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Blue Notes, August 6

Special Elections Called for Two House Seats in Jackson County
 
Governor Parson announced last week that four of the five open State House seats across the state will have special elections November 5 including two of the three open seats in Jackson County.  District 22 in east Kansas City, which came open after Brandon Ellington was elected to the City Council, and District 36 in south Kansas City which was vacated by former Rep. DaRon McGee earlier this year, will now have representation for next year.  The special election process requires members of the county committee select party nominees in lieu of a primary.  Anyone that would like to be the Democratic nominee should contact Executive Director Geoff Gerling at geoff@jacksoncodems.org for more information.  Nominating meeting dates have not be set yet but should occur in the next two weeks.  Click here to see maps of these districts.
 
The 34th District, which is now open after the death of Rep. Rebecca Roeber, could still be called for a special election by the deadline of 60 days before the November election date.

The 22nd and 36th Districts are reliably Democratic but that doesn't mean the Republicans won't put up a fight in what will likely be a very low turnout election.  We will need volunteers and donors to help secure these areas and make sure the Republican majority doesn't grow.  We will post all special election information on our website and social media platforms as they are confirmed. Candidates must be 24 years of age and have lived in the district for a year prior to the November election.

New Location for the Missouri Democratic Party Annual Dinner

Clarification: the annual Truman Dinner which benefits the Missouri State Party, is quickly approaching on August 17 and will be held at the Sheet Metal Local 36 Grand Hall on Chouteau (2319 Choteau Ave. St. Louis, MO 63103).  The event features Auditor Nicole Galloway, Minority Leader Crystal Quade and a panel of organizing professionals.  Click here to buy tickets and get all the details.

 

Planned Parenthood and ACLU Sue to Block Abortion Ban

(via Missouri Times)

With less than a month to go until a new abortion law is set to go into effect, Planned Parenthood and the ACLU of Missouri have filed a lawsuit in an attempt to stop the ban. 

The joint complaint — filed Tuesday with U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri — said Missouri officials “have engaged in a targeted campaign against abortion” for years. The complaint argued Missouri’s new law is in direct contradiction to decisions already handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court regarding abortion, including the landmark Roe v. Wade decision. 

“If HB 126 is permitted to take effect, Plaintiff’s patients will be subject to significant and irreparable constitutional, medical, emotional, and other harms for which no adequate remedy at law exists,” the lawsuit said. 

The suit asks for a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction to prevent the law from going into effect in four weeks.

 

A Few Notes on Gun Violence

As State Party Chairwoman and Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker pointed out via Twitter, Missouri has no laws requiring the reporting of stolen weapons for tracking purposes. The state has eliminated all training and education requirements to carry concealed weapons (this was the "constitutional carry" bill passed by the legislature in 2016 despite a veto by Governor Nixon). Missouri still has open loopholes for background checks and on average, states with less regulation on firearms have higher rates of suicide, homicide and accidental shootings.

Banning high capacity magazines, expanded background checks, training classes and other common sense policies are extremely popular with the voters, including hefty majorities of Republicans, but the NRA and dishonest interests have kept them from being passed at the federal and state levels. 

Despite Republican talking points, the Democratic Party does not want to take away everyone's guns.  Many of our members and officials are avid hunters and have handguns for home defense. But the levels of gun violence in our nation are unlike any other developed western nation; we are uniquely bad at identifying the problem and meeting it with action.  There is public consensus on a number of policies and that the government must serve a role in making it harder for one person to take the lives of so many so quickly.  Republicans, chief among them Mitch McConnell, won't let that happen. Pawns of the gun lobby like Missouri House Speaker Elijah Haahr and Governor Mike Parson will continue to override cities like Kansas City and St. Louis that want to govern themselves on this issue (and others).  The only way we are going to make our communities safer with policy is by voting out those who remain complicit and electing people who reflect the thinking of the majority. 

 

Upcoming Club Meetings and Events:

  • Clay County Democrats Night at the Elms: Second annual dinner and fundraiser August 10 at the Elms Hotel and Spa.  Special guest: Congressman Joaquin Castro of Texas. Click here for details and to buy tickets.
  • Jackson County Democratic Committee Quarterly Meeting: General business meeting August 6th, 7pm at the county courthouse, 308 W. Kansas Ave. in Independence. Committeewoman seat for Van Bueren Township will be filled by committee vote.
  • Sierra Club: Green New Deal Discussion, with Andrew Bernal (advisor to Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and economics expert), August 11, 2-4pm at Unity Temple on the Plaza (707 W. 47th St. KCMO). Click here to RSVP.
  • Clay County Women's Democratic Club: Officer elections and updated bylaws. August 19, 5:15 social, 5:45 meeting at Chappell's Restaurant (323 Armour Rd. NKC). Annual dues are $10.
  • Platte County Democrats "Good Government" Event: August 20, 6:30pm at KCPD North Patrol (11000 NW Prairie View Dr.). See below for more information.
  • National Democratic Training Committee Session: "Blue Bench Training" We will have three separate tracks for candidates, campaign staff, and local organizers. All three will include focuses in messaging, fundraising, field, and digital. This event is open to anyone interested in running for office, is staff on a campaign (or hopes to be), or for anyone within the local party infrastructure. September 7, 9am-4:30pm at UMKC. Click here to RSVP: https://traindemocrats.org/event/ndtc-blue-bench-training-missouri/?fbclid=IwAR2VPSvXH0ioXaBZfuKQsEZSaZeHJMhr9tT6WgiNXRX-kUI7f3fCMlryYaQ