New STL Mayor on To-Do List, Political Foes and Getting ‘Remarried’ to the County

By on April 24, 2017

From St. Louis Post-Dispatch:  Shortly after lunch on Thursday (April 20), new St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson had to delay her first sit-down interview by about 20 minutes. She was being briefed on a double murder of two utility workers that had happened less than two hours earlier.

Not yet through her second full day as mayor, she was dealing with an issue that continues to plague St. Louis — one of the highest murder rates in the country.

“It’s a terrible day,” Krewson said as she sat down at a large round table in her City Hall office. She was deflated, the high of the new job quickly dissipating. She knows too well the violence of the city. The murder of her husband 22 years ago led to her accelerated community engagement, becoming a longtime Central West End alderman and now the city’s first female mayor.

During an hour-long, wide-ranging interview, Krewson, 64, talked about the to-do list for her first 100 days, often drawing from the same comments she gave on the campaign stump. She described the courtship necessary between the city and St. Louis County for any kind of merger to occur.

She spoke as well of her political foes and the wounds that have not healed from the hard-fought battle to replace Francis Slay, who served 16 years as mayor.

The questions and responses have been edited for clarity and space.

Post-Dispatch: Much has been made about you becoming the first female mayor in St. Louis. What does that mean to you?

Krewson: I think more about what it means to little girls and young women everywhere. I think it is great they have that role model, to see a woman in the chief executive spot of the city.

P-D: Do you think the expectations of the public are different because you are a woman?

Krewson: I’ve been in the business world a long time. I started out in the accounting profession in 1977 when there were very few women. Today, in the accounting profession, at least 50 percent are women. So the world changes. I don’t think the differences you are going to get are going to be gender-based, although women sometimes approach things from a different point of view, perhaps more collaboratively.

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