author of the city’s anti-discrimination provision that protects women’s reproductive choices. It has raised the rancor of many state Republicans, including Gov. Eric Greitens, and prompted the current special session.
The provision in question bars employers or landlords from discriminating against women who have abortions, use birth control or are pregnant. The governor and his allies say the measure is unfair to pregnancy resource centers and religious groups. Green says they’re misreading the provision, and unfairly targeting women’s reproductive choices.
Green also supported an effort to raise St. Louis’ minimum wage. Republican lawmakers passed a bill this spring to wipe out that law, which would bring the city’s minimum wage up to $11 an hour by 2018. (It has yet to be signed by Greitens; he can also let it go into effect without a signature.)
In addition to her role on the Board of Aldermen, Green was elected last year as a Democratic National Committeewoman and also is on a Missouri Democratic Party committee that’s responsible for forming a platform ahead of the 2018 election cycle.
Among her observations during the podcast:
- Green said it’s vital that her colleagues continue to stand up against conservative policies pushed by the General Assembly. “I think we have a responsibility as cities to stand up and say ‘No, we cannot allow them to impose their views on us,’” she said. “And so, we have to continue to fight these battles at a local level.”
- She takes issue with Greitens calling St. Louis aldermen “radical” for passing the anti-discrimination ordinance. “I don’t think that standing up for women’s autonomy is radical,” she said. “I think it’s very scary that he thinks that advocating for women’s autonomy and for women’s health and the ability to make their own decisions is radical.”
- Green has a dim view of Democratic Party officials who are encouraging socially conservative candidates to run for rural state legislative seats. “A lot of the feedback that Democrats got is we didn’t stand for anything,” she said. “And I think that voters respect you more when they know what you stand for. Even if they don’t agree with you, they trust you because you’ve been forthright enough to say ‘Yes, I believe in abortion rights.’ ”
- Green says she is considering running to become the president of the Board of Aldermen in 2019. Democrat Lewis Reed currently holds that post. Reed has won three consecutive terms to the powerful position. State Sen. Jamilah Nasheed already has announced she plans to seek the job.
Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum
Follow Jo Mannies on Twitter: @jmannies
Follow Megan Green on Twitter: @MeganEllyia
Music: “Catcher in the Rye” by Guns N’ Roses