Reminder: A comment for consideration must be accompanied by your full name. First names only and pseudonyms are not accepted. Similarly, please limit your comment to 1,000 characters, which is twice that set by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.On Tuesday, September 29th, 2009, a group of citizens came together to form County Citizens for Cleaner Air to support Proposition-N, the ballot initiative to approve St. Louis County’s smoke-free air ordinance. It kicked off a hectic few weeks before the successful vote on Tuesday, November 3rd which eventually ushered in smoke-free air in most public places and workplaces in St. Louis City and County on January 2, 2011.
That original meeting was reported in the mogasp blog Post-Dispatch 10/14/2009: “Push to derail smoking ban begins” which also described opposition efforts to defeat Proposition-N.
Some of the individuals involved in the successful grass-roots campaign finally got to savor that victory.
To mark the law going into effect in the City of St. Louis on January 2, 2011, several members of County Citizens for Cleaner Air (CCCAir) gathered on Friday night, February 11th, 2011, at O’Connell’s Pub, a popular watering hole on Shaw Ave. just off of Kingshighway.
It was chosen because it offered good pub grub with specialties such as a massive roast beef sandwich, which I sampled. Before the law took effect the pub required a gas mask to enter for anyone who was smoke-sensitive.
On Friday night at 6 pm it was already crowded with a line of patrons waiting to be seated in the dining area but not a whiff of tobacco smoke.
What a difference a law can make!
Members of the CCCAir party were already holding a spot at the front of the waiting line when I arrived at 6 pm but it was 7 pm before the group was seated, and 7:45 pm before food was served, so if you arrive with an appetite, as I did, be patient! But it’s worth the wait and the quantity is so generous you’ll have plenty of leftovers to take home with you.
Some members of the original CCCAir group, such as Dr. Stuart Slavin of St. Louis University School of Public Health, Jean Loemker who helped set up the first of several meetings, and Ernie Wolf, former owner of a smoke-free St. Louis business, didn’t make it, but go to Prop-N passes by large majority! Supporters buoyed by success to see some photos taken at Pi Pizzeria on Manchester Rd. near Kirkwood the night the Prop-N votes were tallied.