Voters’ Guide to the November 2018 General Election- St. Louis

Voters’ Guide to the November 2018 Election- St. Louis

 

This being the 2018 General Election, we recommend Democrat votes across the sample ballot for St. Louis city. Quite simply, those candidates have shown a greater interest and/or commitment to issues affecting Black folks and other people of color. This includes:

 

*Nicole Galloway (DEM)- State Auditor
*Lacy Clay (DEM)- US Representative, District 1
*Karla May (DEM)- State Senate, District 4
*Tommie Pierson, Jr. (DEM)- State Representative, District 66
*Chris Carter (DEM)- State Representative, District 76
*Steve Roberts (DEM)- State Representative, District 77
*Bruce Franks, Jr. (DEM)- State Representative, District 78
*Lakeysha Bosley (DEM)- State Representative, District 79
*Peter Merideth (DEM)- State Representative, District 80
*Wiley Price IV (DEM)- State Representative, District 84
* Mavis (Tessa) Thompson (DEM)- License Collector
*Michael Butler (DEM)- Collector of Revenue

 

Here is a link to the sample ballot for St. Louis City, where you will find a full list of races and measure and full ballot language: https://www.stlouis-mo.gov/government/departments/board-election-commissioners/documents/upload/November-2018-Sample-Ballot-2.pdf

 

Below are a few highly contested races and measures on the ballot as well and our thoughts on them.

 

US Senator

Candidates: Josh Hawley – REP, Claire McCaskill – DEM, Japheth Campbell – LIB, Jo Crain – GRN, Craig O’Dear – IND

Our recommendation: Senator Claire McCaskill

 

Based on McCaskill’s talk and recent (in)activity, we believe a vote for McCaskill is in order. But we don’t see a vote for the incumbent as advancing a progressive agenda, but rather a vote to hold off evil. If Josh Hawley, who has fashioned his bid as a protégé to the president we revile, wins this senator seat, an already ultraconservative Missouri would seek to cut even more money from social programs and urban development and stripping affordable health insurance options, while seeking to bolster the disastrous “right-to-work” model that repressed workers’ rights and pay.

 

McCaskill leaves much to be desired. Not only has she been pretty absent as far as Black concerns in the state of Missouri, particularly in the wake of the uprising in Ferguson, but she has recently been caught attempting to curry favor with out-state voters and conservatives with unprogressive stances. In the fray around Brett Kava-NAH’s angry defense preceding his senate nomination to the Supreme Court, McCaskill held out to say that she would not vote to advance him past the judiciary hearings. She seems more interested in attracting white conservative and centrist voters who do not prioritize issues of Black and other people of color and this is causing some lukewarm responses to our needs.

 

But Hawley, who savors conservative Trump support, is worse.

 

Constitutional Amendment 1 (Lobbying, Campaign Finance and Redistricting)

Our recommendation: YES.

 

Amendment 1 takes would change the redistricting process from a group of 5 Democrat and 5 Republican lawmakers (supporting two-party politics) into a specially appointed state demographer who would draw the lines that would be approved by state legislature. The process seems to be fairer and may provide greater safeguards against gerrymandering.

 

The section on limiting campaign contributions is promising. If the measure passes, it could help level the playing field that has been manipulated by dastardly conservatives and help get more progressive candidates elected.

 

Also of note is the fact that the measure is being opposed by billionaire conservative political manipulator Rex Sinquefield. But according to https://www.cleanmissouri.org/support/, the measure is supported by St. Louis Treasurer Tishaura Jones, Rev. Starsky Wilson, Organization for Black Struggle (OBS), AFSCME, SEIU, the Missouri Conference of the NAACP, the League of Women Voters and Missouri Jobs with Justice Voter Action, among others.

 

Constitutional Amendment 2 (Medical Marijuana with 4% Retail Tax Fund for Missouri Veterans)

Our recommendation: YES.

 

The legalization of marijuana leads to decriminalization, which directly benefits communities of color and the poor. As a follow up, we would like to see restorative justice measures brought forward that would eliminate or reduce sentences for previous offenses and increased drug treatment options for communities affected by the failed conservative War on Drugs.

 

Constitutional Amendment 3 (Medical Marijuana with 15% Retail Tax Fund for Cancer Research)

Our recommendation: NO.

 

Though we support marijuana legalization, we now know that a major proponent of the bill is a multimillionaire named Brad Bradshaw, who will be heading the research center the tax funds will be funneled to. This is an attempt for a few to lines their own pockets with law.

 

Constitutional Amendment 4 (Bingo)

Our recommendation: NO.

 

The language being asked to be prohibited has already been ruled unenforacble and this measure would also reduce the amount of time a member would have to be a part of a licensed organization before participating in the management of the games. Nah Son, pay your dues first.

 

Proposition B (Minimum Wage)

Our recommendation: YES.

 

We support increasing the minimum wage, though we feel a greater increase is needed to provide a living wage for workers. But it’s better than no increase, so we’ll be voting in favor of the minimum wage increase.

 

The fear that many of us have about cost of living increases due to minimum wage hike is not the fault of people in poverty who need the increase; it’s the greed of corporations. We should fight for minimum wage increase EVEN if it does affect us directly, WHILE we fight for more controls on corporate greed. It will raise the quality of life in our communities helping fund public education with more tax dollars, boost the economy with more income, and therefore, reduce crime and increase access and agency among our people.

 

Wealthy, often white, often conservative elitists try to scare the people with lies about scarcity. There is no shortage of resources; these elitists are just asserting tighter controls on the resources. That’s the major hustle; don’t go for it. Vote yes for minimum wage increase.

 

Proposition C (End Marijuana Prohibitions on Use and Growth)

Our recommendation: YES.

 

Once again, we support marijuana legalization. The 2% retail tax funds raised if the measure passes will go toward veterans’ services, drug treatment, early childhood education, and public safety for cities with a medical marijuana facility.

 

Proposition D (Motor Fuel Tax Fund for Law Enforcement)

Our recommendation- NO.

 

  1. Another tax on the backs of the people, more specifically, people who buy gas, many of whom or low income, especially in St. Louis and Kansas City. The burden on these folks would be inequitable greater on low and middle income gas consumers.

 

  1. The lion share of funds would be coming from the two urban centers, St. Louis and Kansas City, to pay for roads and law enforcement across the rest of this RED state. But WHEN has the rest of this red state ever voted or acted in the interest of the urban centers, which are majority Black and POC? Never. Outstate MO ALWAYS votes against our urban/Black/POC interests, but we’re supposed to foot the bill for their roads. Nah B.

 

  1. What is “law enforcement” going to use the funds for? We don’t support any funds going to police without, at the very least, any commitments to reforms or diversity education or more civilian oversight. Police have been running roughshod over the people of St. Louis and Kansas City, and this bill asks us to pay to more to continue to hurt our communities.

 

For Member of Board of Education

Candidates: Donna R. Jones, Joyce M. Roberts, Adam Layne, Bill [William C.] Haas, Jared Opsal, Cydney E. Johnson, David L. Jackson, Jr.

Our recommendation: Donna R. Jones and Dr. Joyce M. Roberts– both Black women who have worked in our communities for a number of years and who we believe understand the needs of our children concerning public education.

 

Also of note:

Action St. Louis, which is a Black-led organizing collective working to build political power in STL, founded in 2014, suggests voting “NO” on the following judges:

*Judge Joseph L. Walsh, St. Louis County, Division 17
*Judge Thomas C. Clark II, St. Louis City, Division 7

*Judge Joan Moriarty, St. Louis City, Division 20

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