Friday, March 8, 2013
Taking WARD 20 in '15
WARD 20's shape looks kind of a bit like Cyprus' shape to me.
Anyway, yeah ... so, when you're a Citywide office holder and you run for MAYOR and lose by 10 points, then your position Citywide will appear vulnerable. When Reed beat Shrewsbury in '07 to take PotBoA, Reed carried Central Corridor. Versus Slay for MAYOR in '13, Reed lost Central Corridor, including narrowly losing his "home" WARD 6 (and, yes, I know that there's been redistricting of WARD 6 and whatnot, but it looks really bad when you lose your home turf). Now Reed appears vulnerable at PotBoA. He's up for re-elect two years from now. I have to think that somebody with a shot at winning will take the opportunity to challenge Reed for PotBoA in '15. He or she most very likely will be white. Look around a bit and you can probably spot the Anglers, but only one will get the shot at PotBoA vs. Reed.
Okay ... back to '07 and back to WARD 20: Gondolfi (with some assistance from none other than Glenn Burleigh) looked like he was going to grab WARD 20, but an 11th-hour mailer accusing Gondolfi of secretly being a Communist (sound familiar?) and profaning Christ with performance art seemed to have had its intended effect (depressing the Gondolfi vote and rallying the Schmid vote). Schmid pulled it out to keep a hold on the chronically low-voting WARD 20 by a score of 376 - 301. Shrewsbury more narrowly defeated Reed for PotBoA votes in WARD 20 by a score of 365 - 324.
McGinn took a shot at WARD 20 in '11 versus Schmid, but it seemed that her campaign never quite took hold like Gondolfi's did in '07. Perhaps McGinn didn't have the constituent services credibility that Gondolfi did through Gondolfi's affordable-home-finding work. For whatever reason, Schmid won an even lower-turnout affair to hold on to WARD 20 by a score of 281 - 196. In the '11 General, WARD 20 votes in opposition to Schmid were 249. Gaither received 197 of those 249 votes as an independent. The only thing I know about Gaither is that his campaign signs had a photo-portrait of him on them. If I am remembering the photo-portrait correctly, Gaither is African-American.
In June '11, the City's wards were redrawn per the census. During '01's very controversial redraw, which took WARD 20 from North Side, Schmid had been a good South Side soldier. (Schmid had WARD 10 at the time, and now WARD 10 stayed South Side but now on the Hill.) So ... for '11's redraw, Schmid was provided a better WARD 20 for holding-onto. WARD 20's new northern boundary ended at the south curb of CHEROKEE. On the other side of CHEROKEE were the instigators of opposition to Schmid, and roughly half of the vote that in '07 and '11 was against Schmid. The '11 redraw cut out the instigators and severed half of the opposition vote.
Okay ... now to PotBoA '15: Reed should be fine on North Side, but he took some real damage in Central Corridor that the challenger will exploit. Reed will have to look to WARD 20 and WARD 25 to make up for losses in Central Corridor. WARD 20 is still, I think, a majority-black ward (I think that it's something like 60/40 black). WARD 25 is majority-white, but it's close. Both wards are South Side, so there isn't the black electoral political organization and municipal election voting habits that there are on North Side. The persistently anemic voter turnout in these two wards are indicative of such. Team Reed really should start spending more time on CHEROKEE, CHIPPEWA and MERAMEC. The Anglers should start doing the same. Some Anglers already are spending their time there.
The Candidate to take WARD 20 from Schmid in '15 will need to take it in March when Reed defends PotBoA and the votes are there. The Candidate to take WARD 20 from Schmid in '15 will need to convince WARD 20's African-Americans that the Candidate will do a better job for African-Americans than will Schmid. The Candidate to take WARD 20 from Schmid will need to run a change campaign that includes WARD 20's African-Americans in its vision of change. The crime problem and the problem of lack of economic and social opportunity likely will remain salient. WARD 20 has an African-American youth gang problem, and it's been a persistent problem for at least the last eight years. These problems are holding back WARD 20's residents, and these problems are holding back WARD 20's businesses. These problems should be addressed. If WARD 20 is organized, then these problems will be addressed.