SLACO Takes Action
Campaigns Over the Years Have Run the Gamut
SLACO has led numerous action campaigns during its history. Currently SLACO is focused on reducing Vacancy, improving relations between neighborhoods, and fostering dialogue between the community and the police.
Among past advocacy efforts, one of the most fruitful was the Community Air Project, a 2000-2002 effort to highlight air pollution issues in City neighborhoods. This project led to community-wide conversation about school bus idling, as well as a focus on the fact that air pollution impacts residential neighbors–not simply industrial areas–heavily.
SLACO led efforts to ban the sale of single 40-ounce beer bottles within the City in 1994 and 1995. The ban has saved an estimated 9 million bottles per year since 1995. Because recycling values for glass are low, especially when compared to aluminum cans, many glass containers previously ended up broken in parks or along sidewalks.
Another important campaign was the Walk with Your Neighbors initiative, funded in part by Missouri Foundation for Health. Hats and pedometers were distributed to participating neighborhoods, and in the West End, security was provided for the walking clubs.
Elsewhere in the City, SLACO picketed slumlords, fought with grocery store chains to keep stores open in underserved communities, and argued successfully in public venues to close down bars that were operating illegally or generating a public nuisance. Legislative and administrative wins have included advancing legislation to curb property speculation and an ordinance to revise the City’s liquor ordinance. As well as housing partnerships resulting in development of nearly 500 units of new housing in the City of St. Louis.
SLACO members have organized aggressive efforts to reduce crime, often through close partnerships with the Police Department. SLACO also supported the siting of a police sub-station at the Etzel Place Apartments leasing office, where SLACO offices are located. This effort coordinated with the West End Neighbors’ leadership in adopting the Neighborhood Ownership Model as put forth by the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office.
Selected Highlights from SLACO’s 40 years of programs:
- Celebrating 40 years as an advocate for Neighborhoods and the City Louis Community
- Received 2018 CDA funding and CREA Funding to continue the Neighborhoods United for Change #NU4Change
- Participated in the education of our neighborhood members in the Prop NS vacancy stabilization bond issue.
- Board of Directors vote to support a ballot initiative to allow the Citizens of St. Louis to vote for a bond issue to improve and make ready for sale Land Reutilization Authority (LRA)
- Successful implementation of the SLACO Vacancy LRA Sub Committee “Finest 15” Program
- Successful implementation of Neighborhoods United for Change via an $11,000 grant from the St. Louis Civil Rights Enforcement Agency to promote dialog regarding race, cultural, and housing issues with 10 SLACO member neighborhoods and four non SLACO member neighborhoods. #NU4Change 2016
- Summer Camp, Neighborhood Houses@SLACO with Horizon Housing Foundation, begins, 2016
- SLACO receives a Community Based Development Organization (CBDO) certification from Community Development Association (CDA).
- Administered a $25,000 grant from the CDA for a Sustainable Neighborhood Academy and Inspiration Lab to train St. Louis residents. Received funding in 2016 and 2017 from CDA!
- Vacancy Committee worked with Board of Alderman to increase funding for board ups, mowing and stabilization of LRA properties.
- After-school program, Neighborhood Houses @SLACO began in 2015.
- Two AmeriCorps VISTA neighborhood organizers, three Summer Associate VISTAs, and a fundraising and marketing VISTA began serving SLACO in 2015.
- Partnered with C.F. Vatterott in Etzel Place V Apartments in the West End neighborhood, 2014.
- Full-time Executive Director Position reinstated in 2014.
- Neighborhood Roundtables and All-Neighborhood Forums initiated in 2013.
- Support for establishment of Neighborhood Ownership Model-based police sub-station in Etzel Community Center in 2012.
- Collaboration with Computer Village to offer computer classes, successful after-school program and summer youth camp, Etzel Make a Difference Center in 2012-2014.
- Partner in Boulevard Heights Homes in 2008.
- Partner in McKinley Heights and Fox Park Homes – five homes in 2006.
- Partner in Maffitt Garden Homes, 10 Lease Purchase homes, Wells-Goodfellow in 2005.
- Neighborhood Leaders Roundtables and Leadership Training in 2004-2009.
- Walk with Your Neighbors, 2005-2010.
- Received Bank of America Community Builders Award in 2005-2006.
- Partner in St. Vincent Homes – 100 new homes, Gate District in 2003–2006.
- Community Links with International Institute in 2003-2013.
- Louis Community Air Project, 2000–2007.
- Operation of Make a Difference Center in the West End neighborhood, 1998-2012.
- Community Policing – closing drug houses, graffiti paint-outs, closing problem liquor establishments, from1995-2005.
- 40-ounce bottles banned– saving almost 9 million bottles per year since 1995.
- Louis Neighborhoods Conference, established in 1995.
- Joint venture with Ranken Technical College – 50 homes, 1994.
- Buder Place Homes – 100 new homes, Gate District, 1989-1998.
- Partner in Etzel Place Apartments, 175 family apartments, West End, from 1989-2010.
- Partner in Fairfax Court – 28 new homes, Vandeventer, from 1985-1987.
- SLACO founded in 1978.