Francis G. Slay (born March 18, 1955) is an American politician and the 45th Mayor of St. Louis, Missouri since 2001. He is the first mayor of the city of St. Louis to be elected to the office four consecutive times. His fourth term started in April 2013. He is registered in the Democratic Party.
Education and early career
Slay graduated from St. Mary’s High School in 1973. He received a degree in political science from Quincy College and alaw degree from Saint Louis University School of Law. After graduating from law school, Slay served as a law clerk for Judge Paul J. Simon of the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Eastern District. In 1981, he joined the law firm of Guilfoil, Petzall, and Shoemake where he specialized in business law and commercial litigation. Slay was elected to the St. Louis Board of Aldermen in 1985, representing the 23rd ward. In 1995, he was elected President of the Board of Aldermen, and in 1999 was re-elected without opposition.
Term as Mayor
Slay defeated incumbent mayor Clarence Harmon and former mayor Freeman Bosley, Jr. in the Democratic Primary in 2001. During his first term, he oversaw significant residential redevelopment within the city, including the redevelopment of the Washington Avenue Loft District. Also in his first term, Slay negotiated the construction of Busch Stadium, the new St. Louis Cardinals baseball stadium in downtown St. Louis, and the re-districting of aldermanic wards required after the 2000census.
Slay supported a plan to redevelop the historic Old Post Office Square area, which became controversial as it included the demolition of an adjacent historic office building, the Century Building for a parking garage. He was instrumental in developing a health care plan for the uninsured.
The Slay administration and its public and private partners have received national and international recognition for St. Louis’s renaissance. 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.
Slay is a member of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition, a bi-partisan group with a stated goal of “making the public safer by getting illegal guns off the streets”. The Coalition was co-chaired by Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Slay is a member of the St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners and has been successful in bringing control of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police from the State of Missouri to the independent City of St. Louis. In 2013, he was one of nine mayors who established July 15 as Social Media Giving Day, encouraging citizens to support charities via social media.
Slay is the second of eleven children. His father, Francis R. Slay, was affiliated with St. Raymond’s Maronite Catholic Cathedral in St. Louis, and was the long-time Democratic Committeeman in the 23rd Ward, and who once served as Recorder of Deeds. Francis R. Slay died on March 16, 2011, aged 83.
Slay and his wife Kim have two children and three rescued dogs. Slay is a Maronite Catholic and also an avid supporter of the Archdiocese of St. Louis and of Roman Catholic organizations in the city. He is of Lebanese and Polish ancestry.
- About Mayor Slay
- Slay profile, socialmediaexplorer.com; accessed November 25, 2014.
- Francis R. Slay, father of the mayor, dies at 83, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 16, 2011.
- Profile, politicalgraveyard.com; accessed November 25, 2014.
- Schlinkmann, Mark (April 18, 2001). “Slay Is Sworn in as St. Louis’ 45th Mayor”. St. Louis Post-Dispatch. p. A1.