Platte Dems
Newsletter of the Platte County Democratic
 Central Committee
    Volume 11 No. 6                                                                                                                                          June  2019
In This Issue
Women's Leadership Forum
Platte County Govt
Quick Links
June 24 - Town Hall with Lauren Arthur - Synergy Service Board Room, 2001 NW Parvin Rd, KCMO. 6:30 7:30 pm. Guest - Representative Wes Rogers 
June 26,27 - First Democratic Party Presidential Debates 
July 8 - Platte County Federated Women's Democratic Club - Platte County Resource Center, 11724 NW Plaza Circle, KCMO. 5:30 pm.     
July 16 - Northland Democratic Club - 4120 NW Vivion Road, Kansas City, MO (SHEA office,across from Penguin Park). 7:00 pm.  Speaker from Northland Neighborhoods. 
July 18 - Platte County Democratic Central Committee - Platte County Resource Center, 11724 NW Plaza Circle, KCMO.  7:00 pm.   
Other Events:
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.         
 Women's Leadership Forum with NDC Chair Tom Perez  
The Women's Leadership Forum sponsored a sold out meeting "What we must do NOW to win in 2020" featuring DNC Chair Tom Perez. Perez started his presentation with a long list of dark periods in our history. He drew a parallel between what is happening now and the Know Nothing era of the 19th century. He also mentioned the original sin of slavery, the dark era of Japanese internment during World War II and the McCarthy era. Then he asked what they all had in common. The answer (to give us hope); they all came to an end! And this dark period will end too. Here's how: Tom's message was clear - what we must do now is organize, build our technical infrastructure, update our voter database, reach out to voters, rebuild trust, and make sure we field excellent candidates for every office. It is important to recruit and train potential candidates to run for office in 2020 and beyond. We cannot wait until the last few months to begin the search for candidates.  The search begins now.
The DNC has re-instituted the 50 state strategies - no state will be ignored or taken for granted. The Party is building a core group of 1000 organizers who will be made available to whoever wins the Presidential primary. The Party is also working with local party officials to recruit organizers from their home areas. Also on the agenda Wednesday evening was a panel discussion featuring (in order of their appearance in the attached photo): Kathleen Sebelius, Former Kansas Governor and former Secretary of Health and Human Services; Dianne Cleaver, CEO of Urban Neighborhood Initiative and spouse of Congressman Emanuel Cleaver; Moderator Ethan Corson, Director, Kansas Democratic Party; Lauren Arthur, Missouri State Senator, District 18; Tom Perez, Chair, Democratic National Committee.
Views on Platte County Government by David Park  
Did the Platte County Commission win their case regarding payment of Zona Rosa bonds?
On May 30, 2019, Judge James W. Van Amburg ruled in favor of Platte County on its Petition. In short, the judge ruled that there is no requirement in the financial agreement concerning the bonds, that said the Commission MUST appropriate funds for a bond payment. Their optional decision whether to appropriate funds can be made on a year-to-year basis.

But the Commission had also asked the judge to rule that making a payment would violate the Missouri Constitution. The commissioners' argument was that they could not make a payment, even if they wanted to. Judge Van Amburg's ruling DID NOT say the Commission is prohibited from making a payment.

Similar financial agreements are used by cities, towns, and counties across Missouri. It would have significant negative impacts if they were deemed to be unconstitutional. Attorneys have been careful to create them to follow statutes and the constitution. Communities are not REQUIRED to cover shortfalls when revenue is not sufficient to make full payments, BUT they do make the payments to preserve their credit rating.

The Platte County Commission could have decided to make a payment and chose not to do so. That decision resulted in the downgrading of the County's credit rating to junk status. I don't see anything in the Order and Judgement issued by Judge Van Amburg that will help restore the credit rating. The bad credit rating is expected to create higher costs to county taxpayers for funding future projects.

Judge Van Amburg's ruling has been called good news for county taxpayers because he confirmed that the County is not required to make payments on the bonds (we already knew that). The immediate savings is said to be $765,391. From that amount, however, subtract the current legal costs of about $500,000. Also, as an example of the potential increased cost from a junk status credit rating, the estimated cost of a recently proposed jail expansion project increased by about $19 million mostly due to the poor credit rating. Although that proposal failed to obtain voter approval, it shows the potential increased costs faced by taxpayers because of the way the current commissioners handled the Zona Rosa bonds.

In short, the court ruling really did not change anything.

Other items of interest regarding the case: 
1.  The defendant in the case was the people who own the bonds, not the shopping center developer or current owner of the shopping center. It's people who purchased the bonds with the understanding that they were backed by Platte County.   
2.  The bonds were issued to finance construction of two parking garages that are owned by Platte County.
3.  More importantly, the financial agreement provided for Platte County to be reimbursed for payments made to cover shortfalls. YES, THE COUNTY COULD HAVE BEEN PAID BACK IF THEY DID MAKE PAYMENTS ON THE BONDS.
Platte County Federated Democratic Women's Club  
The Platte County Women's Club met on Monday, June 10th at the Platte County Resource Center. Although we did not have a big turnout, we had a fascinating speaker, Inoru Wade of the Kansas City Center for Inclusion. July is the beginning of our New Year membership drive. Hope to see you there! Guests are always welcome!
Melba Nicolaisen provided a report on the 88th convention of the Missouri Federation of Women's Democratic Clubs May 31-June 2 2019 Capitol Plaza Hotel, Jefferson City. Tracy Holthaus, Melba Nicolaisen, Rita McGuire, Helen Weigman and Shirley Kimsey attended representing the Platte County women's Democratic Club. Several streets in Jefferson City were flooded and closed so getting to the hotel was a challenge. The hotel parking garage was flooded and most of the surface lot was covered. Luckily, the State office building across the street was dry and hotel visitors were allowed to use the lot. About 60 Democratic women from around the state attended the meetings starting with a mixer and auction of donated items on Friday evening. The bidding was vigorous but friendly. State Senator Scott Sifton welcomed the delegates and gave an update of the 2019 Legislative session. Rumor has it he might be eyeing a state-wide office in 2020. Saturday started with brunch with a keynote speech from Representative Crystal Quade from Springfield who was elected by her caucus to minority floor leader at the age of 33. She is a person to watch. Angela McQuinn of Gentry County in the 6th District was elected President for the Federation. Her business card reads "Democrats Building a Bridge to the Future." The conference was hosted by the
Platte County attendees with a typical suffragette outfit 
7 th District clubs (Southwest Missouri) and their delegation and volunteers were young, energetic and very impressive. There is hope in Southwest Missouri! At the banquet the host delegation made a presentation, in period dress, of a fictitious meeting of suffrage leaders in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment and the right to vote for women in Missouri. The theme of the convention was "and ain't I a woman?" a speech attributed to Sojourner Truth a prominent abolitionist of the 19th century. The 6th District clubs will host next year's convention.
A contingent of Platte County Women also attended Buchanan County's NW Democrat Days in St.Joseph on June 8 in St. Joseph.
The July 8th meeting of the Women's Club will feature Ivan Foley of the Landmark newspaper at the Platte County Resource Center, 11724 N.W. Plaza Circle 5:30 p.m. Guests welcome Please join us!