Clayton Township Democrats to hold monthly meeting Thursday

The Clayton Township Democrats will begin the new year by focusing on the progressive movement in 2018 and beyond at their monthly meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. Thursday at the University City Public Library.

Adam Kustra, who managed Sen. Bernie Sanders’ primary campaign in Missouri in 2016 before becoming the leader of Mobilize Missouri, will be one of two guest speakers on hand to discuss some of the most pressing issues Democrats face this year.

“In 2018 we force progressivism continuing the trend in prominence that it had in 2016 and 2017 as well,” said Jimmy Loomis, Clayton’s Democratic Committeeman and Missouri’s youngest elected official. “No one is better apt to speak to that than Adam Kustra. He’s going to speak about the role of progressivism in the 2018 elections and some issues that they force having importance and great success this upcoming year.”

Mobilize Missouri is a member-driven, grassroots political and activist organization born out of the growing progressive movement in Missouri that is committed to the dismantlement of socioeconomic and racial injustice through the democratic means of electoral politics, policy and activism.

Mobilize Missouri aims to further progressive goals by organizing inside and outside governmental systems to influence policy and empowering volunteers, according to its website.

In addition to discussing the progressive movement, those attending will hear from Ferguson City Councilmember Wesley Bell, who will speak about community-police relations.

Bell is an attorney, college professor and former municipal court judge in Velda City who trounced Lee Smith in a contest for Ferguson’s Ward 3 seat, where 18-year-old Michael Brown was fatally shot by Officer Darren Wilson, in April 2015.

“Councilman Bell has proven himself time and time again to be extremely competent and successful in handling this extremely contentious issue at times, and doing it with the tact that few other people have been able to do,” Loomis said. “His background in law and government and quite frankly academia has prepared him successfully to handle these type of issues that, again, are going to figure prominently in the 2018 elections and beyond.”

The meeting is free and open to the public and will run until about 8 p.m.

Loomis added that the Clayton Township Democrats are discussing the idea of holding a joint forum on some nuanced issues with the Clayton Township Republicans. Loomis said nothing is set in stone but that the meeting could take place as early as March.

“Clayton Township is looking forward to growing our membership base and providing an opportunity for civic engagement here as well as opportunities for working with our Republican counterparts on some common issues,” Loomis said.

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