St. Louis Association of Community Organizations (SLACO)

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Executive Director: Kevin McKinney
Email: kmckinney@slaco-mo.orgSLACO
Phone: (314) 361-9406
Address: 5888 Plymouth Ave., St. Louis, MO 63112

The St. Louis Association of Community Organizations (SLACO) is a coalition of neighborhood associations in the St. Louis metropolitan area. SLACO was established in the late 1970s and incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation in 1978. The organization has been addressing a broad range of issues related to strengthening neighborhoods throughout its 36-year history.

SLACO’s membership includes all types of neighborhoods and represents 33 percent of the population of the City of St. Louis. Each neighborhood group addresses the needs and concerns of its residents. While the depth and severity of problems facing neighborhoods vary, many challenges are shared by almost all of the area’s neighborhoods.

SLACO’s goal is to enlist every neighborhood association in the metropolitan area as a member in order to improve peer learning opportunities and increase visibility in the event that member neighborhoods decide they want to take joint action. Members have an opportunity to talk informally with leaders from different kinds of neighborhoods over the course of the year.

One of SLACO’s goals for the next three years is to continue and expand the place-based programs and services that are a part of the organization’s history and future. This includes SLACO’s work in the Etzel Community Center. Presently, SLACO’s work is concentrated in the City’s West End and Visitation Park neighborhoods. For two years, SLACO has been engaged with its partners in planning and implementing the West End Collaborative.

SLACO is guided by principles of self-determination, democracy, and an undying faith in the goodness and wisdom of the people in St. Louis’s neighborhoods. The SLACO board consists of one representative from each member organization in addition to a few “at-large” members who share their relationships and skills with SLACO’s team. SLACO’s professional staff works on issues and projects that are determined by the Board and neighborhood leaders.