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Benton County Democrats

The Benton County Democratic Club met Wednesday, August 21st at the Warsaw library. After opening the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance and introductions, Nicki Goers, chairperson, introduced our speaker, Holly Bickmeyer. Holly is a Missouri Democratic Party (MDP) State Committeewoman, the MDP Progressive Caucus vice chair, and is also the president of the River Rat Democrats.

The Missouri Democratic Party Progressive caucus is open to any progressive Democrat in the state of Missouri. Their mission is to encourage involvement of other progressives, identify and recruit progressive candidates for office, and develop a progressive state platform.

Holly grew up in a union family in a rural area of Missouri. She believes that "Anyone who works for a living should be a Democrat." She supports country people and their values. Healthcare is a human right, getting rid of debt and wage slavery, supporting justice and liberty for all people no matter what their beliefs and spending money on education as an investment in the future are some of the basic country values.

Holly emphasized that we can't just talk about the problems; we need to act. We need to make sure people, including youth who have reached at least 17 ½ years of age, are registered to vote. We should actively recruit candidates, support their campaigns and get out the voters. We can’t shy away from conversations with people with differing opinions. Often, we will discover while there may be differences, basic human needs can be common ground on which to build support for shared concerns-the right to available and affordable healthcare, a living wage, supporting our veterans and ensuring a good education for our children. The defeat of Right to Work and the passage of both Medical Marijuana and the Clean Missouri amendment are recent examples of where shared values can meet desired outcomes. We need to be an informed voter. In addition to researching and gaining an understanding of the issues, we need to monitor bills, proposed laws and what is happening in the Missouri Congress. You can find information on bills at https://house.mo.gov/ and https://www.senate.mo.gov/ . Knowing what your district lawmakers are doing is an important way to be an informed voter. You can also follow Missouri House and Senate members on Facebook.

In old business we talked about the large turnout of Democrats and floats at the Missouri State Fair parade August 8th and the presence of Benton Countians at the Democratic booth August 11th. A report was given about our awesome Eagles of Benton County prints. There are 16 pictures captured by local artistic photographer Kathy White. We've had copies of the prints on display in several places and have started taking orders. To view online, visit http://www.bentoncountydemocrat.com/ and click on Fund Raiser.

In the committee report our booth for the Second Saturday was successful. We kept the booth nonpartisan because we were registering people to vote and/or giving them information of how to register online. We also had a bake sale with tasty scones, cookies and breads. John Parks gave a report on the progress of the cookbook we're getting published. All recipes are in, but more typing is being done.