November Ballot Measures Forum

Did you miss the 8th Ward Dems meeting last month but still want information about the ballot initiatives on the November 8th ballot? The 15th Ward Dems organized this event and invited everyone to join them! Please let me know if you have any questions!
(And FYI – The 8th Ward Dems endorsed a Yes vote on Amendments 1 and 2, and No votes on Amendments 3, 4, 6, and Proposition A. If you have any questions about those endorsements, please ask!)
Issues Forum: 2016 Ballot Measures (on Nov. 8th ballot)
Thursday, October 6th
6:30PM
Carpenter Library
3309 S. Grand Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63118
Overview: Speakers will be allotted 5 minutes to present their case for or against each ballot measure, followed by brief Q&A from the audience.
In a nutshell, the Amendments are focused on the following:

*Amendment 1 – Continuing sales/use tax used for soil and water conservation and for state parks and historic sites

*Amendment 2 – Campaign contribution reform

*Amendment 3 – An increase in cigarette taxes and fees to be deposited into a newly established Early Childhood Health and Education Trust Fund. The tax increase will be each year through 2020, at which point this additional tax will total 60 cents per pack of 20. This amendment also creates a fee paid by cigarette wholesalers of 67 cents per pack of 20 on certain cigarettes.

*Amendment 4 – Prohibits a new state or local sales/use or other similar tax on any service or transaction. This amendment only applies to any service or transaction that was not subject to a sales/use or similar tax as of January 1, 2015.

*Amendment 6 – Voter ID required at polls. Voters may be required by law to verify their identity, citizenship, and residence by presenting identification that may include valid government-issued photo identification.

*Proposition A – An increase in cigarette taxes to be used exclusively to fund transportation infrastructure projects. Tax increases will be in 2017, 2019, and 2021, at which point this additional tax will total 23 cents per pack of 20. This amendment also increases the tax paid by sellers on other tobacco products by 5 percent of manufacturer’s invoice price.

Further details regarding the 2016 Ballot Measures can be found at:
https://www.sos.mo.gov/petitions/2016BallotMeasures

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.