A letter on Prop A from Chancellor Mark Wrighton

| Op-Ed Submission

To the Washington University Community:

I write to you on the eve of a very important day for Washington University and the St. Louis region, and I write to ask for your support.

On Tuesday, April 6, registered voters in St. Louis County will have the opportunity to vote on Proposition A, a half-cent sales tax increase to support the operation and expansion of the Metro system. The tax will raise approximately $75 million annually, and the passage of the county tax will trigger an already-approved tax in the city of St. Louis. Passing Proposition A will secure needed revenue to restore service cuts, expand both bus and rail routes, and operate Call-A-Ride vans that are used by the disabled and elderly to access health care and other services. Without the additional revenue provided by the tax increase, public transit service will be cut by as much as 50 percent, and many workers will be left without access to their jobs.

Public transportation is vital to creating a strong, vibrant region, and it is critical to our future success at Washington University. Many of our employees count on MetroBus and MetroLink to get to and from work. Our students use public transportation not only to move between our campuses, but also to explore all the wonderful places in our city. Supporting public transportation in St. Louis means supporting the future excellence of Washington University.

Tomorrow, I plan to vote “yes” on Proposition A, and I hope those of you who are eligible to vote in St. Louis County will consider joining me in making an important statement about the future of public transportation in St. Louis. Together, we can take this important step forward for our University and our region.

Mark S. Wrighton

Mark Wrighton is the chancellor of Washington University. He can be reached via e-mail at wrighton@wustl.edu.

  • Dan

    Nice to see Wrighton support a measure that will actually advance a sustainable society! Now, if he would disavow any association with Peabody Energy, Arch Coal, and the dubious industry campaign to promote “clean coal” (which doesn’t address mountaintop removal, VOC’s, mercury, sulphur, heavy metals or fly ash), maybe we can REALLY make some progress!

  • Thank you for setting a great example for the students!

  • Leslie Caplan

    Thanks or voting Yes on Prop A! You are setting a great example for the students.

  • julie dougherty

    great infrastructure, great cities

  • Richard

    I almost never agreed with Chancellor Wrighton when I went to school at WashU from 2000-2004, but he is right about this. One of the worst things about WashU back then was the “bubble” and an expanded metro service will help WashU kids get out and enjoy all that St. Louis has to offer. Vote yes on A!

  • Jennifer

    Yes, yes, yes! If St. Louis is to grow and prosper we must have decent public transit! Kudos to Dr. Wrighton for speaking out on this issue.

  • Justin

    Go Prop A! St Louis needs properly funded mass transit.

  • For disclosure I have not been a student since at Wash U since the early eighties. I am just a business guy who is dependent on the health of the local economy to make a living and as such I pray that we maintain our currently minimal public transport.

    As a young man I was struck by Louis Colbert’s use of infrastructure to build the French economy in beginning in 1665. I say again 1665. Why is it so hard for us to learn? Infrastructure is governments second most basic function and absolutely essential to our quality of life.

    If the students of Washington University are committed to living in St. Louis we must ensure that the city survives. It would certainly be better if we began to thrive. Voting yes means that there will be local jobs when you graduate. So for the most selfish of reasons I implore you to vote yes.

  • Thank you, Wash. U., for all your efforts to get out the vote. YES ON A!!!

  • Sara

    I wholly support Prop A and what it means to St. Louis. From vital transportation for thousands of people, to its effect on St. Louis jobs, to tourism dollars, to its environmental impact, the Metro system is one of the most important public services in the city. Expanding its services would only benefit our beautiful city and we all need to get out and vote for it on Tuesday!

  • Adam

    I’m really proud that our Chancellor has taken such a huge leadership role on an initiative that will benefit the whole region!