About Antonio French

Antonio French was born and raised in St. Louis. Throughout his political and personal life, Antonio has remained committed to his roots. After college, Antonio moved back to the north side neighborhood he grew up in and has been committed to improving his community ever since. 

Antonio served two terms on the St. Louis Board of Aldermen (2009-2017), representing the 21st Ward where he grew up. Prior to becoming Alderman, he served the 21st Ward as the Democratic Committeeman and managed numerous winning political campaigns as the president of his own consulting firm.

During his time on the Board of Aldermen, Antonio was one of the city’s youngest and most outspoken aldermen, earned a reputation for passionately serving his community and creating new initiatives to improve the quality of life in St. Louis. In 2010, the Riverfront Times newspaper named him “Best Local Politician”.

On the Board of Alderman he served on several committees including Ways & Means; Housing, Urban Development and Zoning; Parks; and Streets. He was the chairman of the Public Utilities Committee and an active member of the African American Aldermanic Caucus. 

Alderman French speaking at the opening of the O'Fallon Park Recreation Complex (Jan 2013). Photo by Wiley Price

Alderman French speaking at the opening of the O'Fallon Park Recreation Complex (Jan 2013). Photo by Wiley Price

In his first term as alderman, Antonio fought to open a new $20 million dollar recreation center in north St. Louis, crafting the contract so that it would allow for discounted memberships for low-income children and city residents; and having the highest percentage of minority participation in St. Louis history. 

French’s “Block by Block” partnership with the non-profit Rebuilding Together and The Boeing Company resulted in the rehab of more than 50 homes for seniors and disadvantaged homeowners in his ward.

In 2008, he founded a successful annual summer jazz concert series in O’Fallon Park, helping to revitalize the beautiful public park.  In 2010, French passed a bill creating a public arts trust fund in the city.

Antonio created “Halloween Safe Zones” for hundreds of children in north St. Louis to trick-or-treat every Halloween night. 

In 2012, French founded The North Campus, an education initiative inspired after The Harlem Children’s Zone in New York City. The North Campus now provides after-school tutoring, mentoring and enrichment services for more than 150 children annually.

French gained national recognition for his work covering the unrest in Ferguson, MO in 2014. He used social media to document the protests and the heavy-handed police response. He also helped keep the peace when the situation turned violent. In March 2015, The Los Angeles Times named Antonio one of 20 “New civil rights leaders: Emerging voices in the 21st century”.  French also created #HealSTL, a nonprofit aimed at political education and empowerment, and racial healing. In 2017, EBONY magazine named Antonio on its annual Power 100 List, which honors the heroes and leaders of the African-American community whose work continues to inspire, influence and impact the next generation.

French is a graduate of Auburn University and holds an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis.

Antonio is a dedicated husband and father. He, his wife, 6-year-old son, and four rescue dogs live in north St. Louis.