One of the bigger challenges that everyone in our region has to overcome, and to possibly become a prototype for other cities, is to get over our segregation mentality. So, we can talk about everyone having equity, a better school, a place to go to the grocery store, but we still think in that segregationist mentality. We’re very polarized:“I’m south of Delmar. I’m north of Delmar. I’m in North County. I’m in South City.” And we’re comfortable in our relative space. I challenge everyone to encourage the people you know to get uncomfortable.
That means it’s not just a conversation, it’s also about the actions that support your conversation. So, where are the places we eat? Where are the places we work in? Where are the places we choose for our children to recreate? If you have a child off of Parker Road, encourage them to go to Francis Park. Or, encourage a young person who typically goes to Tower Grove Park to go to St. Vincent’s Park near Normandy. Take the MetroLink. If you get uncomfortable, you’ll start getting more comfortable.
And it’s really about the mantra we all live under which is the Show Me State. Talk is cheap. So, we have to show one another. That’s the next step.