The Myth Of Turnout For McCaskill In St. Louis City

In a New York Times article, U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill says she did not have a problem getting Democrats to vote for her.

Let’s look at the numbers here in St. Louis City.

McCaskill received 91-97% of the vote in 11 of 28 Wards in the City. She received 83-89% in another 9 of 28 Wards. In 6 Wards, she received 70-77% of the vote. She was under 70% in 2 wards.

Unfortunately, the wards which voted the highest percentage for McCaskill were the lowest turnout wards. The wards which voted the least percentage for her were among the highest turnout wards.

Many Black Voters stayed home. Everybody needs to admit that and figure out why.

The number of votes rather than percentage are what really counts. When you look at that, you see that it was a mistake for McCaskill to GOTV in St. Louis Hills while ignoring strong Democratic Party constituencies in Black wards.

Did McCaskill do well in parts of St. Louis City? Sure. But we needed a strong turnout in all the wards, not just some.

Let’s look at the data. Let’s reflect on what needs to change.

We don’t need the Democratic Party and its candidates to move to the Right. We need it to appreciate its base, including Black Voters. Let’s actually try it and see what happens.

— Marie Ceselski, 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman

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Adam Layne Should Not Be On Ballot For School Board

charter schools dividing communities since1991300In Missouri, we allow labor union members and leaders to run for state legislature and county and municipal legislatures and sponsor laws relating to unions and the trades and services worked by union members.

We let realtors run for public office and advocate for their profession and industry from their elected position.

We don’t think it’s odd for farmers to be elected to office and champion agriculture issues.

Lawyers run for office and are expected to be experts on the judiciary, crime and punishment, civil law, and lawmaking.

But when it comes to public education, we specifically prohibit anyone involved in public education from running for school board in the district they work at.

Section 162.581 RSMO.

1. The members of the board of education… shall not hold any office, except that of notary public, in the city or state, nor be interested in any contract with or claim against the board, either directly or indirectly. If at any time after the election of any member of the board he becomes interested in any contract with or claim against the board, either directly or indirectly, or as agent or employee of any individual, firm or corporation, which is so interested, he shall thereupon be disqualified to continue as a member of the board, and shall continue to be so disqualified during the remainder of the term for which he was elected.

2. Every member of the board, before assuming the duties of his office, shall take oath before a circuit or associate circuit judge of the city, which oath shall be kept of record in the office of the board, that he possesses all the qualifications required by this section, and that he will not, while serving as a member of the board, become interested in any contract with or claim against the board, directly or indirectly, or as agent or employee of any individual, firm or corporation which is so interested, and that he will not be influenced, during his term of office, by any consideration except that of merit and fitness in the appointment of officers and the engagement of employees.

Furthermore, in Missouri, teachers have their First Amendment rights restricted with regard to their participation in school board election campaigns.

Section 168.130 RSMO. No teacher shall take part in the management of the campaign for the election or defeat of members of a board of education by which he is employed. Any teacher who violates the provisions of this section shall be subject to termination of his employment by the district with the right of a hearing and appeal as heretofore provided.

How is it possible, then, that someone who helps manage a “public” charter school is legally permitted to run for St. Louis City School Board?

Candidate Adam Layne serves on the school board for Jack Krewson’s charter school. This charter school came into being with the help of Children’s Education Alliance of Missouri, one of Rex Sinquefield’s education privatization organizations.

Being anti-public schools and part of the charter school movement does not disqualify someone from running for the City’s School Board. But surely the financial conflicts of interests in serving on a charter school board and City School Board should disqualify Adam Layne from being on Tuesday’s ballot.

any contract with or claim against the board, directly or indirectly,” would include any difference of opinion between Layne’s charter school and the St. Louis Public Schools District on funding for charter schools.

any contract with or claim against the board, directly or indirectly,” would include any difference of opinion between Layne’s charter school and the St. Louis Public Schools District on sale of District property to charter schools.

any contract with or claim against the board, directly or indirectly,” would include any future difference of opinion between Layne’s charter school and the St. Louis Public Schools District on pension contributions.

Adam Layne’s charter school will take children and money away from public schools in St. Louis City. That is a fiduciary conflict of interest that should bar him from serving on the School Board.

Accreditation of the St. Louis City Public Schools should mean the end of charter school expansion. We need strong voices for strong neighborhood and magnet public schools on our School Board, not advocates for charter schools.

7th Ward Independent Democrats encourage you to vote for Dr. Joyce Roberts and Jared Opsal for School Board.

Also see Why it matters who governs America’s public schools.

— Marie Ceselski, 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman

 

We Must Not Allow Fake Science & Fake Clinics In Our Public Schools

flintstoneAn odd thing happened on the way to St. Louis City School Board endorsements by 7th Ward Independent Democrats. At the beginning of the process, I would have bet a paycheck that we would endorse incumbent School Board Member Donna Jones for re-election. Her heart is obviously in it. She has the sort of School Board experience we thought that we wanted for the governance transition from appointed Special Administrative Board to elected School Board.

But then we got her answers to our Candidate Survey and our opinions changed. I am glad that I did not bet a paycheck on that endorsement.

Donna Jones wants a lot of what we want. But…

We need to look at this as more than just support for local elected governance, support for teachers, and stopping the raid on public school funds for private education at charter schools and unnecessary tax abatement. We need to look at public school policies and what the elected School Board will do after it is no longer fighting for its survival.

On two critical policy matters, Donna Jones responded with answers that left us shocked and looking elsewhere for a candidate to endorse.

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Children should be taught science in science class in public schools. Children should not be taught religion or mythology or science fiction in science class in public schools.

Age-appropriate fact-based reproductive health education should be taught in public schools. While it’s true that the State of Missouri requires abstinence education, school districts have better options than the lies of these faith-based, fake clinic con artists at Thrive that Donna Jones would allow in our schools. In fact, area school districts are removing Thrive.

It doesn’t matter whether Donna Jones would allow a handful of parents to bring fake science and fake clinics into City schools or she’d champion it. We cannot afford to elect her to the School Board and find out.

We need School Board Members who know The Flintstones and Thrive do not belong in our Public Schools. 7th Ward Independent Democrats respectfully requests that you consider voting for Dr. Joyce Roberts and Jared Opsal for School Board.

— Marie Ceselski, 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman