Laura Bryant, a member of the Creve Coeur City Council hosted me overnight on Wednesday. While Laura works for a large St. Louis-based corporation, she devotes many hours to her work on the Council, where she's served for six years.
She first got involved in civic issues when she helped organize a lawsuit to stop "a massive office-and-apartment development project" near where she lives.
One of Laura's major concerns is the impact that development can have on neighborhoods, especially if things are done out of public sight. She's also troubled by how eminent domain has been used, and the power it can give to developers at the expense of citizens. She worked hard on a successful citizen initiative petition (overwhelmingly passed) that changed the city's charter to require a supermajority council vote to authorize any use of eminent domain. The day before I arrived, the Missouri Supreme Court issued a major ruling -- which Laura applauded -- curbing the use of blighting and eminent domain. See St. Louis Post-Dispatch article.