- Studied Political Science at University of Missouri–St. Louis
- Went to Alton Senior High School
- Former Financial Director at Bill Otto for Congress
- Former Grassroots Organizer at Missouri Progressive Vote Coalition
- Former Grassroots Organizer at Planned Parenthood Advocates in Missouri
- Former Grassroots Organizer at Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region & Southwest Missouri
Infiltrating the Democratic Party after Ferguson
Rasheen Aldridge and Bruce Franks, Jr. are among about a dozen candidates on the August 2 2016 ballot who were inspired to run for office by the Ferguson protest movement. While Franks and others are reaching for state-level offices, many are starting at the basic level as Democratic Party committeepersons.
Committee members’ main responsibilities are to register and educate voters, as well as conduct meetings within their wards, Aldridge said. They also select delegates at these meetings in presidential years. Two committee members are elected from each city ward – one man and one woman.
However, the unpaid position also gives them some authority to influence changes in their community. In the city, they are in charge of selecting candidates to fill vacancies at the St. Louis Board of Aldermen, as well as state legislative districts that include part of the city.
“Ferguson was the straw that broke the camel’s back for many of us," said Ferguson activist Rachel Johns, who is running for Ward 27 committeewoman.
Johns is also among a group of mainly South City progressives who are supporting each other in committee races. They have all been endorsed by Mobilize Missouri, and are Bernie Sanders supporters. Of that group, about 10 are first-time candidates.
“You can’t jump to a national level without getting your feet wet first,” Johns said. “You have to take care of home first.”
Maria Chappelle-Nadal, who is running against incumbent U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay, Jr. on the August 2 ballot, has donated at least $1,000 to many progressive candidates for committeeperson, including Aldridge, Betts, Alison Dreith, Matt Carroll-Schmidt, Marty Murray, Jr., Tony Zebrowski, Annie Rice, Max Cassilly, Laura Hladky and Glenn Burleigh.
Chappelle-Nadal also donated to Franks’ campaign, as well as to Johns’ state rep. campaign – before state Rep. Joshua Peters had her removed from the ballot through a residency challenge. Johns is now running against incumbent committeewoman Pamela Boyd.
Alison Dreith is running for an open committee seat in the 6th Ward against Mary Entrup, the wife of Aldermanic President Lewis Reed. Her running mate, Matthew Carroll-Schmidt, is running against state Rep. Michael Butler for the committeeman seat. Carroll-Schmidt, who is an attorney, recently represented the protestors who were arrested during the Donald Trump rally in March.
As a “white ally,” Dreith was on the ground since day two in Ferguson and also joined the Don't Shoot Coalition to push forward fair and impartial policing reforms.
“Getting people engaged and excited about the party, especially the young voters, is really important,” said Dreith, who is the executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri.
Immigration lawyer Annie Rice participated in the first of what would become ongoing community conversations about Ferguson in the Shaw Neighborhood just before VonDerrit Myers Jr. was shot and killed on Oct. 9, 2014 by then-St. Louis Police Officer Jason Flanery.
“I’d protested and worked jail support, but I hadn’t found a good outlet to move policy forward,” Rice said. “The more I tried to engage with our elected officials, the more I realized I wasn’t really getting anywhere.”
Alison Dreith November 1, 2013 ·
Great group of folks today in Jeff City to tell Rep. Luetkemeyer to take a stance on #CIR #timeisnow — with Dieneke Van Der Zalm, Mackie Auburn, Kay Mills, Kate Shannon, Ashli Bolden, Martha Stevens, Matthew Patterson, Sue Gibson and Robin Acree.
Alison Dreith March 13, 2015:
With John Chasnoff, Jasmin Maurer, Kirstin Palovick, Sandra Tolbert-Abron, Lauren May, Mike Kinman, Michael McPhearson, Deborah Jacobs, Mustafa Abdullah, Denise Lieberman and Jennifer Knopf Bernstein at Missouri State Capitol.
Nicholas James March 8, 2015 ·
Happy International Women's Day!
I would like to say thank you to all of the strong sisters, comrades, mothers, friends, workers, coworkers, activists, and all-around badasses in my life. Among others, Rebecca Bolte, Monica Stoutenborough, Julie Terbrock, Ashli Bolden, Ashley Johns, Sarah Souders, Sarah Harken, Sarah Michelson, Sarah Barraza, Sara Russert, Kara Lindsey, Jasmin Maurer, Courtney Hayes, Francine Vaccarino, Celina Della Croce, Cecilia Cuevas, Wendy Grew, Tabetha Harrison, Molly Renee Edwards, Alexandria Graff, Ashley Rose, Ashleigh Lynne Packard, Paula Jones, Megan Jallas Baker, Erin Dailey, Erin Patton, Twayna Thompson, Teresa Cardwell, Chandra Marshall, Tonya Sanders, Lauren O'Donnell, Kate Linder, Kimmy Drake, Kaitlin DeCero, JJ Lane, Rhonda Bruce, Alison Dreith, Stacia Mcclure-Blome, Lara Granich, Amber Skye Miller, Lavegan Loca, Holly Works, Kelli Klein, Kellie Willis, Amie Womack, Eva Hall, Reeny Costello, Adrienne Mann, Rossana Cambron, Taylor Crocker, Taylor Roush, Meg Olson, Claire Elizabeth, Tonia De Barros Barreto, Crystal Lashley, Melony Dorton, Anna Baker, Anna Durrett, Christina Baker, Robin Graves, Sawyer Van Eenoo, Trinis Collins, Shona Clarkson, Henrietta Ibolya Gyorgy, Jessica Barraza, Terrie Albano, Carly Slawson, and anyone else I may have left out.
Revolutionary Strategies to Beat the Rising Right Wing
Revolutionary Strategies to Beat the Rising Right Wing, was a nationwide conference call organized by Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Sunday October 30, 2016.
- What's the nature of this right-wing threat? What has this election cycle changed about the political terrain we're fighting on? How do we need to prepare for whats coming after the election? Hear about these crucial questions from our panel of top political strategists, including Nelini Stamp, Bill Fletcher, Jr., Linda Burnham, and Sendolo Diaminah.
Those indicating interest in attending, on Facebook included Alison Dreith.
- "Grrls to the Front! A Workers' Education Society Benefit 4 NARAL" This was our most phenomenal event to date! Hearing from incredible community leaders like Alison Dreith (NARAL), Cori Bush (Ferguson Frontline), Zenobia Thompson (WES), and others, we learned tremendously with one another. All of the musical acts were woman/femme fronted, like Bates (FemCee Nation), Duck Brown, and Cara Louise. Together we built solidarity, reenergized for the struggle, and raised money. Thank you to all who attended!