It was an emotional day Tuesday at City Hall as newly-elected aldermen were sworn in. Two north side newcomers, both former committeepeople, officially took their seats as members of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen.
Shameem Clark-Hubbard (26th Ward) and Jesse Todd (18th Ward) were surrounded with friends and family on their special day.
With her late grandfather, Joseph W.B. Clark, a former alderman, heavy on her mind, Clark-Hubbard, came to tears after she was yielded the floor for the first time.
“It’s special to be able to serve at the same desk that my grandfather served from,” said Clark-Hubbard with her late grandfather’s shirt draping the back of her chair and a pair of praying hands that belonged to her late grandmother flanked on her desk.
“It’s been overwhelming because of the nostalgia of my grandfather,” she told The NorthSider. “And it is the same spirit that he ran under, which is serving the people, teaching the people, and bringing them up and together.”
Surrounded by family, Clark-Hubbard took time to thank everyone who helped with her campaign, even extending gratitude to her challengers who she said have already reached out to her.
Clark-Hubbard had the endorsement of her longtime predecessor, Frank Williamson, who is now a director with the city’s off-street parking division. “It couldn’t have happened to a better person,” Williamson said. “She served excellently as committeewoman of the 26th Ward and think she is going to do a dynamite job—and an even better job than I’ve ever done—as alderman,” he said.
Todd, who drew laughs as he thanked supporters for nearly 10 minutes, also has the confidence of his predecessor, Terry Kennedy. The longtime former alderman spoke with The NorthSider in his new office and capacity as clerk for the Board of Alderman.
“We had a good working relationship. He didn’t try to be alderman and I didn’t try to be committeeman,” said Kennedy. “We considered ourselves one of the few united wards in north St. Louis, where the committeeman, committeewoman and alderman worked together and were part of the same organization.”
With Kennedy’s departure, 22nd Ward Alderman Jeffrey Boyd, who retained his seat, is now the second most senior alderman on the board, and will serve as the Chairman of African American Caucus.
Returning senior 4th Ward Alderman Sam Moore thanked God. He suffered a heart attack two weeks ago and was released from the hospital just one day prior to his swearing in.
Moore said he decided to run again because of his strides and developments in the ward that he wants to complete, including more than $20 million worth of development along Newstead Ave.
“So when we pass the baton it will be in the proper manner and aspect for the next leadership to take it and run with it,” he said.
Alderwoman Lisa Middlebrook (2nd Ward) who took the baton last year from former Alderwoman Dionne Flowers (now the City Registrar) in a special mid-term election, said she is happy to get a full term.
As for her first order of business, she said, she’ll find out Saturday when she meets with “wardees” during a victory party/meeting.
Middlebrook and Clark-Hubbard help make the 28-member board of alderman complete, as remarked by outspoken 1st Ward Alderwoman Sharon Tyus, noting that there are now 14 women and 14 men on the board.
Asking all of the female members to stand, she said, “I want to see what woman power looks like. This is what the Board of Aldermen is supposed to look like.”