Civic Progress seeks to identify and support initiatives that can help unify the St. Louis region to align and invest scarce public resources and to better connect us to the global community. Civic Progress is supportive of efforts to find ways to restructure certain local government services to better meet the region’s needs. We also support initiatives that can build closer ties with Chicago, the “megapolitan” area closest to St. Louis and our region’s most logical connection to other global cities.
Recent and current initiatives in this area include:
- Civic Progress is collaborating with various elected officials and other organizations to achieve a more coherent regional strategy and potentially more efficient delivery of government services.
- Civic Progress has been a leader in regional efforts to position St. Louis as one of the destinations for a network of high-speed passenger rail lines with Chicago as the hub. Civic Progress is a major supporter of the Midwest High Speed Rail Association and active collaborator with the Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission. Civic Progress worked with elected officials in Illinois and Missouri, including our congressional delegations, to increase the role and visibility of St. Louis in high-speed rail deliberations. In January 2010, the Obama Administration announced plans to spend $1.1 billion to make track improvements that would enable 110-mph passenger rail service on the Chicago-St. Louis corridor. An additional $31 million will be spent on track improvements to improve passenger rail service between St. Louis and Kansas City.
- Civic Progress believes the Gateway Arch and the downtown riverfront have much more potential as tourist and entertainment destinations than is currently being realized. We support the exciting initiative being led by the National Park Service and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay to host an international design competition to re-invigorate the areas around the Arch and better physically and visually connect this world-famous icon with downtown St. Louis, the Mississippi River and the riverfront areas on the Missouri and Illinois banks. The winning design will be announced in October 2010, with the resulting work to be completed by October 28, 2015 – the 50th anniversary of the completion of the Arch. Civic Progress has provided funding for the design competition and representatives of our organization (Walter Metcalfe Jr., Mayor Slay and Vaughn Vandegrift) are participating on a volunteer board created to support this initiative.
- Civic Progress is providing $100,000 a year in funding to support the local public-private sector coordinating effort to make St. Louis a hub for China’s Midwest commercial cargo trade. Civic Progress Chairman Rich McClure represents the organization on the Midwest-China Hub Commission.
- Civic Progress is a major sponsor of the St. Louis Regional Health Coalition (RHC), a nonprofit organization which is also funded by the State of Missouri, the City of St. Louis, and St. Louis County. The RHC mission is to improve the healthcare safety net for people living in St. Louis city and county.