By MARY ANN O'TOOLE HOLLEY
The Democratic Central Committees of St. Charles and St. Louis County hosted a “Show Me Victory” fundraising dinner Sept. 23 in St. Charles with U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, State Treasurer Nicole Gallow and State Senator Jill Schupp (D-Creve Coeur) headlining the evening, where a crowd of about 300 pledged their support for Democratic candidates and working family issues.
“It’s nice to be in a room where everybody is lovin’ on you,” McCaskill said as she addressed the crowd.
McCaskill said she has traveled the state this year, from Chillicothe to Sikeston, holding Town Hall meetings – something Republican members of Congress have been shying away from – to try to understand the mood of voters.
“When I arrived at a Town Hall meeting in Sikeston, it was jam packed, and I was expecting anger from Trump supporters,” McCaskill said. “I took a deep breath and I walked in and I got a standing ovation. The negativity didn’t show up. The enthusiasm I felt was on our side.”
Although he was elected on a populist platform that resonated with many working class Americans, McCaskill said President Trump is not supporting policies in the best interest of rural America. He is pulling much-needed funding from public education and supporting privatizing investment in our roads and bridges.
“In rural Missouri, we stand behind public education. When you pull money away from public schools in rural Missouri, you’re destroying rural Missouri. When you propose private investment in infrastructure, you’re just talking another way of enacting tolls on our highways.”
McCaskill said there are numerous people who would be more than happy tobuy our highways, repair them and make a fortune on tolls, but who will buy a rural road and repair it? “It means you’re going to be left behind if you live in rural Missouri,” McCaskill said.
Regaining a voice in state and national politics will require the same grassroots, boots on the ground dedication and commitment that the Labor Movement has long been known for, she said.
“In the past, when we pulled off these victories, it was not me that did it. It was you,” McCaskill said. “It was the Labor unions and community organizations that rolled up their sleeves and worked for Democratic candidates.”
WORKING TO ELECT
AND BEAT RTW
“I need you,” McCaskill said. “The Democratic Party needs you. This is the moment we reverse a terrible trend of anti-Labor, anti-working families. If we hook our arms, we’re going to surprise everyone and win these races. Next year is our year, but you’ve got to get on your feet. We’re going to win; we’re going to beat ‘right-to-work.’
‘WE HAVE WORKED
LONG AND HARD’
State Senator Jill Schupp said she’s proud that the Democratic Party has worked hard and long for fair benefits, safe working conditions, civil rights, equality and social justice.
“We succeeded in getting a referendum on the ballot to repeal ‘right-to-work’ because you started showing up in droves,” Schupp said. “We have worked long and hard for benefits and safe working conditions, civil rights, equality and social justice. We are having the tough conversations now, and we need to listen because the heart and soul of our nation is at stake.”
Schupp said. “I believe hate has no place in this state and is more than a clever slogan for a tee-shirt. I believe in clean air, clean water, sensible gun control and getting the government out of my womb.”
Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway also addressed the crowd. Galloway said as auditor, she serves as a strong, independent watchdog that holds the Missouri government accountable.
“Since taking office, I have placed a strong emphasis on cyber security, incorporating data and processes,” Galloway said. “In my role as State Auditor, it’s my job to serve as the citizens’ advocate, watching for government efficiency.”
She has even taken on municipal court reform, expanding court audits and issuing rules to guide local governments implementing court reform reporting requirements.
As Democrats, voters need to continue to work together to bring change for the betterment of our state, Galloway said.
St. Charles County Democratic Central Committee Chairman Morton Todd planned the event because he thought it was time for the St. Charles and St. Louis Democratic Clubs to unite, share ideas and collaborate.
“It was the first large gathering of the two groups, and I it was a great turnout,” Todd said. “We’re all in this together, and it’s time came together to ensure victory.”
‘IT’S TIME WE CAME TOGETHER’
The joint Show Me Victory dinner was a first for the St. Charles and St. Louis Democratic clubs, coming together to share ideas and collaborate.
“It was the first large gathering of the two groups, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the turnout,” St. Charles County Democratic Central Committee Chairman Morton Todd said. “We’re all in this together, and it’s time we came together to ensure victory.”