ST. LOUIS (KMOX) — A debate this weekend at Harris-Stowe State University between those running for President of the Board of Aldermen featured ideas, attacks, and name-calling.
Making her voice heard about the state of St. Louis is in was Jamilah Nasheed.
"We have Lewis Reed here for 20 years and north St. Louis looks like a war zone. People driving up and down the streets and all they see is vacant and abandoned buildings block after block after block."
Reed, the incumbent president of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen, got the crowd riled up by calling her "Double Agent Nasheed."
"You just met with Rex Sinquefield two weeks ago and you told him you would support the airport privatization 100% if you became president of the Board of Aldermen. Stop being a double agent! Stop being a double agent!"
Nasheed responded by calling Reed "Lying Lewis," saying she had no meeting and made no promise about privatizing the airport.
Democratic alderwoman Megan Green stayed out of the fray between Reed and Nasheed and campaigned for a loosening of marijuana laws.
"What we know in our city is that the smell of marijuana is often used as a cause to do pedestrian stops. These pedestrian stops cause distrust between police and our community."
Meanwhile, Nasheed, a State Senator, was asked about her call to get rid of mandatory minimum sentences. She says it'd only be for non-violent offenses.
"But if you take the issue of a kid (dying) by way of a drive-by shooting, that should be mandatory minimum sentencing for violent crimes."
She also touted her Homeless Bill of Rights. She referenced the closing of the New Life Evangelistic Center during the debate.
"I think that if we're closing a shelter, there has to be a 1-to-1 bed replacement."
Nasheed blasted a city law that prevents the public from feeding the homeless.
"I would repeal the ordinance that doesn't allow individuals to simply give a homeless person a hot dog or a donut."
Reed defended his record on the homeless problem, stating he helped create the affordable housing trust fund.
"The reason this is important to me is I've been homeless twice. I was one of nine kids when I was younger, so I understand this intimately."
Reed defended the incentives that would be offered to the Taylor family to build a Major League Soccer stadium next to Union Station. He says MLS would bring 350,000 people a year into the city.
"What that means is that they're coming into the city spending their economic dollars. So we can capture those funds and begin putting people back to work across the city that have LONG been held out of the job market."
The primary election is March 5.