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Dump Veolia Coalition: grassroots activism of the year

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Veolia, an international water company, was sought by Mayor Slay to do business in St. Louis. Slay, who at the time was running for is 4th term, was looking for a consulting firm to advise the city on how to improve the cities water system.

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Riverfront Times reporter Jessica Lussenhop reported in January that the Board of Estimates and Appropriation E&A was about approve a consulting contract with Veolia but the consulting contract got tabled when St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee STL-PSC asked members of the E&A, Mayor Slay, Comptroller Green, and President of the Board of Alderman Reed, to look in to Veolia’s reputation and past work before approving Veolia.

Many other organization joined in the fight against a Veolia contract to form St. LouisDump Veolia. The Veolia issue came up throughout the Mayoral race. Slay won the Democratic Primary, but the controversy continued.

In June the Public Utilities Committee hosted 2 hearings on Veolia. Concerned citizens and members of the Coalition, including the Sierra Club, Missouri Coalition for the Environment and MORE, showed up to testified against Veolia.

Nothing was heard of Veolia until October when the Post-Dispatch reporter Nick Pistor reported that Slay was trying to get Green to sign the contract without E&A’s approval. St. Louis Dump Veolia Coalition started protesting again. Slay's Special Assistant Mary Ellen Ponder announced that Veolia withdrew from consideration on October 29th.

Veolia has on it’s website that’s it’s the world leader in water treatment and service. In spite of the backing of a 4 term mayor, Veolia could not overcome local grassroots opposition. St. Louis Dump Veolia Coalition proved that political victories can be won on an inexpensive campaign.

Last edited on January 14th 2014 for updating credits to a photo



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