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Q&A with Larry Rice, an independent candidate for mayor of St. Louis

Larry Rice, an independent candidate for Mayor of St. Louis, joined St. Louis on the Air on Friday.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio
Larry Rice, an independent candidate for Mayor of St. Louis, joined St. Louis on the Air on Friday.

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, Larry Rice, an independent candidate for mayor of St. Louis, joined host Don Marsh to discuss his platform ahead of the general municipal election on April 4.

Rice, who oversees a cable TV station – Channel 24 – and has run a downtown homeless shelter for at least 40 years, has been in the headlines this week as the homeless shelter he runs will be forced to close this weekend.

Earlier this month, we spoke with Republican candidate Andrew Jones on March 27 and with Democratic candidate Lyda Krewson on March 22. In addition to our conversation with Rice on Friday, we also heard from the Libertarian candidate for mayor, the Green candidate for mayor and one other independent candidate for mayor.

Listen to the full conversation below:

On his platform for mayor:

"I do more than just the homeless. I'm the progressive candidate that's concerned about economic justice for all, equality for all, fighting crime for safe neighborhoods ... if people go to my website, they'll see I have a wide range of creative programs.  A lot of people are experiencing this same thing, this frustration with City Hall, and they know that I am the outsider who will bring about change."

On the closing of the New Life Evangelistic Center:

"We've not lost our battle, our battle has just begun. We've lost our stay to keep us from interrupting services involved but next Wednesday, they will be arguing for the judge. If the judge doesn't rule on our behalf, we'll go to the state Court of Appeals and the State Supreme Court. We're going to win this thing. We'll win it eventually, but there will be an interruption of services, that's what I'm concerned about."

On specific programs he wants to implement:

"I want to see schools improved, and get a handle on this tax increment financing which is destroying our schools. I want to see us doing something about the criminal aspect and crime, and particularly gun violence. That's why I want to come up with 'operation cease-fire,' and relationships built between police officers and the citizens, particularly in north St. Louis, coming up with positive ticketing programs, recognizing good rather than the bad.

"I want to do something about LRA housing. We have 12,000 properties. The City of St. Louis is the biggest slumlord in the City of St. Louis. Three thousand of those are vacant buildings. I want to use organized labor to fix those up, let's get people into these houses. And then, we've got 9,000 vacant lots that is costing the Forestry Department $5.2 million a year, more than they spend on Tower Grove Park, Carondelet Park, just to mow them twice a year."

Rice recommends that people go to his website for greater insight into his platform and program: http://larryriceformayor.com.

St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary EdwardsAlex Heuer and Kelly Moffitt give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region. 

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Kelly Moffitt joined St. Louis Public Radio in 2015 as an online producer for St. Louis Public Radio's talk shows St. Louis on the Air.