Vote Annie Rice, 8th Ward Alderwoman

anniefor8thToday, I reaffirm my support for the election of fellow Democrat Annie Rice to Alderwoman of the 8th Ward in the February 13, 2018, Special Election.

Annie Rice has been a selfless, tireless advocate for the Democratic Party as 8th Ward Democratic Committeewoman, Democratic Party 5th Senate District Committeewoman, and active member of the Missouri Democratic State Committee. She has given her time and passion to campaigning for Democrats across Missouri, voter registration, and working on State Committee’s Platform Committee and St. Louis Democratic City Central Committee projects.

My continued support for Annie Rice, a Democrat now running as an Independent, is not rebellion against voters decision in a Democratic Party Primary Election. They were denied the right to vote in a Primary under present Missouri law regarding Special Elections to fill vacancies. Instead, the City Central Committee-  two Democratic Committeepersons from the 8th Ward and 52 Democratic Committeepersons from the City’s 27 other wards- nominated a candidate on behalf of 8th Ward Democrats. It is an outdated, undemocratic, paternalistic system that desperately needs reform.

I stand with the 540 voters of the 8th Ward who signed petitions of support for Annie Rice. The input by 8th Ward voters was not only rejected by City Central Committee, it was, shockingly, disrespected. I apologize to the voters of the 8th Ward for the disrespect shown them.

Annie Rice is the best candidate. Her progressive Democratic values, her skills as an attorney, her experience fighting for justice and against the status quo, this is what I believe the voters of the 8th Ward want from their alderwoman as evidenced by the petitions with 540 signatures.

Vote Annie Rice, 8th Ward Alderwoman

— Marie Ceselski, 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman


Say No To Police Chief O’Toole: Call Mayor, Public Safety Director

The selection process for selecting a new police chief has already failed us.

“If Interim Police Chief Lawrence O’Toole is offered as one of the final six candidates, then the committee and the entire process has already failed the public. In his short time as interim chief, he has managed to have a handful of lawsuits filed against the city, stemming from incidents when officers ultimately under his command brutally handled nonviolent protesters, members of the media, and even neighbors (one of them a U.S. Air Force officer) out for a walk – then boasted that police “owned the night.” Under his leadership, the department was issued an injunction from a federal judge that basically orders that O’Toole and his officers obey the Constitution, and subsequently the Department of Justice opened a civil rights investigation.” – Editorial, St. Louis American 12/14/2017

Policing under Interim Chief O’Toole

7/21/2017 St. Louis American: Did the police chief lie about the friendly fire shooting of a black cop? Mayor said she would fire police chief if he lied to her and citizens

9/21/2017 St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Post-Dispatch demands charges be dropped against reporter covering protest

9/25/2017 St. Louis Post-DispatchUndercover cop, Air Force officer, med student among those police swept up during downtown protest

11/16/2017 St. Louis Post-DispatchJudge limits St. Louis police tactics like chemical agents used in protests

11/15/2017 Riverfront Times: St. Louis Police Used Mace to ‘Punish Protesters,’ Judge Says, Ruling for ACLU

12/01/2017 Riverfront Times: ‘Riot King’ Brian Rossomanno’s Business Had No License in St. Louis, City Says

12/10/2017 Riverfront Times: Police Captain Pokes at Judges Through Official City Account on NextDoor

12/20/2017 Riverfront TimesSt. Louis Police Continue to Cite Blacks for Marijuana Possession at a High Rate

12/22/2017 St. Louis American: Chief O’Toole promotes white St. Louis officer who allegedly beat black undercover cop during Stockley verdict protest mass arrest

12/24/2017 St. Louis Post-Dispatch: IDs released for 3 women slain in St. Louis, pushing city’s annual homicide tally to 21-year high

Watch this video from State Rep. Bruce Franks Jr

Call Mayor Lyda Krewson at 622-3201 and tell her that Interim Police Chief O’Toole must not be made Police Chief

Call Public Safety Director Judge Jimmie Edwards at 622-3391 and tell him that Interim Police Chief O’Toole must not be made Police Chief

Many thanks to Sarah Felts for getting this going on Twitter


Wednesday Town Hall With Bruce Franks At Central Library

brucetownhall6-9 pm Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Town Hall Meeting
Sponsored by State Rep. Bruce Franks Jr.
Central Library, 1301 Olive
Please bring nonperishable food donations or a gift for someone less fortunate

Legislative Update from Rep. Franks, then he wants to hear what’s on your mind

+ Austin Walker, St. Louis Regional Chamber
+ Heather Taylor, Ethical Society Of Police
+ Jeff Mazur, LaunchCode
+ Alice Prince, SLATE

Event Facebook Page

Know Anything About Debt Service? Explain This Airport Legislation

lambertI don’t understand Airport Money, as in #BB208, which is being heard in Board of Aldermen Transportation Committee on Thursday.

If I have this correct, $13.7 Million is being moved (or borrowed) from Debt Service Fund and moved to Airport Development Fund, but is then going back to Debt Service Fund by end of Fiscal Year.

The legislation says there’s an emergency. Anyone know what that might be?

If anyone can make sense of this, or even has a good guess, please post.

The only thing I know is going on is Lambert Airport Privatization. The next meeting is 2 pm Tuesday. They are hiring consultants without any input from the Public or Board of Aldermen. 

Police Chief Finalists: Black Lives Matter Or All Lives Matter?

stlpoliceIt’s a fair question to ask the St. Louis City Police Chief candidates at the Finalists Forum this Thursday.

In 2016, 7th Ward Independent Democrats asked the same question of the Democratic Primary candidates for Circuit Attorney and Sheriff in both our survey and at the candidate forum.

In the Circuit Attorney race, candidates Mary Pat Carl, Kimberly M. Gardner (elected Circuit Attorney), and Patrick Hamacher, all said Black Lives Matter. Only Steve Harmon said All Lives Matter.

In the Sheriff race, candidate Vernon Betts (elected Sheriff) said Black Lives Matter. Candidates Johnnie Chester Sr., Kevin “Cap” Klupe, Joseph “Joe” Vaccaro, and Charley “Big Will” Williams, all said All Lives Matter.

It’s a question with an answer central to temperament. Black Lives Matter is commitment to change. All Lives Matter is commitment to status quo.

I have submitted to the question for the Finalists Forum.

What would you ask the next Police Chief of St. Louis City? Submit your question here.

The meeting is open to the public. Attend if you can.

6-8 pm Thursday, December 14, 2017
St. Louis City Police Chief Finalists Forum
Mayor’s Citizen Advisory Committee on New Police Chief Search
SLU Law School, Room 1208, 100 N Tucker City
Online Calendar Notice

Public Transit: #32 MLK; one block north of #99 Downtown Trolley (a bus, not a trolley), six blocks northeast of Civic Center Transit Center


Racial Equity Talk vs. Walk

Our Board of Aldermen’s Public Safety Committee meets Tuesday to hear from the Mayor Lyda Krewson’s Staff about St. Louis City’s Racial Equity Lens as it relates to Public Safety.

The City has failed miserably to incorporate racial equity, diversity and inclusion into our Public Safety Department. You cannot possibly use a racial equity lens on the City Workhouse and not see it for great injustice that it is. If there was going to be an announcement Wednesday about closing that hell hole, surely it would be coming from the Mayor and not Staff.

PropPdiversityProposition P is a good example of many City leaders talking the talk but not walking the walk on equity. Increasing diversity on the police force was one of the proponent arguments in favor of increasing sales taxes to pay for raises of police officers. I swear they threw in diversity as a sick joke.

Now that Proposition P has passed, the City is offering $500 bounties to Civil Service employees who successfully refer Police Academy recruits who graduate.

That’s not a diversity recruitment program.

Now that Proposition P has passed, Board Bill 194 was been introduced to eliminate the residency requirement for City employees, a St. Louis Police Officers Association (the white union) priority.

Police may already move out of the City after seven years service by act of the former St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners. Board Bill 194 could mean a police force where most call St. Louis County, Jefferson County, or St. Charles County their home.

If you think St. Louis City has problems now, imagine being the City that allows itself to be policed by people with little relationship, if any, to the people who pay the bills– no shared experiences of school, parks, church, neighborhood association, local small business shopping- no shared City living experience, the good and the bad.

A police force that does not live in the City is unlikely to look like the residents of a City that is half African American. We have that problem right now. Eliminating the residency rule would turn the Police Department into an occupying force.

The City eliminated its diversity recruitment program run by Ethical Society of Police.  I am not sure how the Mayor’s Staff can look members of the Public Safety Committee in the eyes and talk about the Mayor’s commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion.

ESOP’s successful pre-Police Academy Recruitment Program was appropriated $57,000 in FY2016. Only $17,000 used, the rest returned to General Revenue. A Bargain. In FY2017, funding for the pre-Academy program was eliminated. When Mayor Krewson was elected, she did not seek to return the funding.

Many of us in the #ExpectUs family contacted elected officials about funding for ESOP’s pre-Academy program. Funding was achieved but not from the City.

Thanks to the diligence of State Rep. Bruce Franks, Jr., the program has received funding from the St. Louis Regional Chamber. Not exactly a well known left wing organization.

Mayor Krewson’s Administration will continue to talk about racial equity, and study racial equity, and have meetings about racial equity. Action on equity? Sorry. Action by the Krewson Administration is reserved for luxury villas, hotels, sports teams, Rex Sinquefield’s agenda, raising salaries for an out of control police department, and rewarding supporters.

If you want to see who is really doing something about equity, come to State Rep. Bruce Franks Jr.’s Town Hall Meeting this Wednesday. You can thank him, Regional Chamber, and ESOP for walking the walk.

— Marie Ceselski, 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman

Mayor Wants Taxpayers To Pay For Rex Sinquefield Lobbyist

Thanks to Gerry Connolly, we know who has been hired as Mayor Lyda Krewson’s lobbyist today.


Today’s meeting was not posted to the City’s Online Calendar. It was taped to an elevator at City Hall. I’m glad Gerry took time out from his busy day to go and get the information for us.


And the winner of the Mayor’s Lobbyist Contract is… Jeff Aboussie’s Regional Strategies (business consulting and government relations per LLC filing), of Wildwood MO. The Selection Committee vote was 4-1 with Board President Lewis Reed being the lone opposing vote (cast by Tom Shepard, Reed’s Chief of Staff).

As if there had been any doubt this would happen.

Aboussie represents Rex Sinquefield’s Great St. Louis, which paid for the Prop A Body Cam Scam and Prop B Election Date Scam ballot issues last April, and works with The Kelley Group.

Clare Gates Hudec, of The Kelley Group, is Deputy Treasurer of Mayor’s Krewson’s campaign committee and Treasurer of April’s Proposition P campaign- Citizens for a Safer St. Louis, a sale tax for police and fire fighter raises. The Kelley Group also ran St. Louis County’s Proposition P sales tax campaign.

Meg Shackelford, of The Kelley Group, is Treasurer for 7th Ward Alderman Jack Coatar’s campaign committee and STL Citizens for Responsible Government, one of Kelley Group’s political action committees that accepts money from one source and regifts it to candidates who could not legally accept it from the original source.

Aboussie’s current Labor Union clients include International Union of Operating Engineers Local 101 in Kansas City and Locals 148 & 513 in St. Louis. In 2016, Aboussie resigned as Executive Secretary and Treasurer for St. Louis Building and Construction Trades Council, a post he held for 7 years, to became a lobbyist/consultant.

His other clients include…
American Concrete Paving Association, Lenexa KS
Arch Fiber Networks, Edwardsville IL
(pro-nuclear) Missourians for a Balanced Energy Future, Jefferson City MO
(hemp greenhouse) Noah Arc Foundation, Chesterfield MO
St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission

The Selection Committee first met on October 2nd to begin drafting the Request for Proposal. As of October 16, 2017, Kiel Center Partners and SC STL of #mls2stl fame were no longer Aboussie’s clients.

— Marie Ceselski, 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman





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