AND THE WINNER IS….
I was fortunate to be in attendance at the smoke-free Pi Pizzeria in Kirkwood, run by Chris Sommers, on Tuesday evening, November 3. (Chris partnered with me on the recent KMOX Mark Reardon show on October 26, and we proved to be a good team.) Other members of the grass roots group, County Citizens for Cleaner Air, had gathered there for the results and the tallies started to come in not long after I arrived at 8:15 pm. These were the absentee ballots and they were tilting heavily in favor of the ballot initiative, at around 70%. That could have been a false positive so no-one was getting too excited yet.
Then the numbers from today’s ballot started to come in. With 25% of the precincts reporting the favorable tally had dropped to about 66%: still a very decent showing. It wasn’t until around 9:48 pm, when the last photo below was taken, and most poll numbers were in that I was finally convinced this was a solid victory for smoke-free air in St. Louis County: An impressive 2:1 margin in favor, in fact. The photos below were taken during this period and all those shown were very actively involved in the campaign except for Mrs. Ernie Wolf, whose husband was wolfing down a pizza when his photo was taken and so has been omitted for decency reasons. (:-)
Just some background. Ernie and I worked together at the state level in earlier years, after it became clear that the most one could expect to accomplish, with the tobacco lobby ruling the State Capitol, was damage control [see earlier blog on tobacco lobbyist John Britton]. Both Ernie and I have independently been primarily working to promote stronger local ordinances. Tonight proved once more the value of that approach.
Also at what proved to be a celebration was Pat Lindsey, another veteran of the tobacco wars, having been involved in tobacco control efforts in St. Louis for the past 17 years, and currently the Program Director, Tobacco Prevention Center, Saint Louis University School of Public Health. She is shown with Mrs. Wolf.