John Myers Mar. 16, 2017, 3:12pm


ST. LOUIS — A St. Louis-based attorney wants to use use her experience in business and probate law to improve the community she lives in.

Alexandra Johnson told the St. Louis Record that she was driven to become involved in local politics in the wake of the Nov. 8 election results. This passion drove her to run against incumbent City Comptroller Darlene Greene in the March 7 Democratic primary.

"After the last election I was pretty dismayed by the results," she said. "But even on the local level I saw this sea of red in our election results. And I wanted to help change that."

Johnson is a long-time resident of St. Louis and has been practicing law in Missouri since 2013. She has both a law degree and a master's degree in business from St. Louis University. She has served in a number of public service positions, including working for the St. Louis Tax Assistance Program, Legal Advocates for Eastern Missouri and the St. Louis – San Luis Potosí Friendship Committee. She also worked as a parent co-chair of the Diversity Committee and is a member of the Families Committed to Diversity group in her children’s schools. 

"My practice has focused on probate taxes," Johnson said. "I talked to one of our former mayors and our local alderman, and they and other many people told me I would be very qualified. I feel like there is a very high transferability of skills from my background in business and tax law to the comptroller role. I have a good understanding of the different kinds of interest and bonds for example."

She explained that her goal is to improve the city's fiscal situation by driving growth through smart, sustainable municipal expansion, including the creation of an effective public transit system for the city.

"Our bus system is so out of order. It takes people who rely on it two hours to get anywhere," Johnson said. "And that impedes growth because it keeps people from being able to get to their jobs and other parts of the city. We have an effective bus system it just needs to be expanded in a smart and transparent way."

She also warns against the city embracing what she calls "big ticket" items, such as a new stadium and expanding the Metro Link system for fear that poor negations will do more harm to St. Louis' financial position than good.

"I think there are ways to create those kinds of programs in smart ways that benefit the city," she said. "Negotiating contracts that give job preferences to locals first, for example."

Instead, Johnson said St. Louis should learn from the successes of other cities such as Kansas City. 

"In those places, they have a lot of the same problems we do, but the leadership has been able to get their city to get growing and and get their development going," she said. "The leadership in Kansas City has been able to effectively capitalize on the city's assets."

Despite losing her primary bid to Greene by nearly 30,000 votes, Johnson said she is not done with local politics. 

"Just because I lost does not mean it was not a good fight," she said. "I am still thinking about what to do next."

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