Ferguson 1000 Jobs — an organization with a mission to create one thousand jobs for St. Louis county residents, especially those in Ferguson — has decided to give a “Holiday Wish List for Ferguson” to the entire St. Louis region and even State of Missouri. The objective is to increase dialogue with all leaders in St. Louis and create an action plan that addresses many of the issues in our region. Ferguson 1000 Jobs focuses on job creation, but the “Holiday Wish List for Ferguson ” is more comprehensive.
Ferguson 1000 concluded that while many of the St. Louis region residents will enjoy Christmas with families through love and gifts, there are residents in Ferguson and surrounding communities that won’t be as fortunate. The conclusion of the Ferguson 1000 team denoted to build a better St. Louis region and state, and found it imperative that we create a plan that will empower all. The Ferguson Holiday Wish List is a result of those responses.
“Prior to the verdict reading of Darren Wilson for shooting Mike Brown, many organizations had hopes of justice to counteract the issues that run deep in the St. Louis community. However, after the non conviction of Officer Darren Wilson, the unrest increased locally and across the nation.” Ferguson 1000 Jobs thought it would be beneficial to unveil a comprehensive plan to address the issues. Ferguson 1000 Jobs CEO Dave Spence said, “Ferguson 1000 was formed to bring forward the systemic problems in our community and actually get something done. We feel that a private citizen based solution is the best answer.”
“We have been convening meetings with leaders for the last 3 months and understand there is apathy. People are tired of hearing lip service, hence we developed our views that were delivered as such from a wide variety of leaders in the community,” said Spence.
Organizations ranging from Faith Based Leaders, Corporate Leaders, Community Leaders and Youth leaders gave their opinion of what it would take to help get Ferguson back on track. The discussions have concluded the Wish List for Ferguson. The Wish List includes housing development, youth education, scholarships to make our entire community more health and productive. “As a businessman in this community for years, it is my goal to assist in many ways to heal our community and grow our community through small businesses and collaboration,” said Spence. Spence believes the “Wish List” will prompt more dialogue amongst all St. Louis Region Stakeholders leading to action.
1000 FERGUSON JOBS
Holiday Wish List for 2015
1. Passage and Gubernatorial signing of a school transfer bill. Give the families in failing districts a lifeline.
2. Create Show Me Scholars Program for Missouri High school graduates. Increase cigarette tax from .17/pack to .70/pack. It should also include taxation of generic cigarettes which is not taxed at the same rate presently. This will generate approximately $350mm of new revenue. Offer scholarship opportunities to every child that wishes to further their education in two year, four year or trade schools in the state of Missouri. There are 68,000 graduating seniors in Missouri. Give everyone the opportunity to graduate to something.
3. Raise the accreditation level of municipalities and their police departments. There should be minimum thresholds and performance standards. This will force some sorely needed consolidations.
4. Consolidate municipal courts into regions and set ceilings on court costs and fines.
5. Allow for a change in venue when it comes to police shootings.
6. Trade unions need to step up and do the right thing for our community in regards to minority hiring. Presently there is less than 2% minority membership in the construction trades. Quit punishing the minorities and hire them. With present retirement rates there will be plenty of opportunities.
7. Ban all red light and speed cameras in the state. They are a money grab plain and simple.
8. Improve the efficiency of tax credits. At present, there is over $700mm allocated per year. The average flow through effectiveness is around .35 cents per $1.00 of tax credit. Cut down 10% per year for the next five years and challenge the system to be more efficient.
9. Encourage Missouri businesses to buy from each other. Create a sales tax relief program if we buy from each other.
10. Encourage start up capital to stay involved by waiving capital gains taxes on proceeds if it is used to fund another start up.
11. Recruit minorities for law enforcement.
12. Require body cameras for police officers.
13. Facilitate all legitimate job-training efforts for the chronically unemployed and the unskilled.
14. Review the statute of limitations on felony convictions. Give the people that are really trying to turn their lives around a second chance.
15. Create a plan to rehab and rebuild housing through ownership as a means to revitalizing neighborhoods. Incorporating 1st Time Home Buyers incentives and education will help stabilize neighborhoods. This initiative should have minority contractors and developers as the lead.
About Ferguson 1000 Jobs
Ferguson 1000 Jobs aims to bring together some of the St. Louis area’s largest employers to give county residents — especially those in Ferguson — job training, business development, and employment opportunities. The organization was founded by businessman and former gubernatorial candidate Dave Spence.
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