Friends of the African Union Saint Louis (FAU St. Louis) is created this day October 8th 2016.
FAU St. Louis is meant to serve Africans including African Americans in a market population of around 2.3 million. As of 2016 in the Metropolitian area 519,221 or 18 percent were African American, The St. Louis metropolitan area is the primary economic engine for Missouri and home to a number of Fortune 1,000 companies. Those nine Fortune 500 companies:Express Scripts, Emerson Electric, Monsanto,Reinsurance Group of America, Centene, Peabody Energy, Ameren, Graybar Electric, and Edward Jones.
Greater St. Louis is the metropolitan area that completely surrounds and includes the independent cityof St. Louis (its principal city). It spans both the U.S. states of Missouri and Illinois. It is the largest metro in Missouri.
The organizer of this venture is Veronica Woolfolk
FAU St Louis 2016-2020 GOALS
- Create a Task Force on Human Rights including a 21st Century Policing Task Force that puts teeth in the local Department of Justice Consent Degree in Ferguson Missouri and the Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing
- Create the FAU ST Louis My Brother’s Keeper African American Alliance
- Create the FAU Chamber of Commerce St Louis Chapter
- Create the FAU St Louis STEM Coalition
- Create the FAU St Louis FAME Coalition
- Creation of a ST Louis Wide Parent Teacher Organization
- Create a St Louis Chapter of the National Association of Black Veterans
- Create the St. Louis Community Reinvestment Coalition
- Create a public private partnership to do a leveraged buyout of MSD
- Create the task force to take the lead out of 40,000 homes and associated communities
Housing of African Americans in greater St. Louis
As of 2010, Greater St. Louis included 1,264,680 housing units, and 90.4 percent or 1,143,001 units were occupied. Of those units that were vacant, 3.2 percent or 40,553 units were for rent, 1.6 percent or 19,956 were for sale, 1 percent or 12,575 were unoccupied seasonal homes, and .5 percent or 6,771 were sold or rented but unoccupied. 3.3 percent or 41,884 units were vacant and not for sale or rent. Of the occupied housing units, 70.6 percent or 807,431 were owner-occupied with 2,075,622 occupants. 29.4 percent or 335,570 units were rented with 739,749 occupants
African American Schooling in St Louis
The St. Louis Public Schools (SLPS) operate more than 75 schools, including several magnet schools. SLPS operates under provisional accreditation from the state of Missouri and is under the governance of a state-appointed school board called the Special Administrative Board, although a local board continues to exist without legal authority over the district. Since 2006, more than 80 percent of the student population has been Black, with 82% in 2013-2014. Concurrent with a decline in the population of the city of St. Louis, the district has seen declining enrollment; since 2006 the district student population has decreased by more than 10,000 students.
Essential to the operation of the school district is to have clearly defined policy. Also essential, is to have sufficiently clear and detailed regulations to implement and administer the policy.
Policy adoption is the function of the Board of Education. Policy development is a cooperative enterprise involving the board, the school administration, employees and their organizations, parents, students and interested members of the community.
A policy is a guide for discretionary action. A policy expressed the intent of the board and the expectations it has regarding the operation of the school system. Policy statements guide the board in making decisions and provide clear indications of the practices the administration will follow.
Formulating regulations is the task of the superintendent and staff. Regulations are needed to interpret and implement the board’s intentions when expressed in policies.
Regulations specify a required action or describe an administrative response. A regulation tells what is to be done and who is to do it and when.
The Policy Statement of the Board of Education of the City of St. Louis in Relation to the Working Conditions for Teachers, Secretarial/Clerical, Paraprofessional and Certain Other Employees (UPDATED 4/30/15)
The Policy Statement of the Board of Education of the City of St. Louis in Relation to the Working Conditions for Teachers, Secretarial/Clerical, Paraprofessional and Certain Other Employees – Extension to June 30, 2017 (UPDATED 8/22/16)
Next Board Meetings
Thursday, October 20, 2016
Thursday, November 17, 2016
Thursday, December 8, 2016
Since 2000, charter schools have operated in the city of St. Louis using authorization from Missouri state law. These schools are sponsored by local institutions or corporations and take in students from kindergarten through high school.
FAU St Louis will create the St. Louis Community Reinvestment Coalition.
The St. Louis Community Reinvestment Coalition is to be developed by FAU and national, regional, and local organizations to develop and harness the collective energies of community reinvestment organizations from across St. Louis country so as to increase the flow of private capital into African Americans in St Louis country in alliance with traditionally underserved communities.
The St. Louis Community Reinvestment Coalition will be the vehicle to create a public private partnership as a formal agreement between MSD that establishes a framework for addressing issues in a public private ownership with a public benefit of MSD that include workforce training, business development, and other areas that often act as obstacles in developing a diverse labor pool and contracting community. It will build on the already established MSD Community Benefit Agreement.
This “Mutual benefit corporation” formed by FAU St Louis The St. Louis Community Reinvestment Coalition will be a domestic corporation which is formed as a mutual benefit corporation pursuant to Missouri Revised Statutes sections 355.096 to 355.121 or is required to be a mutual benefit corporation pursuant to section 355.881.1 -August 28, 2016 .
The St. Louis Community Reinvestment Coalition will be a member of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC).
NCRC was formed in 1990 by national, regional, and local organizations to develop and harness the collective energies of community reinvestment organizations from across the country so as to increase the flow of private capital into traditionally underserved communities. NCRC has grown to an association of more than 600 community-based organizations that promote access to basic banking services, including credit and savings, to create and sustain affordable housing, job development and vibrant communities for America’s working families.
FAU St Louis will start its economic justice operations with a focus on the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD)
Created in 1954, the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD) works every day to protect the public’s health and the natural environment through effective wastewater and stormwater management strategies.
MSD is responsible for the public sewer system that homes and businesses connect to through lateral lines. Through a labyrinth of connected sewers, wastewater is transported to one of seven sewer treatment plants – nearly 7,000 miles of sewers in all. That is like going from St. Louis to New York City and back three times! Individual property owners are responsible for another important part of the system, the sewer lateral that connects a home’s plumbing to the public sewer in the street.
MSD repairs and replaces broken pipes and manholes within the public system as part of regular maintenance and operations. As part of Project Clear, customers can help by looking for possible stormwater connections to the wastewater sewer on their property so MSD can disconnect them at no charge. MSD says “The St. Louis region’s success with Project Clear will only be possible through strong partnerships and clear communications with the public.”
Fitch Ratings has assigned an ‘AA+’ rating to the following Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District, Missouri (the district) revenue bonds:
–Approximately $233.1 million wastewater system improvement and refunding revenue bonds, series 2015B.
The bonds are scheduled to sell via negotiated sale the week of Nov. 30. 2015 and Bond proceeds will be used to finance a portion of the district’s capital improvement plan (CIP) (approx. $4.7B 2012 – 2035) costs, advance refund outstanding bonds for savings, and pay costs of issuance.
In addition, Fitch affirms the ‘AA+’ rating on the following district bonds:
–$736.8 million in outstanding wastewater system revenue bonds.
The bonds are payable from net revenues of the district’s sanitary sewer system (the system).
HEALTHY COVERAGE MARGINS PROJECTED: Total debt service coverage (DSC) was solid at 2.6x and 2.1x in fiscals 2014 and 2015. DSC margins are expected to weaken slightly to around 1.9x over the fiscal 2016 through 2020 period but are still healthy for the ‘AA+’ rating level.
ESCALATING DEBT BURDEN: Leverage ratios currently are moderately-high with debt per customer at approximately $2,600. Debt is projected to nearly double over the next five years as a result of additional borrowing needs to address regulatory requirements. Furthermore, debt amortization is below average with principal payout at 32% and 74% in 10 to 20 years, respectively.
The decline has been driven mostly by an increase in borrowing costs related to the district’s capital improvement and replacement program (CIRP) that have resulted in a two-fold increase in total debt service costs from fiscal 2009 to fiscal 2015, and a decline in investment earnings.
VOTER SUPPORT FOR DEBT: The district’s charter requires voter approval of new debt issuance. Strong approval levels experienced to date should provide ongoing support for rate increases related to future debt. Moderate rates should provide rate flexibility.
RISING DEBT AND CAPITAL NEEDS
The fiscal years 2016 – 2020 capital program totals a substantial $1.7 billion, with approximately 49% of the costs focused on SSO remediation, 18% for CSO control, and the remainder dedicated for other system projects and wastewater treatment.
Approximately 71% of the plan through fiscal 2020 is expected to be funded from existing and planned debt. Leverage ratios are expected to continue escalating through the CIP period, with outstanding debt per capita increasing from $810 at the end of fiscal 2015 to over $1,500 by fiscal 2020. Debt per customer is anticipated to increase from $2,672 as of fiscal 2015 to $5,031 in five years (relative to Fitch’s sector ‘AA’ median of $2,049). Furthermore, debt amortization is below average with principal payout at 32% and 74% in 10 to 20 years, respectively (the new money portion of the series 2015B bonds is being issued as 30-year fixed rate debt).
Bonding capacity requires voter approval and the board maintains strong voter confidence, as evidenced by the 85% approval rate of the recent $945 million authorization in June 2012. The series 2012A bonds issued in July 2012 represented the first installment of the 2012 authorization to fund a portion of the CIRP/consent decree requirements. The current offering represents the fifth installment of the 2012 authorization; new money bond proceeds will be used to provide funding for collection system improvements to reduce SSO’s and CSO’s, the elimination of SSO structures, and initial design work on storage tunnels, tanks and relief sewers to improve system capacity.
To support the additional planned debt, the board approved annual rate increases averaging 9.8% in fiscals 2013 through 2016. The fiscal 2015 average monthly wastewater bill of $38.87 (assuming Fitch’s standard usage of 8.02 hundred cubic feet, or 6,000 gallons of sewer flows per month) is considered affordable at 0.8% of MHI. The board accepted the rate commission’s proposed 2017 to 2020 rates in October 2015 with few changes, and it is expected that voters will approve the $900 million in additional bonding capacity and thus, the rate increases needed to support the additional debt. With rates projected to increase annually by an average of 10% over the fiscal 2017 to 2020 period, voter support for the increases is viewed positively (by Fitch).
Serving a population of around 1.3 million and roughly 425,000 accounts, the district was established in 1954 to provide wastewater treatment and stormwater services to both the city of St. Louis and the vast majority of St. Louis County. The customer base is stable, with accounts experiencing flat growth over the past five fiscal years.
For August 2015, the county unemployment was 4.9%, compared to the state rate of 5.2% and national rate of 5.2%. The St. Louis metropolitan area is the primary economic engine for Missouri and home to a number of Fortune 1,000 companies. Given its access to major waterways, it is a hub for trade and distribution.
STRONG LIQUIDITY: Liquidity margins are projected to remain strong. Current cash and investments at year end fiscal 2015 equaled 297 days cash on hand (DCOH).
Reserve balances remain strong, with available current cash and investments at 2015 fiscal year-end equal to $133 million or 297 DCOH. This amount does not include an additional $166 million in unrestricted long-term (average duration of 1.4 years) investments. Based on issuer projected cash flows through fiscal 2020, cash balances are expected to remain within historical norms.
Diversity at MSD
MSD knows the importance of embracing all aspects of Diversity across the entire District, particularly in recognizing small and diverse businesses as the foundation for building stronger communities in the St. Louis region. As MSD embarks upon historically significant public works projects within it’s service area, the District intends to fully support efforts for inclusion and utilization of Minority and Women Business Enterprises.
To further enhance our concerted and coordinated efforts to promote Diversity, MSD has developed a comprehensive Workforce Program to support the inclusion of minority and women workers on MSD projects to drive economic growth in the Metropolitan St. Louis Region.
MSD has done an exceptional job with internally focused diversity efforts. In promoting efforts of collaboration to provide the necessary components to ensure level playing fields, MSD is committed to strategies which focus on the stimulation of economic growth in our communities, while increasing the vitality of under-utilized minorities and women in the St. Louis community. Below, you will find information and links for various programs and resources offered through MSD in support of our commitment to Diversity.
MSD First Source Hiring Program – A SLATE program established under the CBA and designed to identify targeted applicants for MSD project contractors.
MSD Building Union Diversity (BUD) Program – A SLATE program established under the CBA designed to target and locate unemployed, underemployed, and interested job applicants for MSD project contractors in need of qualified minority and women workers.
The Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) is a formal agreement between MSD and community organizations that establishes a framework for addressing issues in workforce training, business development, and other areas that often act as obstacles in developing a diverse labor pool and contracting community. (In short, it’s one thing to have inclusion goals, but it’s another to have a program that helps develop the capacity to the meet those goals.) The CBA will support the development of initiatives that address these issues, both in terms of workforce and business ownership. It’s a new concept for our St. Louis community — to our knowledge, this would be the first such agreement in the region — but we believe it offers an opportunity to address these important issues in a new and collaborative way.
In the letter, include the mission of the organization; the geographic scope of the organization’s activities; who would represent the organization; and full contact information (mailing address, phone number, email address, website address, etc.).
Below is the signed CBA with addendums.
|National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)|
|Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU)|
|Metropolitan Congregations United (MCU)|
|Construction Prep Center|
|National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)|
|Metropolitan Clergy Coalition (MCC)|
|Metro St. Louis Coalition for Inclusion and Equity (M-SLICE)|
|Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD)|
|Universal African Peoples Organization (UAPO)|
|Congress of Racial Equality (CORE)|
As the CBA is implemented, we will post relevant information to this page.