Past Events and Speakers

One of the missions of West County Democrats is to educate members on important issues. We are grateful to these wonderful speakers for their education & information.

List of WCD Speakers


January 8, 2018:  “Protecting Yourself Against Consumer Fraud – Identity Theft and Other Harmful Scams” with Capt. Robert A. Catlett, Jr., Assistant Chief, Glendale Police Department

February 12, 2018:  “Healthcare Financing: No Solution Without Policy” with Peter G. Tuteur, MD, Emeritus Associate Professor of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine


January 9, 2017:  “The Missouri Prison Pipeline” with Mary Ann McGivern, former director of Project COPE, a prisoner re-entry program

February 13, 2017:  “The Missouri Democratic Party in the 2018 Election Cycle ” with Stephen Webber, Chair, Missouri Democratic Party

March 13, 2017:  “The State of Chinese-American Relations Today” with Dr. Brian Arendt, Assistant Professor of Chinese Studies and International Relations at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri

April 10, 2017:  “The Art of the Possible” with Jimmy Loomis, Democratic Party activist and leader

May 8, 2017:  Redistricting in Missouri: Can We Effect Change Before The New Lines Are Out?” with Bill Otto and Cheryl Hibbeler

June 12, 2017:  Annual June Field Trip to the Missouri Civil War Museum at Jefferson Barracks. Lunch following the tour at Cafe Telegraph

June 14, 2017:  FOCUS 2018 Meeting:  “Turn off Fox News”

July 10, 2017:  “A Democratic/Progressive Agenda for Missouri” with speakers Rep. Deb Lavender, Sen. Jill Schupp and Sen. Scott Sifton

July 12, 2017:  FOCUS 2018 Meeting:  “Clean Missouri”

August 14, 2017:  “Religions and Peace: Locally and Globally” with speaker, Dr. David Oughton, St. Louis University

September 11, 2017:  “Changing the Climate Conversation: Resolving Global Climate Change Without National Action” with speaker, Dr. Amanda M. Rosen, Webster University

September 14, 2017:  FOCUS 2018 Meeting – “Empower Missouri: Advocacy 101” (cancelled)

October 9, 2017:  “Why Medicare for All is the Best Solution and How to Communicate the ‘Whys'” with speaker, Dr. Ed Weisbart, Physicians for a National Health Program

October 11, 2017: FOCUS 2018 Meeting – “The Battle to Preserve Public Education in Missouri” with Peggy Cochran, past Executive Director of the Missouri National Education Association, and Carl Peterson, served two terms on the Ferguson-Florissant School Board, and Gary Sharpe, public school teacher and administrator, who also served in the Missouri House of Representatives and chaired the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee

November 8, 2017:  “The Democratic Future Is Now!” with 3 speakers – Elise Miller Hoffman: venture capitalist, Wash University graduate, President of  STL Young Democrats, and National Membership Director for New Leadership Council; Tyler Maxwell: SLU graduate in political science, partner in MO Political consulting, worked with Jill Schupp, Bruce Franks, Jr., and the Missouri Democratic Party; Naomi See: Senior at Cor Jesu Academy, SPARC founder, and socially conscious activist aiming toward an education in international relations

November 13, 2017:  “The State Auditor’s Office:  Its Mission & Activities” with speaker, Missouri State Auditor, Nicole Galloway

December 11, 2017:  “St. Francis Xavier’s Outreach Program: Facilitating Access to Identification Documents” with speaker, Christine Dragonette


January 11, 2016:  “Four Candidates’ Views from the Ground in Franklin County” with Susan Cunningham, Bobbie Bollmann, Lloyd Klinedinst, & Tom Smith

February 8, 2016:  “Talkin’ Weird Weather With Climate Skeptics” with Don Corrigan, Professor of Journalism, Webster University, and editor and co-publisher of the two suburban weeklies, Webster-Kirkwood Times and South County Times

March 14, 2016:  “Delegate Selection Process” with Bob Levine, Delegate Selection Chair of the MO Democratic Party;  Get to Know Missouri State politicions with Bill Otto, Mo. 2nd Congressional District, Jake Zimmerman, Mo. Attorney General, Byron DeLear, Mo. 70th House District, Mike Evans, Mo. 113th House District, and Panel Moderator: Glenn Koenen, Mo 95th House District

April 11, 2016:  “Mass Incarceration in the U.S.” with Michael Campbell, professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at UMSL

May 9, 2016:  “Confronting Economic Inequality in the 21st Century” with Allan MacNeill, Ph.D., professor of political economy in the Department of History, Politics and International Relations at Webster University

June 16, 2016:  Field Trip Outing to the Lewis and Clark Museum, St Charles Mo

July 11, 2016:  “Getting to know our Missouri State Politicians” with Sue Meredith, Mo. 71st House District, Scott Sifton, Mo. Senate 1st District, Deb Lavender, Mo. 90th House District, and Panel Moderator: Glenn Koenen, Mo 95th House District

August 8, 2016:  “The State of Education in Missouri—The Challenges that Lie Ahead” with Peggy Cochran, State advisory Board of Directors for the Missouri Women’s Leadership Coalition

September 12, 2016:  “The Story of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America” with Becky Morgan, Missouri Chapter Lead

October 10, 2016:  “Getting to know our Missouri State Politicians” with Jill Schupp, Mo. Senate District 24, Sarah Unsicker, Mo. District 91, Nicole Galloway, Mo. State Auditor, and Panel Moderator: Glenn Koenen, running, Mo 95th House District

November 14, 2016:  “The 2016 Election:  What Happened, Why, and What Does It Mean?” with Professor E. Terrence (Terry) Jones is Founders’ Professor of Political Science and Public Policy Administration at the University of Missouri-St. Louis

December 12, 2016:  “History of Housing and Homelessness in Metro St. Louis and the Response” with Tom Burnham, Community Relations Officer for St. Peter & Paul Community Services (PPCS) and liaison to St Louis city and county governments addressing the needs of the homeless and low income individuals and families to residential and business groups, police and alderpersons and care providers in the neighborhoods where their programs exist


January 12, 2015:  “What Is Better Together?” with Marius K. Johnson-Malone, Deputy Director of Community Based Studies for Better Together, St. Louis, MO

 February 9, 2015:  “Modern Issues in Civil Rights” with Christopher T. Hexler, attorney, & participant in 1964’s Freedom Summer, Mississippi

March 9, 2015:  “Missouri Legislative Update” with Glenn Koenen, Chair of Hunger Rights Task Force, Missouri Association for Social Welfare

April 13, 2015:  Health Care for All Americans: Sing, Choir, Sing!” with Dr. Ed. Weisbart, Chair, Physicians for a National Health Program – Missouri Chapter

May 1, 2015:  “Environmental Missouri: Issues and Sustainability, What You Need to Know” with Don Corrigan, professor of journalism at Webster University in St. Louis,editor and co-publisher of the two suburban weeklies, Webster-Kirkwood Times and South County Times, and author of the books, “Show Me…Natural Wonders,” in 2007 and “Show Me…Nature’s Wrath,” in 2009, each published by Reedy Press

June 8, 2015:  Annual Field Trip Outing  – UMSL campus to visit the  historic Mercantile Library

July 13, 2015:  “Show-Me Democracy? Let the Welfare of Those that Bought Access Be the Supreme Law” with Dr. John Messmer, Prof. of Political Science at St Louis Community College and founder of Missourians for Government Reform

August 10, 2015:  “Healthcare & the Missouri Medicaid Gap” with Rene LaFerla,  BSW social work from Fontbonne University, working towards masters in Social Work at SLU and Glenn Koenen

September 14, 2015:  “How to Put Your Money where your Mouth Is & Responsible Investment” with Sr. Barbara Jennings, CSJ, Sisters of St Joseph of Carondelet & Director of MCRI, Midwest Coalition for Responsible Investment

October 12, 2015:  “Missouri Jobs for Justice” with Richard von Glahn, Organizing Director of Missouri Jobs with Justice

November 9, 2015:  “Politics of Race & Gender” plus “Ferguson Happened…..Now What?”  with Amy A. Hunter, Director of Racial Justice at YWCA Metro St. Louis

December 14, 2015:  “Sweet Celebrations: Making A Big Impact With Little Celebrations” with Beth Brockling, Founder of Sweet Celebrations, providing birthday celebrations for children in homeless shelters


January 13, 2014:  “Beyond the Affordable Care Act: Healthcare Reform 2.0” with Dr. Ed Weisbart, Chair of the St. Louis chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program

February 10, 2014:  “US Foreign Aid: Global Leader or Ugly American Redux?” with Dr. Peter Matlon, Adjunct Professor in Cornell University’s Applied Economics and Management Department, Board Chair of the agricultural research center AfricaRice, and member of boards and advisory committees of several other US and African institutions.

March 10, 2014:  “Planned Parenthood & the Affordable Care Act” with Tim Williams, Director

April 14, 2014: “Right to Work – Wrong for Families”  with Mark Buchheit, Director of Protect Missouri Families

May 12, 2014:  “Missouri 2015: Future for Hunger Rights” with Glen Koenan, Chair of Hunger Rights Task Force, Missouri Association for Social Welfare

June 9, 2014: “STL Movers & Shakers”, Annual Field Trip to Bellefontaine Cemetery

July 14, 2014: “Sue Shear Institute” with Vivian Eveloff, Founder & Director of the Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public Life

August 11, 2014:  “Immigrants in St. Louis”  with Kate Howell, VP of Development and Communications for the International Institute of St. Louis and  Assistant Director of the Festival of Nations

September 8, 2014: “Missouri Education Update” with Carl Peterson & Gary Sharpe

October 13, 2014:  “Center For Women In Transition” with Laura Toledo, Executive Director

11/10/14: “Voices for Children” with Jennifer C. Hoffman, Director of Legal Services for Voices for Children – STL

12/8/14: “Sweet Potato Cookie Project” with Sylvester Brown, Jr., Founder


January 14, 2013: “The Inauguration of President Obama” with Philip Deitch, Chairman of Stonewall Democrats of Eastern Missouri

February 11, 2013: “As If We Weren’t There…” with Deborah Nelson Linck, Founder of the Hands on Black History Museum

March 11, 2013: “Right to Work Legislation” with union representative from United Food & Commercial Workers, Local 655 

April 8, 2013:  “The Reality of Climate Change” with Ken Denson, co-chair of the volunteer/appointed Chesterfield Citizens Committee for the Environment & trained member of the Climate Leadership Corp of The Climate Reality Project

April 2013:   Legislative Field Trip to Jefferson City, MO

May 13, 2013:  “The Energy Race” with Gregg Maryniak, Chairman of the Department of Energy and Environment at Singularity University, hosted by NASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California; Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics; & Secretary of the X Prize Foundation.

June 10, 2013:  Annual Field Trip to The Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis and The Mahatma Gandhi Center  in Ballwin, MO

July 8, 2013: “Missouri Coalition for the Environment” with Heather Navarro, Executive Director

August 12, 2013:  “Finding Freedom:  Representing Victims of Abuse in Prison for Killing Their Abusers in Self Defense” with Amy J. Lorenz-Moser, Attorney, Armstrong Teasdale

September 9, 2013:  Panel Discussion on School Safety, focusing on guns& mental health with speakers: Carl Peterson, Communication Speaker for Save Our Schools; Dr. J. Terry Gates, The Hoenny Center – teacher reform; and Melissa Brooks, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

October 14, 2013:  “ALEC and Influences upon Missouri Legislators” with Sean Nicholson, CEO of Progress Missouri

November 11, 2013:  “National Alliance on Mental Alliance” with Jackie Lukitsch, Director of Advocacy

December 9, 2013:  “Angels’ Arms: Providing Homes, Embracing Children, Fostering Families” with Pat Lanane, CFO of Angels’ Arms


January 9, 2012:  “Advocating for LGBT Equality” with Andrew Shaughnessey, Director of PROMO

February 13, 2012:  “Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid & Tax Cuts for the Wealthy” with Suzanne & Bob Reinhold, attorneys

March 12, 2012:  “Health Care for the Underprivileged” with Jorge Riopedre, Executive Director of Casa de Salud

April 9, 2012:  “Missouri Tax Policy” with Amy Blouin, Founder & Executive of the Missouri Budget Project

May 14, 2012:  “Missouri Foundation for Health” with Ryan Barker, Director

June 11, 2012:  “Voter Rights & Impact of ALEC” with Denise Lieberman, Senior Attorney for Voter Protection Project, Advancement Project

July  9, 2012:  “Candidate Forum of Missouri Democratic Candidates for Lieutenant Governor” in the August 7, 2012 primary elections, featuring the following 5 of the 8 Democratic primary candidates for Lieutenant Governor:   Judy Baker:  Former member of the Missouri House of Representatives and a former Region VII Director for the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services; Bill Haas:   Member, St. Louis School Board, attorney and Democratic nominee for Congress in 2008; Fred Kratky: Former member of the Missouri House of Representatives, representing District 65, and Missouri Broker/Realtor; Sara Lampe: Democratic member of the Missouri House of Representatives, representing District 138 (central Springfield) since 2004. She currently serves as Minority Caucus Secretary; and Becky Plattner: Missouri Conservation Commission chairwoman, former Presiding Commissioner of Saline County, and former candidate in the Democratic primary for Lieutenant Governor in 2008.

August 13, 2012:  “Health Care, Taxes and Social Justice in the Upcoming Missouri Legislative Session” with Rep. Rory Ellinger

September 10, 2012:  “Education Update in Missouri” with Peggy Cochran & Gary Sharpe, Missouri Public Schools Advocates

October 8, 2012:  “Ballot Initiatives” with the following speakers:  Proposition A, Municipal Police Amendment:  Martin Casas; Proposition B, Tobacco Tax:  Amy Blouin from The Missouri Budget Project;  Proposition E, Health Care Exchange: Dr. Terry Jones, Professor of Political Science at UMSL;  Proposition L, County Libraries, Charles Pace, Director of the St. Louis County Library;  and Constitutional Amendment 3, Judicial Appointment:  Stuart Berkowitz from the Missouri Bar

November 12, 2012:  “Reviewing the 2012 Elections” with Lana Stein, Professor Emerita in Political Science and Past Department Chair at the University of Missouri St. Louis

December 10, 2012:  “Puppies for Parole” with George Lombardi, Director


January 10, 2011:  “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010” with  Judith Parker, Missouri Alliance for Retired Americans

February 14, 2011:  “Stem Cell Research for a Healthier Tomorrow” with Jim Goodwin, Communications Director of Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures

March 14, 2011:  “Don’t Count Out Democrats” with Alvin Reid, Nine Network and 101 ESPN

April 11, 2011:  “Impact of Media on the Political Process” with Art Silverblatt, Professor, Department of Communications & Journalism at Webster University

May 9, 2011:  “Climate Change” with Carl Bender, Wilfred R. and Ann Lee Konneker  Distinguished Professor of Physics at Washington University

June 13, 2011:  “Structure & Responsibilities of the Federal Reserve Bank” with Rod A. Jokerst, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

July 11, 2011:  Annual Field Trip – Holocaust Museum & Learning Center, Jewish Federation Kopolow Building 

August 8, 2011:  “2011 Legislative Wrap-Up” with speakers: Senator Robin Wright-Jones, Rep. Jeanne Kirkton, Rep. Mary Nichols, Rep. Jeanette Mott-Oxford, and Rep. Margo McNeil;  Marty Ott, Moderator

September 12, 2011:  “Push for Progress – Getting Excited and Involved in Missouri Democratic Politics” with Susan Montee, Chair of the Missouri Democratic Party

October 10, 2011:  “Looking Past Election Cycles to Generational Change in Politics” with Arthur Lieber, co-founder of Civitas Associates

November 14, 2011:  “Microfinancing as a Strategy to End Extreme Poverty” with Heather Cammarata, Executive Director, and Sister Toni Temporiti, Founder & Director of Microfinancing Partners in Africa

December 12, 2011:  “My Wake-up Call to Racism” with Franklin McCallie, community leader and retired principal of Kirkwood High School

The Archives:  2001-2010

Bill McClellan
Susan Kidder
William Freivogel
Scott Baier
Cat Kelly
Joan Bray
Jean Carnahan
Charlie Dooley

Tonya Ogden
Tracey McCreery & Stacey Newman
Ed Finkelstein
Ray Hartmann
Eric Greitens
Jill Schupp, Margo McNeil, Jeanne Kirkton, & Vicki Englund
Sylvester Brown
Tour of St. Louis Community College at Wildwood
Amy Smoucha
Joan Suarez
Jo Mannies
Jake Zimmerman

Dennis Lavalee
John Temporiti
Dan Raniere
Jeanette Mott Oxford & Gene Leung
Marilyn Lorenz
Margaret Donnelly & Jeff Harris
Charles Wheeler, Clint Zweifel & Andrea Simckes
Rose Rita Huelsman
Terry Jones
Glenn Koenan

Danielle Silber
Alberta Slavin & Jeff Theerman
Leila Medley
Clint Zweifel
Sidney Watson
Peter Downs & Barbara Fraser
Mike Evans
Rose Huelsmann & Tina Busch Nema
Jon Hagler & John Hickey
Nina Balsam
Sam Page
Jake Zimmerman

Amy Blouin
Deb Dubin
Peggy Cochran
Beth Griffin
Mary Ann McGivern
Barbara Ross, Ben & Pat Martin & Jeanette Mott Oxford
Deb Dubin, David Eagleton, Bernie Frank, Gen Frank, & Margarida Jorge
David Kimball

John Hickey
Nancy Farmer
Myrna Fictenbaum
Amy Blouin
Jean Carnahan
Maida Coleman & Sam Page
Corey Dillon
Wayne Henke & Nancy Copenhaver
Peter Campbell
Stacey Newman & Jeff Harris
Margaret Donnelly
Ed Finkelstein

Jeff Smith, Pat Shores & Mary Gaffey
Harriett Woods
Nancy Farmer & Joan Kelly Horn
Bekki Cook & Mark Smith
Ken Jacob & Rick Johnson
Charlie Dooley, Lori Allen, Jo Ann Kaell & Kristy Manning
Ed Bishop
Rita Days
Dave Robertson
Sylvester Brown
David Kendall

June Bartley, Ken Curtis & CT Sharp
Burt Newman
Mimi Signor
Robin Wright Jones
Nancy Grove
Carl Mitchell
Ray Hartmann
Robin Carnahan
Janice Moreno & Loraine Miller

Stacey Newman
Allison Gee
Maggie Thurman
Barbara Fraser
Bernie Frank
Josh Campbell
Mike Kelly
Stacey Newman & Michelle Trupiano
May Scheve

Margaret Eaton
Myrna Fictenbaum
Annette Mandel
Barbara Bennett
Deleta Williams, Shirley Breeze & Betty Tyson