Francis G. Slay
Mayor, City of St. Louis
Francis G. Slay was sworn in as the 45th Mayor of the City of St. Louis on April 17, 2001. He was re-elected by large margins in April 2005 and April 2009.
Mayor Slay believes that St. Louis can be the kind of great city that attracts residents and businesses from throughout the region — and from other regions — if its civic, commercial, and political leaders work together to improve the quality of life in its unique neighborhoods and the responsiveness of its business climate. He has called for City of St. Louis to re-enter St. Louis county as a municipality.
The Slay Administration and its public and private partners have received national and international recognition for St. Louis's renaissance. Key initiatives have focused on improving the quality of life in neighborhoods, the revitalization of north St. Louis, better public education, and the efficient and equitable delivery of city services. In May 2007, Downtown St. Louis's revitalization was the subject of a Preserve America Presidential Award, the nation's highest award for historic preservation. In 2011, Citygarden won the Urban Land Institute's prestigious Amanda Burden Urban Open Space award.
Former US Senator John Danforth calls Mayor Slay "one of the City's greatest mayors." Under his leadership, neighborhoods are being rebuilt. Billions of dollars have been invested in neighborhoods throughout the City.
Under Mayor Slay, the City is rebuilding its retail business base. Small and large retailers have rediscovered the city as a great place to do business. Hundreds of new restaurants and unique shops have opened in the City. As the Boston Globe puts it, "Something remarkable has happened in St. Louis."
Mayor Slay has forced the issue of improving public education front and center. He supported state intervention to improve the St. Louis Public Schools and he has invited the most innovative educators in the country to submit proposals to open public charter schools here. Under his leadership, the City has put in place a Housing First plan that has resulted in a reduction in the number of homeless people. The mayor's program to reduce children's exposure to dangerous lead paint has won national acclaim.
Prior to being elected Mayor, Francis G. Slay served as a St. Louis Alderman for 10 years, then as President of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen from 1995 to 2001.
An attorney by trade, Slay joined the law firm of Guilfoil, Petzall and Shoemake in 1981, where he practiced for 20 years and became a partner specializing in corporate law and commercial litigation. Mayor Slay received his law degree from Saint Louis University School of Law. He holds a degree in political science from Quincy College and is — for any St. Louisan who would want to know — a graduate of St. Mary's High School. Mayor Slay's chief interest in college — besides, of course, his academic studies — was soccer.
The second oldest of 11 children in a household in which public service was encouraged, Mayor Slay is the son of Francis R. and Anna Slay. The Mayor and his wife, Kim, live with three rescued dogs. Their children, Francis, Jr., and Katherine, are grown.