7th Ward Candidates for Democratic Committeewoman and Committeeman:
1. Describe at least one action that St. Louis City Democratic Central Committee should take to help make Black Lives Matter a reality. (125 words or less)
Marie Ceselski: St. Louis City Democratic Central Committee should lobby for 1) subpoena power and district election of Police Civilian Oversight Board and 2) $15 Minimum Wage. Central Committee should prioritize voter registration and GOTV in economically depressed neighborhoods. Central Committee should sponsor racial equity training and require members to participate as a condition of receiving funds. Central Committee should not hold Democratic Party events at SLPOA Hall.
Marty Murray Jr.: As I consider how pervasive and connected members of the Democratic Central Committee are I believe they can initiate conversations with key political figures. Many of the current members on the central committee have ties to other elected officials both locally and on the state level. Members of the Democratic Central Committee must recognize that failing to address this topic is tearing at the fabric of our humanity. A solution to this would be to come together and develop programs that serve to educate. Programs that ensure we are being proactive in the reduction of violence toward the innocent.
2. Describe at least one change in the Democratic Party- local, state, or national- that you would champion if elected committeeman/committeewoman. (125 words or less)
Marie Ceselski: St. Louis City Democratic Central Committee needs By-Laws that articulate a commitment to transparency and inclusion- open meetings, advertising events, conducting events in neutral spaces where all Democrats would feel welcome. Central Committee members should elect State Party members committed to ensuring a delegate selection process in 2020 that is efficient, open, and fair, something we did not have this year. Democratic National Committee should do away with super-delegates in their present form. With the exception of former presidents and current U.S. Senators, everyone else should have to participate in the process to be elected a delegate. We require gender equity, we can also set quotas for minority and interests to be elected at local and state level.
Marty Murray Jr. One change I would champion within the Democratic Party is bringing the focus back to the people. The first step will be to champion transparency on the local level. I intend on lobbying to become a member of the website sub-committee and any outward bound branding of the Democratic Central Committee. Having spoken to hundreds of people I am often the first person to explain to them what the groups is and what a Committeeman does. The way I witnessed our party handle the convention was absolutely inappropriate. It was not unbiased and impartial as I observed many delegates left ambiguous. I believe correcting the focus back to the people will ensure that our constituents’ views are included and considered.
3. Should the City of St. Louis re-enter St. Louis County as a municipality and give up operating its own county offices and collecting/spending its own county revenue? Explain. If Yes, should this change require approval by St. Louis City and St. Louis County voters? (125 words or less)
Marie Ceselski: No. St. Louis City should not re-enter St. Louis County as a municipality. Re-entry solves no problems but creates new revenue problems for City. Instead, we should consolidate all of St. Louis City, St. Louis County, and County’s municipalities, into one political subdivision. Meantime, there are many reforms we should voting on in the City, such as eliminating the Board of Estimate and replacing it with a real budget process and moving our city elections to state election dates to save money and increase turnout. Any decision regarding governance of City and County belongs to City and County voters alone. We must vigorously defend our voting rights on these matters from efforts by billionaire free market solutions advocate Rex Sinquefield to permit statewide voters to decide our future.
Marty Murray Jr.: I do not believe at the present time St. Louis City and St. Louis County should merge as a one large municipality. While it should be noted that I understand the need to draw efficiency that could potentially be recognized from combining resources. I believe the first step ought to be our current elected officials taking fiduciary responsibility; safe guarding spending. Here in the City of St. Louis we need to have metrics and strict performance standards of programs to uncover efficiency. Additionally, St. Louis County would need to begin the process of consolidating the many smaller municipalities. Only at the point will be able to broach the subject. I struggle to see both sides independently voting to merge together; given the cultural divide.
4. Why should voters elect you to the Democratic Central Committee? (250 words or less)
Marie Ceselski: In January 2013, a few months after I was elected committeewoman, I founded the 7th Ward Independent Democrats- an open ward organization for Liberal Democrats where members vote on endorsements- to conduct voter registration and Get Out The Vote for Democrats, hold candidate and ballot issue forums open to the public, promote Democratic Party events, survey candidates on issues and make those answers available to the public, socialize, and do charitable good works. This website documents those efforts. Brian Wahby, the incumbent committeeman, has a PAC but has held no ward meetings/events over the past four years. I ask you to not only re-elect me but also vote for Marty Joe Murray Jr., so that I can have a partner in these efforts. Marty Joe has been very helpful to 7th Ward Independent Democrats and been working hard going door to door to earn votes. He set up a Gloves for Grades boxing program at 12th & Park Rec Center that I am very impressed with. He’s young, has much to learn, but he is smart, his energy is boundless, and his heart is big and in the right place.
Marty Murray Jr.: You should vote for me because you know me and I am merely a reflection of you. Prior to filing for the office I have made it a point to understand the very different perspectives of each neighborhood. I have met with you at neighborhood meetings, I have held voter registration at your churches, and we have cleaned our neighborhoods together. If anything you know I will be there for you. A vote for me is a vote for transparency. I will work tirelessly to ensure the Democratic Central Committee is open to you. A vote for me is a vote for public service. I recognize that Downtown, is not Soulard, which is not Lafayette Square, which is not LaSalle Park. Each neighborhood that makes up the 7th is very unique; having its own characteristics. Prior to even filing for the office I attended (and continually attend) various neighborhood association meetings so that I can deeply understand the issues that uniquely effect each neighborhood. A vote for me is a vote for accessibility/ accountability. For those who aren’t as technically inclined I have hand written hundreds of letters; gaining many pen pals in the process. I have given out hundreds of business cards with my personal cell phone on it. There isn’t a bad time to call if you ever need anything reach out to me: 314-425-9259.