Fighting for the People.
Antonio began his political career in 1999 when he responded to an Activist Wanted ad. He started as a signature gatherer for a state-wide ballot initiative for campaign finance reform. Within 2 days on the job, he was promoted to oversee 3 congressional districts for the effort, and, ultimately, got the question on the ballot. He then went on to manage the successful state Senate campaign of Senator Wayne Good. He opened up his own consulting firm and managed several other winning campaigns. In 2008, he successfully ran for 21st Ward Democratic committeeman.
French's next election, in 2009, gave him the aldermanic seat that he holds to this day, in the Ward in which he grew up. In 2010, he was named "Best Local Politician" by the Riverfront Times. During his first term, French fought to open the 20 million dollar O'Fallon Park Recreation Center, helping craft the contract so that it would allow for discounted memberships for low income city residents. He also worked to start at $600,000 project to install security cameras all around his ward, which helped cut homicides and general crime in the ward. Other community improvement actions he took during his first term include a "Block by Block" campaign to rehab houses with corporate and non-profit partners each month and a jazz concert series in O'Fallon Park.
After being re-elected in 2013, Alderman French went on to sponsor a civilian review board bill, in response to the unrest in Ferguson.The bill would create a seven-person board that has the power to review police evidence, interrogation tapes, and investigations, but would not have the power of subpoena. The board would have the power to send investigations back to Internal Affairs with recommendations for further questions or additional evidence. If the board is still unsatisfied, it can conduct its own independent investigation and make recommendations to the police chief regarding discipline. It was also during his second term when he received his Executive MBA degree from Washington University.
Throughout his political career, Antonio has continually fought for the people of the city, oftentimes being dubbed the most outspoken member of the Board. As he tells us;
"There are no permanent friends, no permanent enemies -- just permanent interests. I work with people I disagree with. And at the end of the day, we get stuff done for the people of St. Louis, and that's what's important."