As a follow up to You Should Go To Saturday’s Closed STL City Democratic Party Meeting, some members of Central Committee and I have very different recollections of how Central Committee has done its business.
My recollection is that I brought Sam Cummings to one of my first Central Committee meetings. Then Central Committee Chair Mattie Moore told us that he could not attend the meeting because our meetings were closed.
My recollection of Central Committee is that we once had a website (via NationBuilder) and Central Committee meeting notices were never posted on that site.
My recollection of Central Committee is that there was a meeting at Humphrey’s, the meeting where we discussed whether or not everyone supported efforts to bring a Democratic National Convention to St. Louis (which it turned out not everyone did), and at that meeting I was berated for bringing up the subject of open meetings. I was told, repeatedly, that meetings had always been closed and that all county committees operated this way, which I knew was incorrect.
I have been fighting for open meetings ever since.
We have also been told by party leaders over and over again not to reveal meeting information or Central Committee business on social media.
I also have a different recollection on the filling of committee vacancies. Committee vacancies are not solely decided by the remaining committeeperson. Under the law, Central Committee members elect someone to fill a vacancy. The remaining committeeperson nominates and then Central Committee members vote on the nomination. By tradition, the nomination is always accepted, or has been as long s I can recall.
I have not been to a Central Committee meeting in quite some time. I don’t attend because I am deaf, the result of flu complications in the winter of 2013. I do pretty good with one on one conversations where I can read lips. In a group setting, however, I need someone to come with me to clue me in on what is going on, and take notes in case I want to follow up on something. But, we have had, until perhaps today, closed meetings. I am not special, I just have a hearing impairment. If meetings are closed, meetings are closed for all non-committee members and we should not pick and choose who gets to bring someone and who doesn’t. A committeeperson’s challenger in August should have just as much right to attend Central Committee meetings as someone I bring to be my ears. And when I am certain that the meetings are open, then I will start going to the meetings again.
— Marie Ceselski, 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman