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story.lead_photo.caption River Rat Democrats co-founder Holly Bickmeyer spoke at last Thursday's Moniteau County Democrat Club meeting. Bickmeyer spoke to attendees about the wide range of volunteer options available to those who want to get involved with local and statewide politics. Photo by Austin Hornbostel / California Democrat.

River Rat Democrats co-founder Holly Bickmeyer was the featured speaker at the Moniteau County Democrat Club's last meeting of the year.

The group targets rural democrats in an effort to make such individuals feel less isolated in areas where their political leanings are likely in the minority. The River Rat Democrats donate a portion of profits from fundraisers and merchandise sales to rural democrats running for office across the state.

Bickmeyer, who originally hails from Mokane, spoke about her experience with the group and some of her other areas of involvement in Mid-Missouri politics. Bickmeyer also serves on the Missouri Democratic State Committee on behalf of the 6th Senate District and as vice-chair of the Miissouri Democratic Party Progressive Caucus.

Bickmeyer also spoke about the time she's spent visiting with individuals in some of Missouri's traditionally deep red counties. Bickmeyer said such work is intended to help people across the state feel heard about their challenges and concerns regarding the direction of statewide politics, despite any differences in political party affiliation, in what she said was a "different type of canvassing" than the typical door knocking and handing out literature about a political candidate.

With her heavy involvement across a variety of initiatives, Bickmeyer said it's the kind of work anyone can do.

"If you really want to be involved, there's a million different places you can be," Bickmeyer said.

The group also heard from another visitor — Joshua Dunne, Cole County Democrats executive committee vice-chair. Dunne spoke about the group's efforts to inform voters about Medicare and healthcare expansion.

Last Thursday's meeting was the last organized gathering for the group until after the new year.

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