Mo Democrats Delegate Selection Meetings Still A Secret

It is the Tuesday night before Thursday night Missouri Democratic Party Delegate Selection Ward/Township/County Meetings. MDP still has not published, as promised, the Meeting Locations and Sanders-Clinton Delegate Apportionment per ward/township/county.

Our St. Louis City Democratic Central Committee Chair emailed me a copy of the ward meeting locations.

Those of us who attended a Delegate Selection Training Meeting were finally emailed a list of the per ward delegate apportionment by MDP on Monday. As in, yesterday

7th Ward Independent Democrats has published the St. Louis City Democratic Party Ward Delegate Selection Meeting Locations, delegate apportionment, and other delegate selection information on our blog. I do not believe there is anywhere else you can find this information online. That’s absurd. Both MDP and every county Central Committee should have it posted on a website or blog or Facebook page.

Previous post on this issue.

— Marie Ceselski, 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman

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Democratic Party Delegate Selection Meeting Info Still A Big Secret

We were told that the locations for Thursday’s Delegate Selection Caucuses/Mass Meetings would be posted on the MDP website.

We were told that the per ward/township/county delegate apportionment per candidate for Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton would be posted on the MDP website.

Delegate Selection is four days away and those promises have not been fulfilled.

mdpformInstead, if you go to the MDP website and click on 2016 Delegate Selection, then click on Find Your April 7 Mass Meeting Location, you end up with an online form.

It’s just a way for MDP to collect your name and email address so they can spam you with fundraising requests.

When I used the online form, MDP sent me a list of possible locations 240 miles away in Independence, Missouri.

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The only way for you to find out the location of your Thursday Democratic Party caucus/mass meeting is to A) have seen your local meeting notice in the classifieds of a local newspaper; B) belong to an organization, or find an organization/person, more helpful than MDP (for example,  7th Ward Independent Democrats posted the locations for St. Louis City wards online  last weekend).

As for apportionment of delegates to be selected Thursday- delegates/alternates per Bernie Sanders and Clinton- MDP has given that information to the person running each meeting and feels no obligation to make it public.

There is no way to verify anything related to Delegate Selection.

The Missouri Democratic Party is in a shambles. Chairman Roy Temple needs to resign, resign as in yesterday.

Previously on this topic.

– Marie Ceselski, 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman

Missouri Democratic Party Delegate Selection Should Not Be A Secret

I attended part of the Democratic Party Delegate Selection Caucus Training Workshop in St. Louis City on Saturday, March 27. It was an unpleasant experience.

It was hot/warm. No air circulation. I have no idea why the ceiling fans were not turned on. The door to the parking lot was left open but smokers were hanging out too close and wind did not favor the nonsmokers inside.

As a hearing impaired person, it is important for me to sit in the front of an event so I can read the lips of speakers. I sat on the front row. Unfortunately, the speakers did not speak from the podium. For much of the time I was at the meeting, the speakers spoke from the center aisle of the first row. Most first row participants sat side saddle in chairs with necks craned. It was uncomfortable. In my case, understanding what was said went poorly.

I was told at the Information Table that I did not need the literature because it was intended for the person running my ward/township/county caucus. I got the impression that being the Committeewoman not running my caucus meeting made me persona non grata. I explained that I am deaf and written materials are important to my understanding of things. All will be handled by your chair, I was told. I took the literature anyway.

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Glad I walked off with the packet. Inside, I found out how may delegates were awarded to each ward. My Committeeman, the senior committee person in our ward, will run our caucus meeting and is not one to share information. As example, I had to contact our county chair to obtain the location of our ward caucus.

I am embarrassed that my central committee and state party have done such a poor job promoting participation in delegate selection.

It was announced that the Missouri Democratic Party would soon post caucus locations on their website. Soon. It was March 27. Caucuses are April 7th.

It was announced that St. Louis City Democratic Committee had advertised caucus locations in the St. Louis American. The City Chair offered to provide a copy to anyone who wanted it. That’s pretty much it for publicity by City Democratic Central Committee. It does not have a website/blog. A committee has been assigned to work on it. Yes. A committee. Meanwhile, St. Louis County Democrats announced they had promoted their caucus locations with every tool including their website and on Facebook.

It took me 15 minutes to post the St. Louis City Ward Caucus Locations and Delegate Selection Information on our 7th Ward Independent Democrats blog.

We were told at the beginning of the meeting that the meeting was really for people running the April 7th caucuses, not people who wanted to be delegates. There was no “Wow. Thanks everyone for giving up a beautiful Saturday afternoon to be with us. Great to see so many people want to be a part of the process.” It seemed instead very unwelcoming, Establishment politics, insiders perturbed by the presence of non-insiders.

Caucus training was to include a power point presentation. As a hearing impaired person, this was going to make attending the event worth it. But, after the meeting started, we were told that the Missouri Democratic Party is short staffed and there was no one to provide the power point presentation at that meeting. We were told that the Party was working on a video about delegate selection that would be posted soon on the MPD website. Soon. It was March 26. Caucuses are April 7th.

We were told the delegate apportionment between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton at the ward caucus level would be based on congressional district vote, not ward vote, and be released, yes, soon. I wanted to ask a question about this. It appeared they were saying that wards/townships/counties that voted overwhelmingly for Bernie Sanders would end up with more Hillary Clinton delegates if the congressional vote went for Clinton.  I was not given an opportunity to ask about this. It’s possible that I just misunderstood. I have written the Missouri Democratic Party for a clarification on the matter.

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I stayed long enough to find out the Missouri Democratic Party has abandoned the “Must Have Voted In Presidential Primary” requirement for participation in the delegate selection process and election as a delegate/alternate. Allowing people who could not be bothered with voting in the Presidential Primary to participate in the delegate process is a very big deal. We were told the change was necessary because some counties would not be able to provide lists of those who voted March 15th in time for caucus. Discussion on this matter was shut down before all questions asked/answered, including mine.

I have requested the names of the counties that Missouri Democratic Party knows will not be able to provide lists of persons who voted March 15th in time for use at April 7th caucuses.

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And, as I said, it was hot and getting smoky in the room, I was unable to read speakers’ lips most of the time, and sitting side saddle was very uncomfortable. So, I left the meeting. I find it hard to believe there was not more intrigue after I left.

This is not my first rodeo. April 7th will be the ninth time I have participated in a ward/township/county Presidential Caucus in Missouri. It will be my first caucus as 7th Ward Committeewoman but not my first caucus as a committeewoman because I was previously elected in another county.

But this is only the second time in my life that I felt like caucus was some kind of inside deal. Four years ago, the 7th Ward Caucus was held at the Mardi Gras Inc. office and there was only a handful of us there. I made a commitment then to do my best to get the word out and increase participation for 2016 caucus.

I hope everyone participates in their caucus. I hope activists write some fine resolutions to be voted on. Again, the locations for City Ward Caucuses are here.

– Marie Ceselski
7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman
stlcity7thward@aol.com