Platte Dems
Newsletter of the Platte County Democratic
 Central Committee
    Volume 12 No. 2                                                                                                                                  February  2020
In This Issue
Platte County Govt
Northland Progress
Women's Club
Save the Date
Give a Damn - Vote Blue
Quick Links
March 8 - Show Me Showdown Presidential Candidate Event - Info and Tickets here  
March 9 -  Platte County Federated Women's Democratic Club - Platte County Resource Center, 11724 NW Plaza Circle, KCMO. 5:30 pm.
March 10 - Missouri Presidential Primary Election - You must vote in the Primary Election to attend the County Mass Meeting April 6 
March Meeting of the Northland Democratic Club is canceled.

March 19 - Platte County Democratic Central Committee
Platte County Resource Center, 11724 NW Plaza Circle, KCMO.  7:00 pm 
February 25 to March 31 - Candidate Filing period 
April 4th - Platte County Democratic Central Committee Spring Event  - see below 
Other Events:
Clay County Democrats - click here
Jackson County Democrats - click here.  
Indivisible Kansas City - click here.
Greater KC Women's Caucus - click here.
Heartland Alliance for Progress - click here.  
Northland Progress - click here.
ResistHate KC - click here.
Buchanan County Democrats - click here.         
February was an eventful month!
It started with the Super Bowl - Congratulations Kansas City CHIEFS!(seems like a long time ago), followed by the Iowa Caucuses, the State of the Union, the Impeachment vote, a Democratic Debate, Northland Progress's - Stand Up for Progress, The Missouri Budget Project at Northland Democratic Club and the February Central Committee Meeting. Next we had the PCDCC Speaker's Forum "Truth, Justice and the American Way" another Presidential Debate and finally, Clay County's Winterfest at Harrah's Hotel and the Democratic Primary in South Carolina.
Election Year 2020 is in full swing.There will be many opportunities to participate: you can vote, run for office, donate to your favorite candidates, campaign for your candidates by knocking on doors, phone banking, sending post cards, writing letters to the editor, joining Democratic Clubs or just watching on television and talking to your friends and neighbors. Now is finally the time we can do something to repair our broken democratic republic.
Northland Democratic Club      
The Northland Democratic Club met on February 18th at the SHEA Office on Vivian Road. Traci Gleason from the Missouri Budget Project was the guest speaker. She gave a detailed presentation on the importance of Medicaid Expansion. Sign up for E-News from the Missouri Budget Project for up-to-date information about policy questions before the Missouri Legislature.    
The March meeting has been canceled. 
Truth, Justice and The American Way Forum  
The second Speaker's Forum, "Truth, Justice & the American way" was held February 24th at the Platte County Resource Center. The forums were initiated last year as a way to reach and connect with a larger audience. This second forum was a panel discussion on how to find the truth in our current political and media environment.  
Lynn Horsley, a retired 30 year veteran of the Kansas City Star spoke about the rapid changes that are taking place in the newspaper industry as the old ad based revenue stream has been challenged by the internet and consolidation of ownership has led to a handful of corporations taking ownership of most newspapers. These changes are most acute at the local level in cities like Kansas City where the number of reporters has been drastically reduced because of lack of funding.  
Bill Grady, a radio broadcaster of 40 years' experience spoke about the dramatic changes that have taken place in radio broadcasting since the elimination of the Fairness Doctrine in the 1980's. It was this change that opened the door to infotainment like Rush Limbaugh and Fox "News" by ending the equal time requirement that dominated broadcast television and radio.  
Julie Stutterheim whose expertise is in digital marketing and communications explained how outlets like Facebook distort the information one sees on the platform by using logarithms that narrow the scope of information based on their history and by using techniques perfected by casinos to encourage participants to return to the app again and again. The presentations were followed by a lively discussion.
Horsley, Grady, Stutterheim 
Views on Platte County Government by David Park  

The Platte County Sales Tax Structure Advisory Committee met on February 13, 2020, to finalize a recommendation to the county commission on how to split the current half cent sales tax for parks and stormwater water control to include funding for law enforcement (Sheriff, Prosecutor, Courts). Unable to settle on a recommendation, the committee scheduled another meeting for February 24, 2020,
Kevin Robinson, County Auditor, and Gordon Cook, member of the committee who is an accountant, presented an impressive spreadsheet with data that included expenditures, revenues, population growth, and building permits for housing units. The data was from the past with projected numbers up to 2030. The impact of various tax split scenarios could be analyzed by changing the tax rates in the spreadsheet. The budget projections for parks in the spreadsheet did not include any meaningful additions to our park system.
The scenarios discussed included spending down funds that have been built up in reserves for parks and stormwater control. As one committee member pointed out, these reserves exist because of a policy of the commission to not build additional park facilities. He correctly argued that voters in 2010 approved the tax with the understanding that funds would be used to add to the park system. The commission's policy of "no new parks" ignored the wishes of the voters.
What would happen, it was asked, at the end of the 10 years when the reserves used for park operations and maintenance ran out? The answer was the funding would have to come from the general fund instead, or they could stop maintaining parks. The current commissioners would like for the county to get out of "the park business" so the future for parks at that point is extremely bleak. Remember that a public vote is not required for the commissioners to sell park land.
After the meeting concluded, one commissioner cornered the committee member who had argued for sufficient funding to at least modestly expand the park system. The commissioner wanted him to review a map showing all the parks currently in Platte County. The commissioner was trying to convince the committee member that we don't need any additional parks. He also said the commission met with YMCA representatives who said they didn't want a third community center in Platte County, but maybe in Clay County. Why would we leave it up to the YMCA and allow the revenue and economic impact associated with community centers to flow to Clay County? If the YMCA is not interested, there are others who can run community centers.
So, instead of citizen surveys, market studies, and professional analysis, the future of Platte County's park system rests on the commissioners' examination of a map and their opinion of what you and I want. My opinion is we need new commissioners.
UPDATE: After a unanimous vote of the remaining Advisory Committee members present at the Monday, Feb. 24 meeting, the committee plans to recommend the county commissioners place sales tax questions for a one-quarter cent extension of the parks and recreation and storm water sales tax and a one-quarter cent law enforcement sales tax. Both taxes would run for 10 years.  
Platte County Democratic Central Committee   
The Platte County Central Committee met on February 20th at the Platte County Resource Center. Paula Willmarth reported that candidate recruitment is progressing well for State Representatives. We still need candidates for County offices. Wanda Park gave a brief presentation about the upcoming Speaker's Forum (see report above) and Missy Green reported that they are still working to secure a guest speaker.
Northland Progress - 4th Annual Stand Up For Progress 
The fourth Annual Stand Up for Progress was February 13th at the Royal Room at Briarcliff. Speakers included: Mayor Quinton Lucas,Sen. Lauren Arthur, District 17, Rep. Wes Rogers, District 18, Qiana Thompson, CEO of Health Forward Foundation, Cecilia Belser-Patton, Inclusion & Equity Consultant for Healthcare for MO and Tara Gase, NP Board Member.  
Lauren Arthur gave a brief report on bills currently before the State legislature. She noted that Republicans are still working hard to overturn the will of the people when 62% of voters voted in favor of the Clean Missouri initiative. Republicans are currently trying to get an amendment on the ballot that would repeal restrictions on lobbying and the requirement for an independent professional to work on redistricting after the 2020 Census. Lauren's Capitol Report can be found at  The Republican leaders of the Legislature are also trying to increase the number of signatures needed to get initiatives on future ballots.
Most of the other presentations were about the need for Medicaid Expansion, explaining how it would be funded, how much money Missouri is losing by refusing to accept our own tax dollars coming back from Washington, D.C. and urging everyone to sign the petition to get Medicaid Expansion on the November ballot this year. Not taking Medicaid Expansion has cost many uninsured Missouri residents their health and sometimes their lives. Please sign the petition. The petition will be circulated at the North Kansas City Snake Saturday parade and at many other locations. The final presentation was by Tara Gase who told the compelling story of her experience with a problematic pregnancy and how important it was to her to be able to choose whether or not to carry that child to term. She did though the baby did not survive. It was a powerful and touching statement about the need for a small measure of control in terrible and terrifying circumstances.
                                      Arthur                       Rogers                      Lucas 
                                       Thompson            Belser-Patton                Gase 
Platte County Federated Women's Democratic Club 
The Platte County Federated Women's Democratic Club met at the Platte County Resource Center on February 10. David Christen, Chairman of the Platte County Democratic Central Committee was on hand to explain the Presidential Convention Delegate Selection process that begins with the Presidential Primary on March 10th.
Delegate Selection Calendar:
  • Presidential Primary Election: Tuesday March 10, 2020
  • County Mass Meeting: Monday April 6, 2020 (Platte County Meeting location to be announced)
  • Congressional District Convention: Thursday April 30, 2020 (6th Congressional District Convention will be in Brookfield, Missouri at the high school)
  • State Committee Meeting: Saturday May 9, 2020
  • State Convention: Saturday June 20, 2020
Step by step details from the Missouri Democratic Party here.  
The State Convention will be at the Downtown Marriott in Kansas City
You must vote in the Presidential Primary to be eligible to become a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee.
Next month's speaker will be Rita Gulden from the League of Women Voters to tell us about their organization and the exciting times 100 years ago when the League was first formed.  
Clay County Winterfest 
N. Galloway 
Clay County's Winterfest played to a capacity crowd Saturday February 29 at the Harrah's Hotel. The Master of Ceremonies was State Senator Lauren Arthur, Guest Speaker, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas, with Special remarks by State Auditor and Candidate for Governor Nicole Galloway.
Senator Arthur started the ceremony by introducing candidates and current elected officials noting that in 2010 Clay County had just one Democratic State Representative. Now, there are four State Representatives and one State Senator. (Take note Platte County - there is hope!) Mayor Lucas told stories about his early years campaigning for Democrats. He said his message after introducing himself was "Give a Damn" - a great conversation starter.  
State Auditor Galloway spoke passionately for the need to restore medical insurance to the 100,000 children who have been removed from Medicaid rolls by the current Governor and to pass Medicaid Expansion to provide health care to the thousands of Missourians who are currently uninsured and to help support our rural hospitals who have been forced to close because of a lack of funding. She also spoke about her other top priority which is supporting Missouri schools.
Save the Date - Spring Fling - April 4 
You are invited to the PCDCC Spring Event "Turn Platte County Blue" at the Tiffany Springs Golf Club 11:00a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Jean Peters Baker, Chair of the Missouri Democratic Party will be the guest of honor. Additional details to follow.
Give a Damn - Vote Blue