A Power-builder campaign

Elevate ESTL

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The Elevate ESTL campaign grew out of a collective of Black residents of East St. Louis City with pride and determination. We want to breathe life back into our community by making sure quality and accessible jobs are brought to East St. Louis and stay in East St. Louis. 


We have listened to the voices of over 100 East St. Louisans, and we have heard time and time again about the hardships that come with the lack of high quality jobs in the city. We love East St. Louis and hope to improve the city so that future generations, as well as our generation, may reap the benefits.


We want a better quality of life for ourselves, our neighbors, our children, and our community. So we decided to take action!



Imagine a reality in which East St. Louis residents don’t have to commute outside of the city to go to work. A reality in which there are safe, accessible, good-paying jobs available right in the city? Our campaign is advocating for policies that would provide more employment opportunities to East St. Louisans because we want to achieve this vision. We believe that our city has great potential, but currently, East St. Louis residents are burdened by the lack of high quality, safe, and accessible jobs. 


In a survey of over 100 East St. Louisans, we found that 80% of those surveyed felt that there were very few to no economic opportunities in the city. 68% of respondents ranked the issues about jobs as the #1 barrier. It is clear that the lack of employment opportunities has negatively impacted the quality of life of East St. Louis residents, and we launched this campaign to address this need.


We are fervently asking for more-- more community involvement in the city’s economic development and more opportunities for our people to thrive. Currently, there is little community input on development agreements, and community members need a seat at the table.



The City of East St. Louis should take the following actions:

  • East St. Louis City Council passes a Community Benefits Agreement ordinance.
    1. This would require future development agreements to be negotiated and approved by a Community Committee.


  • The City and newly formed Community Committee develop and monitor a first source hiring program.
    1. Establish local hiring requirements negotiated by the Community Committee that developers must follow. Clawback incentives developers receive if not in compliance with the Community Benefits Agreement.


  • The City of East St. Louis launches a workforce development fund.
    1. If developers fail to meet local hiring requirements, they will need to contribute to this newly established fund.



  • Sign/customize a letter in support of the community benefits ordinance to the city council
  • Read our policy toolkit here



Have a question? Reach out to us at [email protected]