Two local people were honored at the annual Harry S Truman Day dinner held May 5 at Centennial Hall at the Moniteau County Fairgrounds.
At the event of the Moniteau County Democratic Club, Gail Hughes named Taunia Adams to the Moniteau County Democratic Hall of Fame. Hughes spoke of her efforts in keeping the Truman Day event going over the past few years and said the award "is long overdue." He went on to say the "reason we have a Truman Day today is because of the work of Taunia."
Art Burger, who was unable to be present, was named the Volunteer of the Year for the work he did last year. His son, Matt, accepted the award in his absence. Especially commented on was the effort Burger did in putting up signs for Michela Skelton. Skelton was the Democratic candidate for the District 50 seat in the Missouri House. She ran against Sara Walsh, after the office was vacated by the resignation of Caleb Jones, after he resigned from the house to take an appointed position in state government.
The keynote speaker was Rep. Crystal Quade, D-Springfield, who represents District 132. She was introduced by Skelton. Quade spoke of being elected in 2016, and her personal background of being the first in her family to graduate from high school, and then going on to earn a degree in social work at Missouri State University in Springfield. She was the chapter services director of Care to Learn, before being elected to the house. The organization, for which she worked for six years, is a non-profit, which helps with funds to help with the needs of schoolchildren in several public school districts in the state.
Quade said a college course in policy gave her an interest in politics. After college, she worked as a legislative staff member for U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill. She finally decided to run because "no one in the building had a clue what it was to struggle."
Quade went on to say nothing could have prepared her for her first two years in office. She said the vote to pass the Right to Work law is "cowardly." She said the governor was not prepared for 2018, since "he doesn't know how to manage the members' factions." The factions were not prepared for Democrats to "come out and be activists."
According to Quade, of the 163 house seats, 56 Republicans were not challenged.
"You can't win if you don't run," she said. There are 17 senate seats up in the next election, and there is a Democrat running for each one.
The representative said the party is rebuilding. "When I think of Democrats running in Moniteau County, it makes my job easier," she said. Commenting that it is expected that the party will pick up somewhere between six-15 seats, Quade said, "Things will different in 2018 and 2020. Make sure all of these candidates and volunteers who are passionate keep their passion."
She said she can't do it alone. There is a need to bring in more Democrats, to fight back against the drive to put the Right to Work law into effect, which would make it so that a workers would not have to become a union member to work at occupations represented by unions. Another effort is to eliminate the Prevailing Wage Law, which would eliminate the state minimum wage for public works. The employees would be paid the federal or state minimum wage, whichever is highest.
Quade went on to speak of several other bills being opposed by the Democrats in the house and senate, commenting that, "What is being done is shameful."
"Those that are here on this Friday night 'get it'" Quade said. "I need your help to make Jefferson City better. We've got to make this better."
The meal for the event was catered by Sweet Chipotles, which has recently began operation in California.