The 12th Ward Alderman for the City of St. Louis looks to represent the 81st House District
ST. LOUIS — Bill Stephens, current 12th Ward Alderman in the City of St. Louis, announced his candidacy for Missouri State Representative of the 81st District on Tuesday, March 8. He is challenging current Democratic Representative Steve Butz for his House seat representing the southern part of the City of St. Louis. The state district includes a majority of Stephens’ current 12th Ward with neighborhoods like Boulevard Heights while also including the Carondelet and Holly Hills neighborhoods along with parts of Mt. Pleasant and Dutchtown.
“During my time as 12th Ward Alderman, I’ve been focused on fighting the injustices and gaps that run deep throughout the city, which I’ve come to know firsthand during my years of public service,” said Stephens. “We’ve directed all our attention on what we can do to address the immediate problems, but not how we create sustainable solutions — we are fighting the symptoms rather than the illness. The reality is many of these issues Missouri faces cannot be handled on a local level alone. We need state and federal support, and the only way to ensure we have it is by having advocates for the people in every level of government.”
Born in St. Louis, Stephens was raised in both the southeastern village of Marquand, Missouri and the North County streets of Hazelwood, Missouri. He has held active and prominent roles in the St. Louis LGBTQIA+ community, from being a member of Growing American Youth, and eventually its youngest-ever board member, to becoming the Archivist and Library Coordinator for Pride St. Louis. As a public library professional specializing in youth services, Stephens saw daily the effects of unjust legal and social barriers on the lives of everyday citizens, which inspired him to run for political office in 2020. He now sets his eyes on continuing his career of public service at the state level advocating for much needed change.
“It is easy to say that representation matters, but as an openly gay male I’m only here because of others, both in St. Louis and across the country, that allowed me to see myself in public office,” added Stephens. “I’m excited at the chance to represent the queer community and the younger generation in Jefferson City, but I’m just as willing to take a step back when needed and elevate the voices our legislators need to hear the most when making policy decisions.”