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Saint Louis City, MO March 3, 2009 Election
Smart Voter Full Biography for Antonio French

Candidate for
Alderperson; City of Saint Louis; Ward 21; Democratic Party

This information is provided by the candidate


On August 5, 2008, Antonio D. French was elected the new Democratic Committeeman of the 21st Ward. The win was deeply gratifying for Antonio, not just because it ended a long, hard-fought campaign against a longtime incumbent, but also because he would be serving on the same body that his grandmother, Myrtle French, served on for so many years before passing away nearly two years earlier. Following the untimely death of his mother when he was just 13-years-old, Antonio lived with his grandmother, who instilled in him an appreciation for the power of education and public service. Committeewoman French worked as a deputy sheriff for the City of St. Louis well into her sixties in order to pay for Antonio to attend private school. His graduation from C.B.C. High School in 1995 was one of the proudest days of her life. Antonio went on to graduate from Auburn University with a degree in political science. He returned to St. Louis in 2000 to pursue a career in public service. His first campaign was working to reform campaign finance laws in the State of Missouri. As a field director for Missourians for Fair Elections, he helped gather tens of thousands of signatures to get campaign finance reform on the ballot. He succeeded and for the first time Missourians had a chance to vote on the issue. His next campaign was to manage the re-election campaign of one of the most respected legislators in the state, Missouri Senator Wayne Goode from north St. Louis County. This was his first time managing a campaign and he learned a lot from Sen. Goode, who was first elected to office before Antonio was born. Sen. Goode and Antonio were successful and Goode returned to the senate for his last term before being term-limited out. Antonio went on to manage and win State Senator Patrick Dougherty's first campaign before heading to Jefferson City himself to work as a lobbyist. In 2002, Antonio turned to journalism as a means of creating the change that St. Louis so desperately needed. He founded an alternative newspaper called Public Defender. In it's short six-issue existence, the paper reported on stories that no other publication dared touch -- controversial police shootings, cronyism in the mayor's office, and most memorable, the notorious Team Four Plan. Public Defender eventually became, a popular political blog that covered St. Louis politics and education issues like no one before. introduced on-demand video content into the local political discussion and regularly broke major news stories hours, days and sometimes weeks before the major media outlets. In 2007, St. Louis Magazine named Antonio French the region's best blogger. The St. Louis Business Journal called him one of the most influential voices in local media. His reporting was even featured on NBC's "Meet the Press". In 2008, after being elected 21st Ward Committeeman, Antonio immediately went to work organizing the ward to get out the vote for Barack Obama. Thanks to his work, as well as the work of countless other volunteers, the 21st Ward delivered more votes for Obama than any other ward in north St. Louis. In fact, the 21st Ward delivered more votes than any other ward in the City of St. Louis except one. Antonio also went to work reforming the St. Louis City Democratic Party. He challenged old practices and called for a new set of by-laws which included checks and balances and brought openness to how the body does business. The St. Louis American complimented Antonio's "guts and political will" in bucking the old establishment. In October, Antonio worked with St. Louis police to create a four-block "safe zone" for kids to trick-or-treat on Halloween night. Hundreds of kids took part in the festivities, which included an outdoor movie and free candy to all the participating houses. "Events like this help create a sense of community," said Committeeman French. "It's good when we feel safe outside talking to one another, learning the names of the kids in the neighborhood and having fun together." Antonio is now running for alderman to bring much-needed change to the 21st Ward. "I'm running for alderman so that I can help our seniors, and our homeowners, and the children and parents of our ward. I'm running because I have the vision and energy to use the office of alderman to better the lives of the people of the 21st Ward." Thanks.

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: February 14, 2009 11:31
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