Re-Vote in the 78th!

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Voters in the 78th Legislative District are re-voting the Representative’s primary on September 16, 2016. A judge found enough ballots cast against election regulations to warrant a new election. This only affects the 78th District race, none of the other races on that ballot. There are numerous stories out describing the situation leading up to this, as well as the candidates.

The 8th Ward Independent Dems. voted to endorse Bruce Franks, Jr. on the August 2nd ballot, and that endorsement continues forward. I’m out canvassing and spreading the word, and am looking forward to celebrating Bruce’s victory on the 16th.

Bruce’s campaign is all about the people. He isn’t afraid to listen to what people need, and then do the work to find solutions. He is endorsed by the Ethical Society of Police, created 28 to Life to help guide young men in the city forward, and is committed to saving lives. I’m excited about what he’ll be able to do in Jefferson City, and I hope you’ll back him, volunteer for him over this next week, and vote on September 16th.

Let me know if I can get you connected to his campaign to volunteer! And here’s a link to donate to his campaign: https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/bruce-franks-for-state-rep

We did it!

A HUGE thank you to all of the 8th Ward voters who showed up in force on Tuesday! These numbers are amazing! I’m so proud of the army of volunteers and friends that came out yesterday to help, as well as all throughout this race. You are truly incredible. From donations and encouragement at the beginning, to talking to your neighbors for me, walking through the muggy heat to meet people and pass out literature, and standing and saying my name at the polls yesterday. I’m honored and grateful that you’re trusting me to keep listening and keep working for you. And to former 8th Ward Committeewoman Cara Jensen for bringing me in, and believing in me this whole time. I’m excited to get started!

Congratulations also to Paul Fehler, our new 8th Ward Committeeman! I’m excited to get to work with someone whose knowledge of St. Louis is so incredibly thorough, and whose hard work is evident in all that he’s done so far here.

And hats off to Tony Zebrowski for his incredible organizing work and hard fought race here in the 8th, as well as all across the city for Mobilize MO and just getting people excited about participating in their local government. We’ve got work to do, and I’m glad for your skills in getting things done!

And I have much respect for Norah Ryan, who has done so much good, hard work in Tower Grove East and in our ward. Thank you for a good race, and I’m looking forward to working with you within the 8th Ward Dems as well.

And to all of the newcomers on the Central Committee – Madeline Buthod, Torrey Park, Sara Johnson, Wendy Campbell, Bryan Walsh, and Marty Joe Murray Jr., I couldn’t be more thrilled to work alongside you and the other members of the Central Committee. We have a lot to learn from hard working committee people, and I’m pumped to be joining the “oldies,” (that’s for you, Lori Lamprich) too! Let’s get to work!

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Vote Tuesday, August 2nd!


[Transcript of the video]
I’m Annie Rice and I’m running to be your 8th Ward Democratic Committeewoman. I feel like I’ve been discouraged from questioning decision makers, and I get upset when anyone is overlooked or silenced. No one should be kept out of conversations about the important decisions that affect our lives. I’m not afraid to call out things that are wrong, or to challenge policies that are problematic, or uplift things that we’re doing right. I want to gain your trust as a listener and someone who values your perspective and concerns. I strongly believe that we work best when we work together, when we’re connected and communicating, no matter how long we’ve lived here, our income levels, or our political connections. I’m Annie Rice, and I’m asking for your vote on Tuesday August 2nd.

If you haven’t yet, please take the survey linked above at “I want to hear from you” or by clicking here: http://www.annierice8thward.com/survey

 

 

Quick note

My awesome team of people got our survey/door hangers out around the ward this week, soliciting your input on communication with your elected officials and involvement in our local Democratic ward organization.
I was honored that Kevin McKinney allowed me to include a quote of his supporting my candidacy on the door hanger. I just want to be clear, that Kevin was PERSONALLY speaking about me, and that I have not received, nor have I sought, an endorsement from SLACO, a nonprofit organization that does great work in the St. Louis area. I support their mission as a non-political organization, and want to be clear that Kevin’s words were personal, and not in any way connected to the organization.
I trust this clears up any possible confusion.

Eat Pizza – Meet Annie!

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Come and eat pizza on the patio at Shaw Market! Let’s talk about the August 2nd election, and about progress in the 8th Ward. We’ll have voter registration forms for the November election if you’ve moved and need to update, or register for the first time, and I’ll have yard signs, flyers, and other opportunities to help out with my campaign here in the days before the election, but mostly, let’s get together as a community and eat together!

My speech to the 8th Ward Independent Democrats Association Tonight*

“I’m Annie Rice, and I’m running to be your committeewoman. I was interested this role because of my passion for the community – for conversation and relationships within our community that lead to better lives for us all. I come at this from a place of love, for people, our city, and our region, believing that it is only when we remember and include all of our neighbors, especially those whose voices aren’t in positions of power, and keep even those outside of our ward as a part of the conversation, that we truly do what is best for our community. I keep saying that word “community” because it’s true that the 8th ward has some of the most involved and consistent voters in the city. We are people who care deeply about our ward and our city, and I’m interested in moving us even further down that path – to examine the ways that we do business, the way we talk to, and about our neighbors, and the ways we build relationships here, so that we’re really looking at this as a holistic community to continue to move us forward.

One of the things we’re seeing in the city is division – along the Delmar divide, among racial and socio-economic differences, between police and the people, from one ward to the next, and it seems we’re having a hard time being present enough with each other to build those relationships so that we know we aren’t acting just for our own good, but for the good of all. That might mean partnering with and inviting in other organizations to speak to and with us, or thinking about moving our meetings to a space that is more accessible and friendlier to those who might not feel safe in a church, or even opening up our meetings to more free-form discussion and debate. I think it’s worth looking into what is dividing us, and trying to see what would need to be true for us all to come to the table together, even if we disagree.

The other reason I’m running is because I believe we have a great opportunity with the energy surrounding this election cycle to bring in new people. Also, the tensions in our city have brought about a desire to be involved in the process, and one way to bring people in off the streets is to give them a place to be heard and to participate. I think the democratic party is best positioned to do that, but it’s going to take work, and a new way of looking at things. And on a central committee level, I’m interested in working in the party to have a democratic farm team of sorts – of new and energetic leadership ready to move into positions when they are vacated, and maybe even reach into Republican districts and take some seats back in Jefferson City – but that’s going to take new involvement, lots of hard work, and a willingness to change the ways things have always been done.

I can’t do these things alone, and this organization has a long history of engagement in the ward, and I think is best set up to work on some of these goals. I am looking forward to serving the community with you, and I hope for your vote tonight, and on August 2nd.”

I did not get the votes to secure the endorsement, but that was not unexpected. That doesn’t change anything for me, and I’ll keep working hard to meet you, help you get to know me, and truly bring more people to the table so that we are all represented well. See you soon!

*(Give or take a few words and phrases, I didn’t read it directly.)

From STLMag: … a Doomed St. Louis Neighborhood

People asking questions about whether or not decisions are being made with consideration for all of the members of our community are often labeled as the negative crowd, the people who don’t want progress or change. Critical questions don’t mean we just want to say “no” to everything, but rather we want all of the people being impacted to have a say, or at least have a good explanation as to why something is being done the way it is. Frankly, we just want to be listened to as valuable members of the community, and have our concerns truly taken into account. The NGA might do good things on the north side, but we cannot gloss over the people who are being incredibly negatively impacted by imminent domain.
 
I thought this quote was indicative of the current atmosphere in our local government:
 
“Just before I had met with Harris and Hutson on Wednesday, I attended another Board of Aldermen committee hearing. Several younger aldermen and women are trying to reform our government and make the city a better place, yet I witness at hearing after hearing contempt from older colleagues, including snide comments, eye-rolling, and sighs. It makes me wonder if they will be there when the Rendons watch their family home crashing down, toppled by a bulldozer. Or if they will have the courage to look Harris in the eye after her business is destroyed by their decisions. Or what they would say to Harris’ client, five or six months from now, as he sits at home, isolated and deprived not just of small pleasures like listening to symphonies but of the caretakers he had come to befriend and trust.”
Link to Chris Naffziger’s full article:

2016 Misogyny

“It’s 2016. A woman is likely to be the Democratic Party nominee for president. And yet here in St. Louis, a woman running for office doesn’t even get a seat at the table when her own future is being discussed. Instead, a top aide to one of the city’s most powerful politicians feeling out what it would take ‘to make that go away’ — ‘that’ being the woman’s bid for a position in the local party power structure — addressed the question to her husband.”
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When people ask why we still have gendered positions in the Democratic Central Committee, I explain that just because it’s 2016 doesn’t mean that it’s not still a good old boys club, and misogyny is still a big issue. There are good people in Saint Louis, and plenty of men who will stand up for women and our ability to dictate our own lives, and we have some powerful women too, but there are too many men who act as if we’re unequal. If we didn’t have spots marked just for women, we might be surprised (or not) at how few seats women would truly hold, especially in leadership.
Good civic leadership is serving and empowering your community, including fostering and empowering new leadership, not just holding onto power.

Let’s do this.

 

St. Louis has become world famous recently, but probably not because of any reasons we would have chosen. The NFL teased us and tossed us aside, our region has become synonymous with oppressive policing and high crime rates, and we’re currently trying to figure out which of our elected officials truly represent the people, and which represent only their own interests. There is an assumption that the way we’ve been doing things is enough, that if we just keep going the way we’re going, then we’ll get somewhere we really want to be. But how is that working out? Are we improving? Staying the same? Getting worse?

The 8th Ward is doing well for some of its residents, but there is always more work to be done here, and whatever happens in our larger city and region affect us here too. When any of us suffer, we all suffer. When the families who have lived in their homes for generations can’t afford the upkeep, and tax incentives are only given to new homeowners, the old families end up having to leave, tearing up their family and community roots as they go. The neighborhood schools are disappearing, and educational inequality grows while the community suffers as neighbors aren’t in school together and miss out on growing up together. Big chain coffee gets tax incentives to place a store within a mile of 5 locally-owned small coffee shops and cafés.

St. Louis, and particularly the 8th Ward, is a great place to live, for some. Should we be working to make it an even better place to live for a few, or a great place to live for all? I believe we should be working for all. A Committee Woman exists to 1. Encourage people to become involved in the democratic process through voter registration and organization to get out the vote; 2. Communicate the views and needs of the Ward to the Democratic Central Committee and our elected officials; 3. Stimulate and facilitate discussion of important issues facing the Ward, the City of St. Louis, the state of Missouri, and the nation; 4. Educate Ward residents regarding current ballot initiatives and legislation that will affect them; 5. Serve as a voice for the future of the Missouri Democratic Party in the City of St. Louis.

I am a Shaw resident. I am a millennial, a renter, and I have a law degree with the student debt to prove it. I’m active in my community both professionally and on my own time. I’m a member of South City Solidarity and a supporter of Black Lives Matter. I believe a progressive Democratic Party has the best tools to move us forward into a new era of growth and equality, but I believe that more of us need to be involved in the process for that to happen.

That’s why I’m excited and honored to have filed to run for Democratic Committeewoman for the 8th Ward, and am looking forward to getting to know even more of you, and more about what we can do together in the coming months and years!

I’ll be announcing a campaign kickoff and fundraiser here in the coming weeks, but I’ll be posting here as issues come up that I believe we should be working on and interested in, because there’s a lot of voting to be done this year on lots of important issues for our ward the city, the state, and the country. Make sure you’re registered to vote (ask me if you need assistance with that) and let’s do this!