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Alderwoman Daniela Velázquez says saving Rams settlement may pay dividends for St. Louis

St. Louis Alderwoman Daniela Velázquez, Ward 6, is photographed on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2023, in the St. Louis Public Radio newsroom.
Tristen Rouse
St. Louis Public Radio
St. Louis Alderwoman Daniela Velázquez, Ward 6, on Tuesday at the St. Louis Public Radio's headquarters in Grand Center.

St. Louis Alderwoman Daniela Velázquez is the latest guest on Politically Speaking, where she discussed her first few months in office.

Velázquez represents the city’s 6th Ward, which takes in Compton Heights, Compton Hill, Shaw, Tower Grove South and portions of Dutchtown. She was first elected in April, becoming the first Latina to serve on the board.

Here’s what Velázquez talked about on the program:

  • While St. Louis has roughly $250 million to spend from a settlement over the departure of the St. Louis Rams, Velázquez said it would be prudent to hold off on spending the money — especially when the city still needs to expend American Rescue Plan Act funds.
  • Some of the big issues that have come before the board since she was sworn in, including regulating short-term rental properties and raising water rates for the first time in nearly a decade.
  • How her colleagues are trying to provide more oversight over the corrections department and whether there’s momentum to boost pay for corrections officers.
  • Velázquez is the sponsor of legislation that would fine people who file serial numbers off guns. While that’s already against federal law, Velázquez said it would show that city policymakers are trying to take tangible steps to reduce gun violence.

Velázquez spent her professional career as a journalist and communications professional. Before running for office, she worked at FleishmanHillard and the ACLU of Missouri and was a staffer for the Ferguson Commission.
She ran against former St. Louis Alderwoman and former Recorder of Deeds Jennifer Florida. Velázquez won by over 1,000 votes and will serve on the board through 2027.

Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.
Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.