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Lewis Reed On Getting St. Louis Out Of Its ‘Eeyore’ Mindset

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Lewis Reed on February 4, 2019.
File photo / Kae Petrin
St. Louis Public Radio
Lewis Reed, shown before a 2019 taping of Politically Speaking, wants to be St. Louis' next mayor.

Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed, one of four candidates in the March 2 primary for mayor of St. Louis, is the latest guest on the Politically Speaking podcast. He joined St. Louis Public Radio’s Rachel Lippmann to talk about marketing St. Louis to the rest of the world, his plans for St. Louis Lambert International Airport and what his years as a legislator have taught him about the power of the mayor.

Here’s some of what Reed talked about on the podcast:

  • Though he has a fair amount of power as aldermanic president, including a seat on the board that manages the budget, “as mayor, you actually get the resources, and you set the course and direction of St. Louis,” he said. “And you can actually deliver those things as opposed to just legislating them.”
  • For Reed, creating a more vibrant St. Louis economy starts with a plan to market the city’s advantages. “We like to look at ourselves and say, ‘You know, we’re not just that great.’ Like Eeyore,” he said. “We have to understand that we have a lot of great assets to market as a city,” including an inland port and rail and highways.
  • Though his previous effort to put a $1.7 billion proposal to lease St. Louis Lambert International Airport in front of voters failed, Reed said there is no harm in continuing to explore privatization of the airport. A good deal would give St. Louis resources to fight crime and build infrastructure, he said.
  • Mayor Lyda Krewson’s announcement that she would not seek a second term set off a mad scramble among Reed’s campaign staff. “All of the dynamics change with the people in the race,” he said. “And with the current people that are in the race, it truly makes a clear path to victory.”

The 2021 campaign is Reed’s third for mayor. He first entered City Hall as the 6th Ward alderman in 1999 and beat incumbent Jim Shrewsbury in 2007 for board president.

Follow Rachel on Twitter: @rlippmann

Follow Lewis Reed on Twitter: @ReedForMayorSTL

Music: “Instrumental #1,” by Seth Ashley

Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.