Sunday, July 01, 2018

Issue Endorsements for the August 7th Ballot

The 15th Ward Democrats endorsements are based on the vote of our eligible members. We are pleased to announce our endorsements for the propositions on the August 7th primary. 

     Proposition A  OPPOSE
             ("Right to Work")

      Proposition 1  OPPOSE
             ($50 million city bond issue)






Sunday, June 10, 2018

Candidate Endorsements for the August 7th Democratic Primary

The 15th Ward Democrats endorsements are based on the vote of our eligible members. We are pleased to announce our endorsements for the August 7th primary.  Links to the candidates' responses to the 15th Ward Dems questionnaires and to the candidates' websites are included, so you can learn more about the endorsed candidates.

     US Senate  Claire McCaskill   response ● website

      State Auditor  Nicole Galloway   no response ● website

     US House (CD 1)  Cori Bush   response ● website

     State Representative (Dist. 80)  Peter Merideth   response ● website

     Collector of Revenue  Gregory F.X. Daly   no response ● website

     License Collector  Dana Kelly-Franks   response ● website

     Recorder of Deeds  Michael Butler   response ● website









Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Candidate Questionnaire Responses - August 7, 2018 Primary

The 15th Ward Democrats sent a questionnaire to each Democrat running in the August 7th primary election for U.S. Senate, Missouri State Auditor, U.S. House (Dist 1), Missouri State Rep. (Dist. 80), St. Louis City Collector of Revenue, St. Louis City License Collector, and St. Louis City Recorder of Deeds.  We present here the responses received from the candidates. We hope that this information will assist you as you make your decision in the August 7th Primary.

The 15th Ward Dems will vote on endorsements in each of these races at an endorsement meeting of all eligible voting members.

For United State Senator:
  Carla (Coffee) Wright
  Angelica Earl - Response
  Leonard Joseph Steinman II
  John Hogan
  Travis Gonzalez
  David Faust
  Claire McCaskill - Response

For Missouri State Auditor:
  Nicole Galloway

For United States Representative (MO - Dist. 1):
  Cori Bush - Response
  DeMarco K. Davidson - Response
  Joshua Shipp - Response
  Lacy Clay - Response

For Missouri State Representative (Dist. 80):
  Peter Merideth - Response
  Mariah Vandiver

For St. Louis Collector of Revenue:
  Gregory F.X. Daly

For St. Louis License Collector:
  Mavis "Tessa" Thompson - Response
  Dana Kelly-Franks - Response

For St. Louis Recorder of Deeds:
  Michael Butler - Response
  Sharon Quigley Carpenter - Response
  Jimmie Matthews





15th Ward Democrats Candidates Forum - June 7

Please join us for the 15th Ward Democrats Candidates Forum. Invitations have been extended to all Democratic candidates for the following offices: U.S. Senate, U.S. House (Dist. 1), MO State Auditor, State Representative (Dist. 80), St. Louis License Collector, St. Louis Recorder of Deeds, St. Louis Collector of Revenue.


Response from Angelica Earl, Candidate for United States Senator

1. What do you view as the key role, and/or attributes needed for this position? What experience/attributes do you have that qualify you for this position?

A US Senator needs dignity, integrity, and witt with strong morals and values. Having the willpower to tell corporations and lobbyists that you will not except their bribes proves those attributes. I come from the Health Insurance Marketplace where I’ve seen the unexceptable income inequality and worked with immigrants on qualifying for ACA coverage. I’ve spoken with hundreds of people all across our country about their insurance and livelihoods. I was also told that I was the second largest petition gatherer for Show Me Cannabis in 2010 and have stayed involved with Cannabis reform since.


2. Why do you think you are the best person for this position? What differentiates you from your opponent(s)?

I know we can afford Medicare-For-All and helping our veterans. I know we can have affordable colleges and universities. I’m working for real criminal justice reform and busting up our farming monopolies that are slowly starving our state. I stand strongly behind unions by showing that renewable energy is the future for our country and our labor unions. I also have the attention of nursing unions because I am fighting for Universal Health care. I accept no money from corporations or lobbyists, meaning I work only for the people to secure a happy, healthy, and a successful future for all of us.


3. What do you feel are the most pressing issues currently facing this office and what plans do you have to address these issues? (please be specific)

Money in politics is the greatest issue we are facing as a country. You cannot fix any other problem correctly until money is no longer driving the discussion, and you can’t fix the problem if you are part of the problem. I have signed onto American Promise and Move to Amend, both promising that I will work to pass a constitutional amendment making it illegal to pay politicians. I live this promise by not accepting their help.


4. Describe how you work with, or will work with, others to address your priorities.

I have truth, statistics, facts, and history on my side. I tentatively listen to everyone, but will not bow to misinformation. Standing stern in the face of lies to work towards a better future. Holding listening sessions to get the voice of the people and recruiting local experts and local leaders to help craft policy and craft amendments to bills that make them a bit better for the people is an essential part of my strategy.


5. Who are your 3 largest campaign contributors? Are there donors from whom you will not accept campaign contributions?

I only accept small individual contributions.


6. Since the shooting death of Michael Brown and the national rise of the Black Lives Matter Movement, criminal justice reform has become a national topic of conversation, yet few changes have been made on a national level. If elected, will you make criminal justice reform, and racial equity, a priority in Washington? If so, how?

Yes, criminal justice reform is one of our most important platform points. Working to bring the laws in line with the will of the people should also reduce tensions between police and the public and reduce unnecessary and potentially dangerous stops, so taking actions such as descheduling cannabis will go a long way to help.

I will work to end private prisons, which our entire country feels the effects of. I will also work to instate compassion training. This is ongoing training that police officers must be a part of on a monthly or bi-monthly basis that will continually teach our officers how to handle different situations such as mental health issues, physical health issues, and children.

With this ideas and goals, we can help bring communities back together.


7. What do you believe is the biggest danger posed by the Trump administration, and how do you plan to fight it?

Fighting the current administration starts with elected officials being strong enough to stand firm against him and not accept and vote for his goals. Standing against tyranny and oppression, instead of voting for it. Finding ways to reach across the aisle without sacrificing our future.


8. Are there any issues you believe you could work with the Trump administration on? Which ones?

Trump promised he would drain the swamp, balance our trade, and bring new jobs to the country. Legislation on getting money out of politics and reducing the influence of lobbyists and SuperPACs would turn off the tap and help us truly drain the swamp. Instead of these atrocious tariffs, I could work with the president to narrowly and carefully negotiate through the currency exchange abuses, nations like China engage in, that pushes our trade out of balance, without starting damaging trade wars all over the world. And finally, a Federal Jobs Guarantee that will help him fill that campaign promise and help provide good jobs for Americans.


9. If you could ask each of your opponents one question, what would it be? (You may specify a different question for each opponent or the same question for both.)

I have only one question:

Claire McCaskill: If you truly work for the people, will you give back all of the money you’ve accepted from major corporations and work towards spreading the truth about the banking deregulations, that you voted to approve, hurting the working people of Missouri?

Response from Claire McCaskill, Candidate for United States Senator

1. What do you view as the key role, and/or attributes needed for this position? What experience/attributes do you have that qualify you for this position?

My career has never been about checking boxes to be the first or seeking political popularity– it’s been about doing what’s right and fighting on behalf of Missourians. In 2006, I became the first woman elected to the Senate from Missouri. I began my tenure by leading a six-year-long battle to rein in wasteful wartime contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan and addressed tens of billions of wasted taxpayer dollars. I turned the magnifying glass back on Washington by leading a Senate panel to root out waste, fraud and abuse of power in every federal agency. I led the successful effort to oust the failed leadership at Arlington National Cemetery over mismarked and unmarked gravesites for military veterans, and transformed it into a cutting-edge facility. And in 2012, I took down Todd Akin–the extreme right-wing Republican who infamously argued that victims of “legitimate rape” have a way to “shut down” resulting pregnancies. I’ve since continued fighting in the Senate to curb sexual assault in our military and on our college and university campuses. Throughout my career, I’ve fought for and alongside Missourians to deliver real progress. I’m committed to fighting for transparency, fairness and stronger accountability to give Americans more confidence in their federal government. I maintain strong roots in Missouri and return home nearly every weekend to spend time with my husband, Joseph, and our blended family of seven children and eleven wonderful grandchildren.


2. Why do you think you are the best person for this position? What differentiates you from your opponent(s)?

I am a daughter of rural Missouri who has fought and achieved concrete results for my state. I’ve been unafraid to go after anyone or anything to do what's right for Missouri, and to root out waste, fraud, and abuse in the federal government. I understand that Missourians are my bosses -- and I have showed up in every corner of the state to hear their concerns and ideas, and bring their voices back to Washington. I make it a point to listen to all Missourians. Throughout my time in the Senate, I have delivered several key victories for Missourians: from successfully targeting abuse by credit card companies and fraudulent robocalls, to my work to curb sexual assaults in the military and on college campuses, to the Arla Harrell Act -- the culmination of a two-year battle to deliver decades-overdue relief to veterans intentionally exposed to mustard gas during World War II. I always put Missouri first, and Missourians know they can count on me.


3. What do you feel are the most pressing issues currently facing this office and what plans do you have to address these issues? (please be specific)

I am committed to continuing the work that I’ve started in the Senate—everything from curbing sexual assault in the military and on college campuses, to reducing prescription drug costs, to protecting veterans. At a time when our politics have never seemed more polarized, I am committed to working with members of both parties to make progress and get things done for Missourians. I am not afraid to stand up to anyone – including members of my own party – to put the best interests of the people of Missouri first, and I will continue to work across the aisle to find common ground.


4. Describe how you work with, or will work with, others to address your priorities.

I am willing to work with anyone to get things done on behalf of Missourians. According to Congressional Quarterly, I had the 5th most independent voting record in 2017 and my Republican colleagues consistently praise me for my willingness to reach across the aisle. Republican Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas said, “If you want to pick somebody to work in a bipartisan manner and get something done…You ask Claire McCaskill.” Together with my colleagues, I have successfully worked to get things done on issues like fixing the ACA, protecting seniors, lowering prescription drug costs, rolling back unnecessary regulations, fighting sexual trafficking, and curbing sexual assault in the military.


5. Who are your 3 largest campaign contributors? Are there donors from whom you will not accept campaign contributions?

The campaign does not disclose strategies, plans, or budgets related to our fundraising.


6. Since the shooting death of Michael Brown and the national rise of the Black Lives Matter Movement, criminal justice reform has become a national topic of conversation, yet few changes have been made on a national level. If elected, will you make criminal justice reform, and racial equity, a priority in Washington? If so, how?

During my time as Senator, I have made reforming our criminal justice system a priority. I was one of the first statewide elected officials on the ground in Ferguson, and I called for the de-militarization of police response to protesters and de-escalation of tensions. I also joined with Congressman Lacy Clay to introduce legislation to address police accountability in the programs that equip local police departments after Ferguson. I have also worked on legislation to reform the criminal justice system, cosponsoring the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2017 to reduce mandatory minimums for drug offenses, and have strongly supported a top-to-bottom review of our criminal justice system. I will continue working to make criminal justice reform a priority.


7. What do you believe is the biggest danger posed by the Trump administration, and how do you plan to fight it?

When my feet hit the ground every morning, I’m thinking about how I can make progress for Missourians. And while I don’t believe it’s my job to fight the President – it’s my job to fight for Missouri – nothing will ever stop me from fighting back when President Trump does something that is not in the best interests of Missouri. That’s why I voted against the Republican tax legislation, which was a huge giveaway to drug companies and health insurance companies at the expense of everyday Missourians. I voted against Republican attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. And I have spoken out against the President’s tariffs, which would be devastating to Missouri farmers and our economy. I will continue to oppose any Trump Administration’s policies that hurt Missouri families while looking for opportunities to work together with Republicans when possible.


8. Are there any issues you believe you could work with the Trump administration on? Which ones?

Where there are opportunities to work with the Trump administration on priorities that will improve the lives of Missourians, I will do so. One area in which I have said I’m interested in working with the Trump administration is infrastructure. Since he took office, President Trump has also signed over 20 pieces of legislation that I have either helped to draft, sponsored, or co-sponsored. I am willing to put in the work to figure out where there is common ground and how we can get things done together.


9. If you could ask each of your opponents one question, what would it be? (You may specify a different question for each opponent or the same question for both.)

If Hawley isn’t willing to do the hard work of Attorney General or stand up to his biggest donors and allies, how can we expect him to do anything differently in the Senate?

Response from Cori Bush, Candidate for U.S. Representative (Dist. 1)

1. What do you view as the key role, and/or attributes needed for this position? What experience/attributes do you have that qualify you for this position?

This position demands someone that is a strong leader that reflects the people I serve. When I say I am the people I represent, it's not a campaign slogan. I will walk into the capitol building in 2018 carrying with me the months I spent homeless, the children I raised on my own, the patients who can't afford medication and the assault I suffered protesting injustice.

I have never lived anywhere but St. Louis. When I talk about jobs and opportunity rather than tear gas and tanks, it's because I worked a dead-end job and watched tanks roll through the streets of my city.

And when I say St. Louis needs leadership, everyone listening knows I’m right. And they know it needs to be me.


2. Why do you think you are the best person for this position? What differentiates you from your opponent(s)?

Running for congress is not a career move for me. It's the only way to guarantee that my mental health patients will get the medication they need, that young mothers in my congregation will have child care so they can work and that my city will no longer be haunted by injustice. I want to replace the legacy of injustice in St. Louis with real leadership, and I am the perfect candidate to do it.


3. What do you feel are the most pressing issues currently facing this office and what plans do you have to address these issues? (please be specific)

Every day I am looking for resources to help clients to get the medication they so desperately need. Many make too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to afford insurance. Medicare for all would help our clients become stable. It could also help with transportation which is a huge barrier.

I often see patients falling through the cracks as they lose Medicaid. Once my patients become pre-transient, it’s hard to get them stable again.”

Medicare for all, I believe would relieve so much frustration for nurses—the time we lose looking for resources. We could focus more on caring for our patients. I have patients who don’t even realize they are getting better because they are so stressed about how to get their prescription filled next time.

We also see kids who are not in college or kids who have to leave college that are dropped by their insurance. Medicare for all would help those families.

I will hold information sessions to gain more insight on the solutions then co-sponsor a bill to push this through.


4. Describe how you work with, or will work with, others to address your priorities.

Connect, networking and standing true to my values while giving my colleagues the opportunity to explain the ideas. I will harness that network during our bi-weekly staff check-in.


5. Who are your 3 largest campaign contributors? Are there donors from whom you will not accept campaign contributions?

Steve Philips, Nick Apperson and Savanna Cooper have each given a significant amount of money yet they are always asking to be involved other aspects of the campaign. We will not accept cooperate contribution. However, our donors are mainly from local shops and progressive individuals.


6. Since the shooting death of Michael Brown and the national rise of the Black Lives Matter Movement, criminal justice reform has become a national topic of conversation, yet few changes have been made on a national level. If elected, will you make criminal justice reform, and racial equity, a priority in Washington? If so, how?

I’ve created an organization to focus on these issues in Missouri. The Ferguson Truth Project came out of the Michael Brown murder. The media and the police had their own narrative but it was not what we were seeing on the ground. It thought it was an opportunity for real people to get their stories out. So we decided to build a national platform where their stories could be told. Someone else was getting to the families first before they could tell their stories. We pulled together activists from all over the country. I will invite the people affected by this issue to Washington, DC to speak out on these issues and I will lend my voice to help make sure their voices are heard.


7. What do you believe is the biggest danger posed by the Trump administration, and how do you plan to fight it?

During a 2016 Presidential debate Trump referenced the agreement saying, "NAFTA is the worst trade deal maybe ever signed anywhere, but certainly ever signed in this country.

`Now he takes a very different tone, promising the leaders of Mexico and Canada that he will impose tariffs while ignoring NAFTA.

Trump won the election, in part, because of his hardline against foreign trade alliances, say organizers, noting that NAFTA was largely unpopular in the 1990s because the public feared the alliance would have negative impacts on the American economy and trigger a loss of manufacturing job to Mexico and Canada.


8. Are there any issues you believe you could work with the Trump administration on? Which ones?

Not sure if he has made up his made about progressive issues but replacing the school to prison pipeline with a school to prosperity pipeline may be a place that we can work together.


9. If you could ask each of your opponents one question, what would it be? (You may specify a different question for each opponent or the same question for both.)

I would ask what they feel are the most pressing issues currently facing this office and what plans do you have to address these issues?

Response from DeMarco K. Davidson, Candidate for U.S. Representative (Dist. 1)

1. What do you view as the key role, and/or attributes needed for this position? What experience/attributes do you have that qualify you for this position?

A member of Congress has a few key roles:
1. Make laws that protect & strengthen the American public.
2. Influence Congress to do what is best for the American public.
3. Organize constituents & communities to demand change in DC and Jefferson City.
4. Serve constituents by bringing requested & needed resources to the represented area.

In 2003, I served as the Regional Vice President of my fraternal organization where I was responsible for governing the members in Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, and a section of Arkansas. Along with learning the culture of hundreds of members, I also shared their concerns to our national officers.

In 2008, I served as a field organizer for Candidate Barack Obama, organizing most of the North City Wards. Along with teaching & serving in the public schools, I saw & heard first hand the daily struggles that the citizens of STL endured. After the election, I helped other candidates and continued to organize communities to address business practices that were hazardous like predatorial payday loans and poverty minimum wages.

In 2014, when Mike Brown Jr. was murdered, through the request of a friend and the Brown family attorney, I established the Michael Brown Jr. Memorial Fund, becoming the volunteer Trustee for most of the funds donated to the family for their daily living expenses. During this time, I assisted in organizing actions to address the injustices that challenged the STL communities.


2. Why do you think you are the best person for this position? What differentiates you from your opponent(s)?

After graduating from Missouri S&T in 2006, I came home to St. Louis with the skill set of recognizing flaws in systems & processes for improvement. In Engineering Management, we say that the word S.Y.S.T.E.M. is an acronym for Save Yourself Some Time, Energy, and Money. When we look at the systems of America, we have to ask ourselves WHO is saving time, energy, and money with our current education system, our healthcare system, our justice system, and our current political system? With the help of the community, we can improve these systems to be more beneficial for all Americans.

I am not running against any of the other candidates. I’m running for a unified vision of St. Louis. I am the only candidate who suggests the recommendations from the Ferguson Commission and support the Forward Through Ferguson’s initiative of #STL2039. Because St. Louis is such a unique city, we need community-oriented solutions and a leader who can organize the people, communities, and businesses.

I am the only candidate who is focused on the development of new industries that will lead to the creation of new jobs to force America to upgrade its education system. America becomes less competitive in the global market each year. Not enough jobs have been created to replace all of the American jobs now in other countries. I’m the only candidate that will be able to address how the development of automation & artificial intelligence will affect the future of the American job market.

I am the only candidate that is ONE of the 82 MILLION Americans who have inadequate or no health insurance. When elected, I have vowed to not accept the health insurance offered for members of Congress until ALL Americans have adequate & affordable healthcare. I am also the only candidate that suggest that we need a patented medicine review board to regulate the cost of medications & services so that we can develop a Single-Payer system.

I am the only candidate that has participated in the development in an alternative to shelters for the homeless. Since 2014, I have worked to provide consistent, sustainable homes for the unhoused every Winter so that men and women have quality food, water, shelter, and a supportive community.

I am the only candidate that addresses the decreasing population in St. Louis in comparison to Missouri and America. If there is power in numbers, then St. Louis has consistently lost political power for the past 70 years. If we do not repopulate our city, we will continue to be looked over on opportunities for economic growth.

I am the only candidate that organized communities to collect over 15,000 signatures for the Clean Missouri & Raise Up the Minimum Wage ballot initiatives that will be on the ballot in November.

Lastly, I am the only candidate that showed up to the March for Our Lives – STL Chapter Townhall. This townhall was incredibly important because the students and community members had a chance to ask in-depth questions from the candidates. As someone who has mentored and taught over 1000 high school students, I understand the importance of having discussions with the next generation of leaders. Our young leaders deserve more than parental escorts during rallies and photo-ops from us.


3. What do you feel are the most pressing issues currently facing this office and what plans do you have to address these issues? (please be specific)

Accountability is one of the main issues facing the 1st District office. Many people have shared with me how they don’t feel as if ANY elected officials are willing to be held accountable. The main reason why my slogan is “From STL, For STL” is because I have so many family members and students that still live in almost every neighborhood in St. Louis City & County. I understand that every decision in DC & Jefferson City will affect St. Louis and my loved ones.

St. Louis also lacks a unified vision of success for the future. This office could be a catalyst for a unified vision where the City & the County can remain separate entities if they choose but develop uniform business practices so that our public & social services become more streamlined.


4. Describe how you work with, or will work with, others to address your priorities.

I have a distributive power leadership style where I believe people operate at their highest capacity when they are working on something that they are passionate about. I believe that culture eats strategy for breakfast. One can have all the strategies they desire but if those strategies are not influencing the culture, then those strategies are useless. Throughout my life I have been someone who has learn how to navigate in cultures without assimilating to them and be able to challenge cultures. I’m a visionary. I am Progressive but also pragmatic.

I have been a mentor too many young adults and children. I will utilize the office to train and develop the next group of political leaders to collaboratively work strategically on growing the political influence of St. Louis. I believe many things begin and end with leadership. I am willing to support and work with local & state candidates who have personally told me they are supporting other candidates in the US Congress election. If I feel a candidate is the best candidate for a community, then it does not matter if he or she is supporting me. Supporting the best candidate supports and provides better leadership to the community.


5. Who are your 3 largest campaign contributors? Are there donors from whom you will not accept campaign contributions?

$300: Marquinn Duke – Fraternity Brother, Graduate of Mizzou, Neurosurgeon

$275: Tawnya Davidson – Sister & Campaign Co-Manager, Graduate of Hazelwood, SEMO, UMSL – Licensed Clinical Social Worker

$200: TIED: Michael Brown Sr. (Self Employed: Public Speaker) & Carey Davis (Friend since Jr. High, Former NFL Player, New Head Football Coach for Hazelwood Central HS)

I will not accept campaign contributions from companies that earn profit from war/conflict, the prison industrial complex, or companies that weaken Unions.


6. Since the shooting death of Michael Brown and the national rise of the Black Lives Matter Movement, criminal justice reform has become a national topic of conversation, yet few changes have been made on a national level. If elected, will you make criminal justice reform, and racial equity, a priority in Washington? If so, how?

Yes, Criminal Justice Reform & Racial Equity will be top priorities.

St. Louis currently is the sixth most segregated metropolitan area in the country. As stated earlier, I am the only candidate suggesting to implement the Forward Through Ferguson Initiative of #STL2039 that calls for the creation of a 25-year managed fund to solely support regional racial equity infrastructure for all sectors. I will work with those who are already focused on this effort and work to find the addition finances needed.

As the Volunteer Executive Director of the Michael Brown Sr.’s Chosen for Change Foundation, I have been honored to serve many families who have had family members killed either by police violence or community violence. While the community violence is systemic and can definitely be eliminated by targeting poverty, police violence continues to rise in spite of protesting and community organizing. I’ve met with some of the highest ranking police in the city. I have come to the disappointed conclusion that they are more concerned with public relations instead of public relationships. A cousin of mine was killed in the line of duty as an STL City police officer. My brother is currently a police officer. I want my brother to make it home safely but I also want my nieces and nephews to make it home safely too who have experienced racial profiling.

We have to look at the root causes of crime which often is poverty influenced. Not only will I work to save jobs but also create jobs. We must create immediate-entry jobs for those who have basic skills but also create jobs for those with advance skills & degrees. We have to decriminalize marijuana. We must utilize and maximize our drug courts. We need to spend more money on mental and emotional health for children. I don’t support for-profit prisons for this is one of the greatest failures of America. Our penitentiary system should be focusing on rehabilitation.

According to The Sentencing Project, 6.1 million Americans were prohibited from voting in the 2016 Presidential election due to laws that disenfranchised citizens convicted of felony offenses. As we continue to dismantle pipelines to prison with the hopes of reforming away from mass incarceration, we can take the step of improving our democracy by stop treating the “right to vote” as if it is a privilege. This creates a growing population of people who become subject to laws that they never have an ability to speak against. I will work to restore voting rights.


7. What do you believe is the biggest danger posed by the Trump administration, and how do you plan to fight it?

The obvious biggest threat is an ego-fueled nuclear war or war touching the mainland of the United States. I’m not sure how great any one person can combat against that successfully without being treasonous.

The second biggest threat of the Trump administration is how this administration is exponentially increasing the gap of wealth in America. America is NOT the wealthiest “country” in the world. It does, however, have a majority of the wealthiest “people” in the world. Trump’s administration is doing the bidding of those who have extreme capitalistic intentions who do not value the lives of the working class of America. If we continue to define success as an accumulation of wealth, then the people who run corporations will do whatever it takes to remain in power.

Repealing Citizens United and limiting campaign contributions is something that I support already. Instead of limiting campaign contributions, I suggest we cap how much politicians are allowed to raise for and spend on campaigns. The capped amount will be determined by which political office is being sought and the number of registered voters a year before the election.

For example, a congressional race may only be allowed to raise & spend $1 per registered voter. It will not matter how much one person or company donates. Candidates and communities will focus more on increasing the number of registered voters which also increases the voices of the people but also limits how much money can be spent. This will offer encourage incumbents to work harder on serving constituents instead of constantly fundraising.


8. Are there any issues you believe you could work with the Trump administration on? Which ones?

At this point, I do not trust Trump or his administration to work on any issues. Trump appears to surround himself with people who validate what Trump believes to be true which is not the truth for the majority of America.


9. If you could ask each of your opponents one question, what would it be? (You may specify a different question for each opponent or the same question for both.)
Congressman Clay: Would you be willing to mentor one of the other candidates if she or he wins the primary?

Candidates Bush & Shipp: How do you plan to deal with the constant decrease of population in St. Louis that has been occurring for 70 years?

Response from Joshua Shipp, Candidate for U.S. Representative (Dist. 1)

1. What do you view as the key role, and/or attributes needed for this position? What experience/attributes do you have that qualify you for this position?

“Article 1, Section 2 of the Constitution sets three qualifications for representatives. Each representative must (1) be at least twenty-five years old, (2) have been a citizen of the United States for the past seven years, and (3) be (at the time of election) an inhabitant of the state they represent.”

    - 28 years old.
    - Born and raised in St. Louis, MO
    - Live in University City, MO 63130
    - Bachelor’s Science Degree, Lindenwood University
    - The best voice for the citizens in District 1 MO.


2. Why do you think you are the best person for this position? What differentiates you from your opponent(s)?

I will be the only candidate that literally represents the opinion and constitutional voice of “ALL” citizens in MO Congressional District 1. This will be accomplished through means of electronic and secured digital: apps, automated text, social polls and online registries.


3. What do you feel are the most pressing issues currently facing this office and what plans do you have to address these issues? (please be specific)

1) Criminal Justice Reform
    - Community Citizen’s Justice board to help bridge the gap with police.
    - Reduce discriminatory traffic “Stop and Frisk”
    - Bail Bond’s System
    - Blind Defendant court trial
    - Video calls with 911 operators
    - Make officers more accountable for their actions through Liability Insurance and Continue Education Units (CEU’s)
2) Increasing the federal minimum wage.
3) Increase funding for education.
4) Legalize cannabis


4. Describe how you work with, or will work with, others to address your priorities.

I would work directly with the citizens of Missouri’s Congressional District 1 to vote on every bill that touches my desk. My secured digital proposal would bring the city together because their voices will actually be heard.


5. Who are your 3 largest campaign contributors? Are there donors from whom you will not accept campaign contributions?
  1. The citizens of the Congressional District 1 for the State of Missouri. 
  2. I wouldn’t take any funds from an organization that is morally bankrupt or goes against the progressive interest of St. Louis, MO and the United States of America.

6. Since the shooting death of Michael Brown and the national rise of the Black Lives Matter Movement, criminal justice reform has become a national topic of conversation, yet few changes have been made on a national level. If elected, will you make criminal justice reform, and racial equity, a priority in Washington? If so, how?

Yes I will. This topic is my main priority once elected to Congress. Refer you to question 3 (Criminal Justice Reform) to see some of the objectives I have suggested.


7. What do you believe is the biggest danger posed by the Trump administration, and how do you plan to fight it?

There are a cornucopia of dangers posed by Trump’s administration, but I think the biggest danger is the destruction of the U.S.A.’s image, word, integrity, and credibility. I plan to fight this by reducing the impact of corporate lobbyist in Congress, and voting against anything that threatens the aforementioned.


8. Are there any issues you believe you could work with the Trump administration on? Which ones?

- Education Funding
- Criminal Justice Reform
- Massive School Shooting
- Infrastructure Funding
- Renewable/Green Energy Funding
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development


9. If you could ask each of your opponents one question, what would it be? (You may specify a different question for each opponent or the same question for both.)

N/A

Response from Lacy Clay, Candidate for U.S. Representative (Dist. 1)

1. What do you view as the key role, and/or attributes needed for this position? What experience/attributes do you have that qualify you for this position?

I am proud to be ranked as the 4th most progressive Member of the U.S. House (based on my voting record).

I am the only candidate in this race who has a proven track record of saving and creating thousands of jobs for St. Louis City and County.

That includes protecting 14,000 jobs at Boeing; and 5,000 jobs at Washington University Medical Center which are funded by the over $500 million in federal grants that I support each year from the National Institutes of Health.

Most recently, I led the fight to retain 3600 top federal jobs at the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, which-instead of going to Illinois, will be relocated at the new NGA –West headquarters in North St. Louis (corner of Jefferson and Cass)…a $1.75 billion project, the largest single federal investment in St. Louis history.

I am the only candidate in this race who has helped thousands of St. Louisans gain healthcare coverage. I helped write the provision in the Affordable Care Act that doubled the federal investment in community-based primary care at Federally Qualified Health Centers like People’s Health Centers, Forest Park Southeast, Myrtle Hilliard Davis and Grace Hill.

I also provided a $3 million federal investment to help fund the new Lacy Clay Center for Children’s Health at People’s Health Centers to treat young people and their families who have been exposed to trauma and toxic stress.

I’m also the only candidate who has actually helped clean up three environmental threats to our community.

-St. Louis Army Ammunition Plant site (I-70 and Goodfellow) $5 million
-Carter Carburetor site (Grand and St. Louis Ave.) $30 million
-West Lake landfill (Bridgeton) $260-$300 million, final Record of Decision Pending

I am also proud to cosponsor and champion:
Medicare for All;
Net Neutrality;
The Marijuana Justice Act;
The African American Civil Rights Network Act;
And the Assault Weapons Ban of 2018

Finally, I’m leading the fight across Missouri to repeal Right to Work and to Raise the Minimum Wage.


2. Why do you think you are the best person for this position? What differentiates you from your opponent(s)?

As stated above, the difference between my opponents and myself is that I actually have a record as a fierce progressive advocate in Congress who gets results, and I’m happy to run on it.


3. What do you feel are the most pressing issues currently facing this office and what plans do you have to address these issues? (please be specific)

My core Congressional priorities remain Jobs, Healthcare, Housing, Education, Criminal Justice Reform, Economic Justice, defending our Environment and protecting the Right to Vote, which is currently under assault.

4. Describe how you work with, or will work with, others to address your priorities.

I have always enjoyed strong, bipartisan working relationships on both sides of the aisle in Congress, within the Missouri congressional delegation, and with local and state officials.

We have many political differences at times, but ultimately, our job is to advance this community, our state, and our nation. That requires building bridges with all kinds of people to find common ground, something I have always worked hard to accomplish.


5. Who are your 3 largest campaign contributors? Are there donors from whom you will not accept campaign contributions?

I have never accepted one dollar in blood money from the NRA and I never will.

My contributors are evenly divided between individuals, labor groups, major employers, and progressive organizations in Missouri and across the nation


6. Since the shooting death of Michael Brown and the national rise of the Black Lives Matter Movement, criminal justice reform has become a national topic of conversation, yet few changes have been made on a national level. If elected, will you make criminal justice reform, and racial equity, a priority in Washington? If so, how?

My personal appeal to then U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder resulted in two urgent DOJ investigations in Ferguson.

That strong, direct action resulted in a sweeping consent decree between the City of Ferguson and DOJ, which transformed the Ferguson Police Department, the Ferguson Municipal Court and the City of Ferguson Municipal Government.

I also led the team from the Congressional Black Caucus that helped elect three African Americans to the Ferguson City Council for the first time.

Finally, I have introduced federal legislation that would transform how local law enforcement is trained to deescalate potentially violent situations, show more sensitivity towards minorities, the mentally ill, new immigrants and the disabled; and my legislation would also incentivize the use of body cameras for all local police agencies who compete for Department of Justice Grants.

Lastly, my post-Ferguson legislation would require the appointment of an independent prosecutor when police use deadly force.


7. What do you believe is the biggest danger posed by the Trump administration, and how do you plan to fight it?

I will be leading the fight to win a new Democratic Majority in the U.S. House to finally hold Donald. J. Trump and his enablers responsible for the horrendous damage they continue to inflict upon our democracy.

The President has assaulted the separation of powers, the freedom of the press, and the rule of law.

He continually violates the emoluments clause at will, with no consequences.

He eagerly sought the help of a foreign adversary to help his candidacy and to harm his opponent.

But history tells us that abuse of executive power ends in failure.

No one is above the law, and President Trump is about to learn that hard lesson.


8. Are there any issues you believe you could work with the Trump administration on? Which ones?

If the President was truly interested in bipartisan cooperation, he would offer a wide-ranging infrastructure package to build up America’s roads, bridges, schools, ports, sewer systems and airports. I would be willing to work with his administration if the bill would positively impact my constituents.


9. If you could ask each of your opponents one question, what would it be? (You may specify a different question for each opponent or the same question for both.)

Response from Peter Merideth, Candidate for Missouri State Representative (Dist. 80)

1. What do you view as the key role, and/or attributes needed for this position? What experience/attributes do you have that qualify you for this position?

In my first term in the House I’ve had a steep learning curve about how best to use my position to make an impact. In my own successes and failures, and in watching other reps, I’ve found a few things to be most important thus far. First - communication is key. As a progressive, often the most valuable thing we can do as a legislator is communicate with our constituents about what is actually happening in Jeff City. I believe I’ve proven quite effective at doing this in some places, like detailed updates and analysis on facebook and in email newsletters, and by showing up to Ward meetings as much as possible to answer questions and give updates in person. There are only so many hours in the day, but I’ve done my best to engage my constituents and keep them informed.

Second, working in Jeff City requires constant attention and engagement. We debate new issues at a moment’s notice and need to be prepared to think critically, ask questions, and articulate concerns about legislation. I believe this is one of my real strengths - analyzing policy quickly, seeking information from stakeholders, and evaluating real world impacts on people. Then being ready to debate and improve that legislation. That’s the primary job of a legislator.

Third, relationships in Jeff City (and across the state) are key. It can be tough to be a vocal advocate (and critic) while also maintaining relationships with folks on the other side of each fight. I’ve tried hard to achieve this balance, and believe I am improving every day on this front. Sometimes, we have to be willing to compromise in order to make legislation better, while also remaining vocal about concerns with the final product. And we have to be willing to go shake hands with people, even after fighting hard with them on the floor, in committees or on social media.


2. Why do you think you are the best person for this position? What differentiates you from your opponent(s)?

I would say my experience is proving extremely valuable already in Jeff City. With term limits, not many reps understand how to use the process to get things done quietly. I’m quickly learning how to do that. I’ve also managed to learn a whole lot about a lot of different complicated issues - from energy policy to liquor laws to more traditional fights like tort reform and labor issues. We all need to be ready on the hot button social fights, but these complicated areas are often where the most work can be done - but it requires attention to detail and a willingness to delve into complex policy problems.

I would add that the relationships I’ve built have proven extremely valuable, and my efforts to build support across the state for Democrats to regain seats in the House is extremely valuable. This may the most important aspect of the job in the long run for actually moving the state in a more progressive direction. I hope to be able to continue that work.


3. What do you feel are the most pressing issues currently facing this office and what plans do you have to address these issues? (please be specific)
Our toughest struggles in this state right now seem to revolve around finding funding for the various essential services the state provides, and to do so in the most equitable way possible. As a member of the budget committee, I’ve learned a lot about the state’s budget - where to find potential new revenue, where cuts are possible, and where we need to invest more. In a state that keeps looking to cut taxes on corporations and wealthier Missourians, this is a tough but necessary fight if we want to start sufficiently investing again in Healthcare, Education, Infrastructure and programs that help bring people out of poverty, to name just a few areas.


4. What three issues are your main priorities and how will you guide them?

Healthcare, Education and Criminal Justice Reform. The budget committee has proven to be a place where real bipartisan work can happen, and I’ve worked hard to be a real player in that process. Building relationships with other budget members is key, as is identifying places for compromise in order to find funding for the places that need it most.

As for criminal justice issues - I’ve stood on the floor and spoken loudly on behalf of folks whose voices are underrepresented, and helped to support other members that sometimes better represent those voices than I can. I support protests seeking change, while also working with many Republican reps that support some changes to help get small reforms accomplished.

But of course, as with most issues we care about, we need more Democrats in office. So the most significant efforts I’ve put in have been to help rebuild infrastructure and take a leadership role in recruiting candidates and helping support them toward victory.


5. How do you plan to address the schism between Republicans and Democrats in Jefferson City? How will you accomplish things as a member of the minority party?

This is sometimes an impossible task. I’ve learned a lot of good policy can be passed from the minority party with relationships with individual Republicans, and with amendments onto related bills. This is key. And relationships are built with time largely spent outside of session - getting to know other reps and their families, and working to ensure that our only interactions aren’t just fighting over the more divisive issues we debate.


6. How do you plan to increase available jobs in the area and state?

First, we need to be investing in labor and the workforce. The unemployment rate is low right now, but many workers are still dramatically underemployed or have given up on the job hunt. I believe that the best way to grow our economy is making sure that our workers have enough money to pay the bills and to spend back into the economy. That’s what drives growth. That means fighting to preserve labor rights, and to raise the minimum wage, among other areas. We also need to invest in educating our workforce so that our workers have the skills for tomorrow’s economy. Skilled workers and a strong consumer base are also the best way to bring new employers to our state and to enable our own entrepeneurs to grow here. I also support programs like the Missouri Technology Corp, historic tax credits, Missouri Arts Council, Youth Summer Jobs, and other programs that invest in our workforce here at home.


7. How do you plan to address the tension between rural and urban areas of the state?

Again, communication is key. I’ve been traveling the state quite a bit working with candidates and visiting rural communities to hear about their needs and to let them know that Democrats have their backs. So often, rural and urban needs are truly the same, but cultural differences have people often voting against their interests. Being present in their communities, listening and conversing with people is the best way to change this.


8. What broad-based, stable source of revenue would you recommend to fund quality, public services if both individual and corporate taxes were cut?

First and foremost, we need to stop cutting taxes. We also need to update our tax code to establish a progressive rate structure as our current “top” margin of $9,000/yr is dramatically outdated. But aside from these taxes, there is room to reform a number of tax credit programs that give away our revenue to corporate welfare. We can also look to fix certain loopholes like the 3% deduction we give to businesses for filing their taxes on time (the highest such benefit in the country), we can legalize and tax marijuana, we can tax internet sales the same way as our local brick and mortars, and we can raise our gas and cigarette taxes to no longer being the lowest in the nation.


9. How can the legislators from the St. Louis metropolitan area work together despite party differences to support and protect the interests of the entire area? (please be specific)


First, again, communication is key. We need to strengthen regional bipartisan groups like the St. Louis regional caucus to meet more regularly and develop concrete policy goals on which we can all agree. We also simply need to spend more time in individual meetings with each other to build relationships and find places of common interest to our region.


10. Describe how you work with, or will work with, others to address your priorities.


Again, time outside of session is important to building relationships. I visit with other reps outside of session regularly over coffee or beers, strategizing and also just getting to know each other. In session, finding specific members to carry legislation that they may be best suited to accomplish is important -- delegating and diversifying our efforts based on skill sets. I’m willing to sit down and work with even my most staunch political opponents anytime there is an opportunity to work on a shared goal.


11. Who are your 3 largest campaign contributors? Do you have a policy on accepting lobbyist gifts? Are there donors from whom you will not accept campaign contributions?

I do not accept any lobbyist gifts, and reimburse any that are inadvertently accepted. My largest contributors remain my parents, and a few key Democratic donors and personal friends that are willing to give max contributions to support my efforts. With limits, there will likely be more than three that give the max this year, particularly because of my campaign investing in Democratic efforts across the state. I do not currently have a specific policy against any donors, because if you want to support the work I do, knowing where I stand on issues and that I will not beholden to any donor, I appreciate the support, and will welcome opportunities to work with you on shared causes. I believe most anyone can find shared causes, even if we are on opposite sides on a vast majority of fights.


12. The Ferguson Commission has over 100 calls to action as a result of its year long community engagement process. Many of its recommendations fall on the Missouri General Assembly to implement. Very few of the commission’s recommendations have been taken up by the General Assembly. If elected, what will you do to ensure that racial justice receive the attention needed at a state level?

This is one area on which I have been particularly vocal as a legislator, and have also sought to work with a variety of other voices to help get them accomplished. This year, we had a number of small victories in criminal justice reform of which I am proud, and which took Republican support to get done. However, not nearly enough has been done, and I will continue to fight for these much-needed reforms.


13. Increasingly, women’s reproductive rights, workers’ rights, and LGBTQ rights have been under attack in Jefferson City. If elected, what will you do to protect and advocate for these classes?


I do not hesitate to be a loud supporter of all of the individual rights regularly under attack in Jeff City. I’ve stood strong on the floor on behalf of women’s rights and workers’ rights regularly, and am proud to have earned strong relationships with groups like Planned Parenthood, NARAL and labor groups across the state. I will continue to be a voice for these groups to the extent I am capable, and to listen to their needs and advice on how best to help their causes.


14. If you could ask your opponent one question, what would it be?

If you win, will you commit to helping support other Democrats get elected across the state, and if so, how will you go about this?