County NAACP Endorsed BT Merger. Its President is Employed by Pro-Merger Committee.

By on April 22, 2019

From St. Louis Business Journal:  Saying that it would spur criminal justice reform and “empower St. Louis’ African American community,” the St. Louis County NAACP’s board on Thursday backed Better Together’s proposed merger of the county and the city of St. Louis.

“After months of engagement with the Better Together team and closely reviewing the proposal to unify St. Louis City and County, we have voted to endorse this plan because we believe it will create desperately needed criminal justice reform and lift up all St. Louis residents,” John Gaskin, the branch’s president, said in a statement. “We need to reform our criminal justice system and this plan would do that. We need a more accountable police force and this plan would do that. The status quo isn’t working for the African American community, but uniting St. Louis County and City will spark the type of change we need around here. Simply put, we’re endorsing this plan because it will be good for the African American community.”

Gaskin, who’s resigned from his position with the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, is a paid consultant for Unite STL, the campaign committee pushing the merger, a Unite STL spokesman, Ed Rhode, said. Rhode did not immediately have information about how much Gaskin is being paid.

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