Name: Slay, Francis G.
Profession: Mayor (Number 45)
Term as Mayor: 2001 - 2017
Born/Started: Mar. 18, 1955
Description: Francis G. Slay made history in 2013 by becoming the City of St. Louis' first mayor to be elected to a fourth, four-year term in office. He became the 45th Mayor of the City in 2001 and was re-elected by large margins in 2005, 2009, and 2013.
Mayor Slay's mission and passion was to ensure that St. Louis strives to be a great and prosperous city; one that is healthier, cleaner, safer, better educated, more open to diversity and more fun. The Mayor aimed to lead a city that attracted residents and businesses from throughout the region — and from other regions — through civic, commercial, and political cooperation aimed to consistently improve quality of life. Mayor Slay called for the City of St. Louis to re-enter St. Louis County as a municipality.
The Slay Administration and its public and private partners received national and international recognition for St. Louis's renaissance. Key initiatives have focused on improving the quality of life in neighborhoods, the revitalization of North St. Louis, better public education, and the efficient and equitable delivery of City services. In May 2007, Downtown St. Louis's revitalization was the subject of a Preserve America Presidential Award, the nation's highest honor for historic preservation.
Former U.S. Senator John Danforth called Mayor Slay "one of the City's greatest mayors." Under Mayor Slay's leadership, the City's unique neighborhoods are being rebuilt. Billions of dollars were invested throughout St. Louis. The City has one of the country's fastest-growing communities of college-educated residents and some of the fastest-growing bio sciences and financial service sectors.
Under Mayor Slay, the City rebuilt much of its retail business base. Small and large retailers rediscovered the City as a great place to do business, and hundreds of new restaurants and unique shops opened in the City. As the Boston Globe put it, "Something remarkable has happened in St. Louis."
The City launched its first Sustainability Plan under Mayor Slay's direction. The plan is an impressive and thorough roadmap for creating an economically, socially and ecologically vibrant City for present and future generations.
Mayor Slay continued to force the issue of improving public education in St Louis. He supported state intervention to improve St. Louis Public Schools, and invited the most innovative educators in the country to submit proposals to open public charter schools here.
Ensuring the safety of St. Louis citizens was another of Mayor Slay's chief priorities. Voters gave the City controls of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department for the first time in more than 150 years, bringing accountability closer to the people police protect. Under Mayor Slay's direction, the City established a public safety partnership with UM-St. Louis criminologists and called for a special gun docket to hold armed offenders accountable.
Mayor Slay lead St. Louis to become a more progressive city by implementing a citywide recycling program, a smoking ban and extended workforce diversity goals. Both The Advocate and the Human Rights Campaign rank St. Louis as a top LGBT-friendly community. The City also put in place a Housing First plan that resulted in a reduction in the number of homeless people. The Mayor's program to reduce children's exposure to dangerous lead paint won national acclaim.
Prior to being elected Mayor, Francis G. Slay served as a St. Louis Alderman for 10 years, then as President of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen from 1995 to 2001.
An attorney by trade, Slay joined the law firm of Guilfoil, Petzall and Shoemake in 1981, where he practiced for 20 years and became a partner specializing in commercial litigation and business law. Slay received his law degree from Saint Louis University School of Law. He holds a degree in political science from Quincy College and is — for any St. Louisan who would want to know — a graduate of St. Mary's High School. Slay's chief interest in college — besides, of course, his academic studies — was soccer.
Mayor Slay is the son of Francis R. and Anna May Slay. The Mayor and his wife, Kim, live with four rescued dogs. Their children, Francis, Jr., and Katherine, are grown.
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