Showing posts with label Missouri. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Missouri. Show all posts

Saturday, November 07, 2020

Cori Bush wins election, becomes Missouri's first Black congresswoman

Democrat Cori Bush has been elected to Missouri’s 1st Congressional District, making her the first Black Congresswoman in the history of Missouri.

Bush dfeated her Republican challenger, Anthony Rogers by winning 78.9% of the vote.

Vote Totals

Democrat Cori Bush: 245,520

Repiblican Anthony Rogers: 59,156

Monday, January 07, 2019

Ferguson school district must change board election method

A Missouri school district that includes students from Ferguson must change its board member election method after the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal.

The Supreme Court let stand a July ruling from the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The appeals panel sided with a federal judge who in 2017 ordered the Ferguson-Florissant School District to adopt cumulative voting, saying the district's at-large election method violated the federal Voting Rights Act.

A lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of the NAACP and black parents and residents of the suburban St. Louis school district alleged that the at-large system, in which people vote only once for a candidate, was racially biased against black candidates.

Cumulative voting allows people to cast as many votes as there are candidates and to use all of their votes on one candidate if they choose.

ACLU attorneys said they are eager to work with the district to implement a new system for use in the April school board election.

"With a new electoral system in place, all residents' voices will be heard and their votes will be given equal weight," Julie Ebenstein, an attorney with the ACLU's Voting Rights Project, said in a statement.

A statement from the school district said that while it was disappointed, it has been working with the ACLU and county election officials "to implement the court-mandated election procedures" in time for the April 3 election.

The lawsuit against the school district was filed in 2014, when six of the seven board members were white, even though about four-fifths of the district's 11,000 students were black.

The current racial makeup of the board is four white and three black members. Two of the board members — one white and one black — have terms that expire in April.


Monday, December 31, 2018

African-American women to head two of Missouri's largest courts

Judge Robin Ransom

Starting in January, African-American women will lead two of the busiest courthouses in Missouri for the first time in history.

Judge Gloria Reno was elected the presiding judge of the 21st Circuit in St. Louis County in October and began serving that month, because her predecessor had retired. Judge Robin Ransom will become presiding judge of the 22nd Circuit, which hears cases in St. Louis, in January.

Presiding judges handle some administrative work for the courts, such as deciding which judges will handle what types of cases. As presiding judge in the city, Ransom handles most preliminary matters, like motions to dismiss.

p>The two women were elected to the presiding judge post by their fellow judges — something Ransom called an honor and privilege.

"These are people that you work with and you respect, but you don’t understand the level of confidence that people really have in you until your own colleagues support you for a position of this nature,” she said.
Reno agreed.
Judge Gloria Reno
“It’s always really nice when you get the support of your peers, even more so than when it’s coming from outside,” she said. “The fact that people you have worked with for a number of years have this kind of faith and confidence in you.”

Both judges hope that will allow people who distrust the system a space to be heard.

“When I walk into a room, it’s very obvious that I’m a black female,” Ransom said. “I don’t need to announce that. I think the one thing that makes me very proud in this role with those two particular identifying factors is that we’ve had a lot of stressors in our communities over the last few years. I’m hoping that in our roles, we can really get to some of those people who don’t feel that they’re represented and let them know that just because a decision doesn’t go your way, it doesn’t mean that we’re not listening.”

Reno added: “The fact that we are here, in these positions, I think, is an indication that the system works. I believe that it may, of course, foster some trust.”

Both women say they want to use their positions as the public face of the courts to encourage jury service. Both will also push for the expansion of diversion programs like mental health or drug courts, which allow defendants facing low-level charges to go through intensive treatment in exchange for having the charges dropped.

“It costs a lot of money to incarcerate a person,” Reno said. “This is a cheaper way of dealing with those who come into the courts for alcohol, for drugs and for mental-health issues.”
Reno, as presiding judge in St. Louis County, also has oversight authority of the county’s 82 municipal courts, which handle minor ordinance violations. Many are facing lawsuits for violating the rights of defendants.

Reform is a work in progress, she said.

“We’re making sure that all of the judges on our muni courts are certified, that all the muni courts operate the way any other court would, with proper signage, with the separation of powers.”
Reno says she hopes to have all 82 municipal courts online by the end of her first year as presiding judge.

“If we are really making real progress in that, I think I’ll consider that to be a positive, for sure,” she said.

Ransom said she wants to spend her first year getting 15- to 25-year-olds excited about “the court system, the judiciary, their city where they live.

“I have so many people that I run into every single day, and they have nothing good to say about their futures or their city,” she said. Success will be “if after 12 months, I can say I’ve reached out to some of those people and had some of our younger kids from the city really appreciate not only where they live, but to appreciate that this is the best system that I think we have.”

Presiding judge terms generally last for two years, but Ransom may leave before her term is complete: She is one of three finalists for a seat on the Missouri Court of Appeals.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Cori Bush is running for congress!

Hoping to replicate the stunning success of fellow Justice Democrats Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez primary campaign, St. Louis native, Cori Bush is running to bring transformative change to Missouri’s 1st Congressional District.

Cori Bush is a former early childhood educator, a community-based mental health registered nurse, and an ordained pastor.

Cori has felt the burden of being uninsured and the pain of homelessness. She has endured racism and sexism. She is a survivor of sexual assault and domestic violence. Cori experienced the challenges of raising children on her own, living paycheck to paycheck, making just above minimum wage, taking on student loans to continue her education.

And Cori Bush stands tall, using her experiences as fuel to fight for the disadvanged, the disenfranchised, and the voiceless.

Cori is a tireless advocate for creating dramatic change. Now is not the time for baby steps. Incremental change is no change at all when her patients can’t afford medication, and families are struggling to put food on the table and find justice in the streets.

Learn more about Cori Bush here:

Monday, April 02, 2018

Missouri State Legislator: Sen. McCaskill not engaging with black voters

Even though Sen. McCaskill's issues engaging black voters is taking place in Missouri, this should be a cautionary tale for all Democrats nationwide. Yes, you have to reach to and engage other bases that might not usually vote democratic but don't forget your base. Black voters are starting to feel taken for granted and while they won't vote Republican they just may stay home. George L. Cook III African American Reports.

African American leaders in Missouri are frustrated with what they see as Sen. Claire McCaskill’s lackluster engagement with minority voters.

Frustrated enough that they refused to sign a letter pushing back against comments made last month by Bruce Franks, a prominent black activist and state legislator from St. Louis, who called on McCaskill to “show up” and earn the support of minority voters in her state.

“I’m going to vote for Claire, but Claire is going to have to bring her ass to St. Louis,” Franks said to applause at a town hall he hosted Feb. 17.

In response to Franks comments, McCaskill had asked African American elected officials in Kansas City and St. Louis to sign the letter.

Among those who were approached by McCaskill are U.S. Reps. Emanuel Cleaver of Kansas City and Lacy Clay of St. Louis, and state Rep. Gail McCann Beatty, the minority leader in the Missouri House.

Each declined to sign.

“I’m 100 percent certain that nobody signed it,” Cleaver said in an interview Wednesday with The Kansas City Star. “We talked about it very seriously and strongly and every one of us said, ‘We’re going to support her, but signing this letter isn’t going to achieve what she wants. It’s just going to make people angry.’ ”

Cleaver said he’s sympathetic to McCaskill’s plight. She’s a Democrat running for re-election in a state Republican President Donald Trump won by nearly 19 points in 2016. He understands she must win over some right-leaning voters to survive.

But as McCaskill works to burnish her reputation as a centrist, Cleaver and other African American leaders said they worry she’ll leave minority voters on the left with the impression that she’s taking them for granted — and it could cost her turnout in the urban centers that are crucial to her base.

“The state is large and diverse, but she might need to take the campaign into the repair shop in the black communities,” Cleaver said. “I think if people see that she’s actually trying to win them over then I think it will be a benefit to her re-election.”

McCaskill’s campaign said she has a long record of standing with and fighting for Missouri’s African American community, starting with her time as a prosecutor and continuing with her work as a U.S. senator.

“Nothing has, or ever will, change that commitment,” said Meira Bernstein, McCaskill’s campaign spokeswoman, in a statement.

Read more: McCaskill asked black leaders to push back on criticism of her campaign. No one would.

Friday, July 28, 2017

NAACP Issuing Travel Advisory Against the state of Missouri

The NAACP is moving forward with a travel advisory warning black people to be careful while in Missouri because of a danger that civil rights won't be respected.

Missouri NAACP President Rod Chapel said Thursday that national delegates voted the day before to adopt the advisory, which was put in place at a statewide level in June. Chapel said it's up for ratification by the national board in October.

It cites legislation signed by Gov. Eric Greitens that will make it more difficult to sue for housing or employment discrimination.

The advisory also cites other issues, including a recent attorney general's report that shows black Missouri drivers last year were 75 percent more likely to be stopped than whites.

Chapel says he hopes recognition from the national organization will boost awareness.


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Missouri police beat innocent black man, but they do apologize

22-year-old Joseph Swink was on his way home when his car was side swiped by another car being chased by police. While running from his crashed car which was filing with smoke Swink was assaulted by three cops who arrived after he was side swiped. The cops believed that he was the suspect they were chasing. That would be because the suspect they were chasing was black and as soon as they saw a black man running they assumed he was guilty. But before you go all getting mad the local police chief did apologize. Watch the story below: