Alderman Spencer’s Hesitancy on Criminal Justice Reform

Most recently, Alderman Spencer declined to clarify her position on decriminalizing sex work

To begin with, when I read in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s January 14th, 2021 article about the mayoral primary candidates’ views on decriminalizing sex work, I was both surprised and not so surprised to see Alderman Spencer demur when asked what her stance was on the issue:

Despite Stockley’s abuses and the protests following his acquittal, Spencer voted to put Prop P on the November 2017 ballot

I mentioned above that I was also not surprised to see Alderman Spencer refuse to take a position on decriminalizing sex work. That’s because as her longtime constituent, I have seen Alderman Spencer avoid taking key positions on criminal justice reform issues before, including decisions about whether to increase police funding.

Alderman Spencer initially refused to commit to the Close the Workhouse campaign

While there are other examples of Alderman Spencer’s hesitancy on the issue of criminal justice reform, I would like to zero in on one more: her refusal in 2019 to support the Close the Workhouse (CTW) campaign.

Hesitancy will not win meaningful criminal justice reform

In the lead-up to the March mayoral primary, progressive leaders in the city urged progressive voters to cast approval votes for both Treasurer Jones and Alderman Spencer. They argued that securing a top two finish for these two more progressive candidates would allow progressives several weeks to honestly debate policy differences between the two candidates, and then to choose the progressive leader better suited to meet this moment in St. Louis’ history.



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