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St. Louis Association of Community Organizations

Residents tour opposite neighborhoods to learn about each other
April 21,  2018

We must invest in remedying the city’s ‘Depletion Areas’
St. Louis American Editorial  April 12,  2018

Better Family Life, Inc.’s renewed strategies for community outreach call to mind an urban legend that continues to haunt North St. Louis. The so-called “Team Four Plan,” many people continue to believe, was a secret development strategy intended to lay waste to majority-black North St. Louis by concentrating public and private investment in developing the diverse Central Corridor and majority-white South Side. The truth is messier than the legend – this so-called “plan” actually was a mash-up of a development memo (crafted by Team Four Architects), an unrelated map of the city, and two unrelated board bills. None of it was secret, and none of it was enacted into law or policy. However, public and private investment have been focused on developing the diverse Central Corridor and majority-white South Side, and much of majority-black North St. Louis is so disinvested that it does look like it was intentionally laid to waste.


To read more, click here.

Delores Stith-Rutlin of the North Central neighborhood talks about the Neighborhoods United for Change program, which recently toured Tower Grove and the North Central neighborhoods.

Vacancy Portal opens door to data on abandoned parcels

in STL

St. Louis Public Radio  July 15, 2018


For the record, St. Louis is home to 20,187 vacant properties. More than half are vacant lots, totaling 1,565 acres. Over the past five years, it has cost the city more than $17 million to maintain the vacant property with services like mowing, removing dumped waste, and boarding up abandoned structures.

The total assessed value of all that property? $79,813,010.


​To read more, click here.

Riverfront Times Article Discusses SLACO's Vacancy Project
Dec. 20, 2017

With the city's once-revolutionary land bank overtaxed and underfunded, volunteers try to fill the gap. To read more, click here.

City Files Suit to Reverse Prop NS Outcome, Declare Victory

Riverfront Times, September 7, 2017


A ballot proposition that seemingly suffered a narrow defeat this spring could see new life — with the city of St. Louis now asking the board of election to reexamine the results.

Prop NS, which was led by a grassroots neighborhood group to tackle the city's vacant houses, won 58 percent approval in April. But the Board of Election Commissioners had said it needed a two-thirds majority, or 66 percent. Prop NS was presumed dead.

But backers began to question that. As the RFT first reported on August 21, Alderwoman Cara Spencer took on an effort to question that interpretation. Yes, the city charter seeks two-thirds passage for any matter dealing with bond issuances, but when state law and the city charter conflict, state law wins. And state law only requires four-sevenths of voters sign off on matters involving bond issuances — or 57 percent.


By that metric, Prop NS had eked out the narrowest of victories. To read more of the story, click here.


​Check out Executive Director Kevin McKinney's op-ed article on a program from SLACO called Neighborhoods United for Change in the latest issue of the St. Louis Community Builders e-newsletter. In the photo gallery: Earlier this month, residents from several communities participated in the first bus tour of the program.

'The Finest 15' Touts City-Owned Homes for Sale, All for $4K or Less

Riverfront Time Article By Katie Hayes on Fri, Oct 27, 2017 at 6:14 am


Tackling vacant housing in St. Louis neighborhoods has been a priority for St. Louis Association of Community Organizations, or SLACO. The group's Vacancy Project has started holding workshops to educate people on the process of buying a home from the agency, which has 3,100 homes across the city in its portfolio. To read more, click here.

Residents from opposite sides of St. Louis joined together for a tour of each other’s communities Saturday.  The St. Louis Association of Community Organizations (SLACO)  is the force behind the Neighborhoods United for Change program.


Delores Stith-Rutlin lives in the North Central neighborhood.   Vicky Dean lives in the Tower Grove Heights neighborhood.  They both said learning from each other is a good thing.  They joined about 50 other residents who hopped on a bus and spent part of their Saturday getting to know people from other St. Louis neighborhoods.


​To read more, click here.