Write State School Board Today To Support Elected School Board

The Missouri State Board of Education meets tomorrow morning (Tuesday, February 19th).

Governance of St. Louis Public Schools is on the Agenda.

Please write to the State Board of Education at sbe@dese.mo.gov and request that they vote to approve returning governance of St. Louis Public Schools to our elected School Board.

My letter to the State Board of Education:

— Marie Ceselski, 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman




Elect Jamilah Nasheed

5bfc404c28ab5.imageOne of the things I am most proud of is my work with others in the 7th Ward to improve voter registration. There is a lot of apartment swapping and couch hopping going on in the 7th Ward. We have to provide opportunities to register and update registration year round.

My number one concern right now for St. Louis City is the disenfranchisement of City and St. Louis County voters on the proposed City-County consolidation ballot issue funded by billionaire Rex Sinquefield. I did not help register people so that their vote on local matters could be overruled by voters who don’t live here.

It’s important to me that the person elected President of the Board of Aldermen is someone who will go to the mat to defend the right of City and County voters to decide what kind of local government we will have. We are, after all, a home rule charter city and the County is a home rule charter county. What does home rule mean if not self determination?

The candidate who has shown the most commitment to fighting for our right to vote on City-County Consolidation is State Senator Jamilah Nasheed

Senator Nasheed and I have more than a little negative history. A lot of people know we sparred on a ballot issue funded by Rex Sinquefield and unflattering words were said later on another matter. But what few know is that Nasheed apologized to me, repeatedly. It was thoughtful, heartfelt, and we were able to move on and together have amazing conversations on what St. Louis needs because of it.

Senator Nasheed has also admitted making mistakes. It’s refreshing to have a politician who says, I screwed up, I shouldn’t have done that. St. Louis City has some very tough times ahead. We need a leader who will be as honest with us as she is with herself. Real talk. That’s Jamilah Nasheed.

I was deeply depressed about the disenfranchisement part of the City-County consolidation proposal before it was even revealed, worst kept secret in town. Senator Nasheed called me on January 8th when I had hit rock bottom about the future of the City. I told her that I didn’t think the election mattered because of the ballot issue. Rex Sinquefield would win. We would be no more. Who was Board President when it happened was of little consequence.

Senator Nasheed’s response blew me away. She said it was far from over. She said come to Jefferson City right now and we’ll talk to legislators so they can get word out to their constituents about this. She said we would fight this statewide.

Senator Nasheed quickly followed up that she would have someone drive me to the Capitol. I cannot tell you how many times I have had to repeat to people that I do not drive. The fact that Senator Nasheed remembered this detail meant that she had heard me and not merely listened. We need more of that from our elected officials.

The next week, Senator Nasheed filed SJR 17, a proposed constitutional amendment for City and County voters to retain the right to decide changes to the structure of local government.

January 28th, Better Together submitted their initiative petition for City-County consolidation and it was confirmed our disenfranchisement was indeed being sought. That same day, Senator Nasheed filed SJR 19, same as SJR 17 but adding a 60% majority vote requirement to adopt changes.

What we have here are the makings of a plan to counter disenfranchisement.

Work with legislators across the state to educate voters on the issue.

Work to put a competing constitutional amendment on the ballot.

That’s leadership from Jamilah Nasheed.

And we need her to bring checks and balances on Mayor Lyda Krewson’s state legislative agenda as much as well as on appropriations, bonds, and contracts before the Board of Estimate.

Senator Jamilah Nasheed is the only candidate for Board President with the bi-partisan relationships necessary to not only fight off disenfranchisement on the City-County Consolidation issue but also forge a successful state legislative agenda as Board President.

As it turns out, I am going to be spending more time in the Ozarks over the next year, in one of Governor Mike Parson’s home counties. My plan is to engage lake house neighbors on the statewide ballot issue. Jamilah Nasheed, as State Senator or Board President, is the person I choose to work with on the City-County Consolidation issue here and in Hickory County.

March 5th, I urge you to vote for Jamilah Nasheed and work with her to protect our right to vote and decide what kind of local government we want.

More later on why I believe Senator Nasheed will make a great Board President.

— Marie Ceselski, 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman