Can you believe it? It’s already been three years!
As of this September, WES has been at our headquarters (2929 S. Jefferson Ave.) for three years!
And in that three years we’ve accomplished a lot.
– After the killing of Mike Brown in August 2014, WES immediately opened its doors to Black Lives Matter activists, the Hands Up, Don’t Shoot Coalition and the National Lawyers Guild.
– In early 2015, WES member Cara Spencer (Ward 20) was elected to the BOA.
– Through the spring and summer of 2015 we played a major role in helping pass a St. Louis City BOA minimum wage increase to $11 an-hour. Our members rallied at City Hall, testified at BOA hearings, met with BOA members, canvassed in our service wards and were a part of the larger coalition that eventually passed the wage increase.
– In fall 2015, in partnership with the Painters DC 58, we helped found the Advanced Skills Workforce Center, which to-date has graduated 80+ African American men into the industry – union jobs with union wages and union benefits!
– By, summer 2016, WES members Bruce Franks (78th District) and Peter Merideth (80th District) were elected as State Reps., joining WES member Clem Smith (85th District) in the State House.
– In January 2017, we were officially chartered by the St. Louis Central Labor Council as a Workers’ Center.
– In early 2017, WES member Dan Guenther (Ward 9) was elected to the BOA.
– We held dozens of community pot-lucks, chili cook offs and concerts, engaging thousands of community residents, activists and leaders.
– We collected two thousand of signatures to stop so-called Right-to-Work and thirteen hundred signatures in support of the CLEAN initiative. We’re now collecting signature to put on the 2018 November ballot an initiative to raise Missouri’s minimum wage.
– In September we held our first-ever WES Awards honoring the prolific author and historian Gerald Horne. As part of the Awards ceremony we presented Horne with a Board Resolution and announced the creation of the Gerald Horne Academic Excellence Scholarship.
– And we’ve continued to rehab and update out 10,000 square foot headquarters, while ensuring that our space is available to all sort of progressive organizations – from Latinos En Axion, the Coalition for Truth in Independence, to A. Super Taxi and various union contractors.
That’s just a brief summary of all of the great things we’ve done over the past three years! It wouldn’t have been possible without your support. Thank you!