Whom Do They Represent?
The St. Louis Board of Education now has five African-American members - a solid majority of a now seven-member board. This is a very good thing.
However, none reside north of Delmar Boulevard, the traditional definition of "North" Saint Louis. And none reside east of Grand Boulevard, where much of the African-American population has moved and where lots of immigrants live as well.
This is not surprising; after all, school board members are not paid, so they volunteer their time. It's a large time commitment, so it's something that middle-class professionals can more easily do. Also not surprisingly, several of these board members are high-level executives in non-profit organizations, which suggests they would know something about working with board members themselves.
Thus it is at least heartening to realize that all five African-American school board members represent a pretty substantial African-American middle-class presence in the City of St. Louis - albeit concentrated in the central corridor.
More specifically, four board members reside in the greater Central West End / Skinker-DeBaliviere area, either on private streets or on Lindell. Another resides in the historic Tiffany neighborhood on a dead-end street.
Both white board members live in St. Louis Hills.
While geography isn't everything, the combination of geography and profession strongly suggests that the current school board members' day-to-day experiences are quite different from the everyday lives of most SLPS parents.