Senators Jill Schupp (24th Missouri Senatorial District), and Scott Sifton (1st Missouri Senatorial District) and Missouri State Representative Deb Lavender (90th) addressed a meeting of nearly 60 Progressive-Democrats today at the monthly meeting of West County Democrats. The thrust of each of their talks was a unified message – we Democrats must listen to what concerns Missourians and find ways to deliver favorably on those concerns.
Senator Schupp, strategized that we have an opportunity to redefine political success in Missouri. We Progressive-Democrats can offer clear alternatives to Missourians when it comes to health care, education and senior care. While the Republicans now in charge of both houses and the Governor’s office are keen to decimate programs people want, need, and depend on, we, Progressive-Democrats, seek to know the impact of these programs and how to improve them, not eliminate them.
Sifton went on to add that to succeed in 2018 and 2020 Progressive Dems will need to present a more forceful, constructive, and targeted message. But, that message has to come from the electorate, addressing the concerns and issues of all citizens, – Democrat, Republican and non-committed. “We have to ask our constituents,” said Sifton, “what matters to you today? And then close our own mouths and listen.”
Finally Deb Lavender offered concrete tactics that we can be doing now on both a group and individual basis. First, she explained that the Adopt-A-District plan, which her campaign launched in February, is being re-structured and will be re-launched very soon. Its purpose is simply to reach out across the region and state and make personal connections with other Democrats. It is relationship building. What might come of newly forged relationships sharing a common purpose, no one knows. But nothing will happen if we don’t know and talk to one another. Look for more on this program soon.
Second, Deb also encouraged all of us to read and like her Facebook Pages. She has two: ”DebLavenderforStateRepresentative and DebLavenderStateRepresentative”. In them she always posts talking points on bills on which she is working in the Missouri State House. “These can be sources of common conversations,” she points out. These are ways to get people talking to one another and not at one another.
So, the message from the Senators and Representative is: offer clear and compelling alternative solutions to concerns and problems Missourians are facing. Learn about these by listening to people. And, ultimately, be active in any small or large way that you perceive will make a difference now, in 2018, and beyond.
Submitted by Mark Kumming, WCD Member