Bruce Franks, Jr.

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Bruce Franks, Jr. is a Berniecrat, a term used for those democrats (generally) running for office who have expressed support of former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.[1]

Honoring Percy Green II

On July 14 2018 Inclusion activist Percy Green II was honored at a ceremony organized by Alderwoman Sharon Tyus and Alderman Terry Kennedy at Gateway Arch National Park’s Tucker Theater – the 54th anniversary of his climb up a leg of the partly constructed Gateway Arch (along with Richard Daly) to protest the absence of black workers on the public project.

Following the controversy over the official reopening of the Gateway Arch grounds with an all-white photo op, followed by a diverse “people’s ribbon-cutting” in response, the person who embodies the issue of inclusion at the Arch was honored.

U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay, Jr., state Rep. Bruce Franks, Jr., Clay’s primary challenger Cori Bush, Green’s son Percy Green III, and activist Jamala Rogers (Green’s wife) spoke at the event.

“Thank you for being an example and not just talking, not just making notice, but showing us how to effectively fight and what civil disobedience really looked like,” state Rep. Bruce Franks, Jr. said directly to Percy Green II at ceremony honoring him on the 54th anniversary of his climb up a leg of the partly constructed Gateway Arch.

“Achieving economic justice is not a short-term battle,” Clay said. “It’s a long, still-emerging struggle which demands our absolute commitment, courage, and willingness to get into good trouble by making people uncomfortable sometimes.”

Franks, one of the organizers of the “people’s ribbon cutting” that countered the #ArchSoWhite photo op, recognized Green as a protest ancestor.

“Thank you for being an example and not just talking, not just making notice, but showing us how to effectively fight and what civil disobedience really looked like, what protesting really looked like, what fighting and standing up really looks like,” Franks said directly to Green.

Green thanked the younger man and his generation for picking up the torch.

“Civil disobedience is a nonviolent technique on bringing attention to various issues,” Green said. “I want to thank Bruce Franks for energizing it and the other young folks for keeping it alive.”

Rogers expressed her dismay that white officials could organize a Gateway Arch ribbon cutting ceremony so close to the anniversary of Green’s climb and not include him.

“I want some new fights,” Rogers said. “I don’t want to be fighting about the same thing. We’ve been doing that for 50 years, and young people don’t want to be fighting about this old stuff. They want some new fights.”[2]

CAIR rally

Over 1,000 people gathered outside of Thomas F. Eagleton federal courthouse February 4, 2017, for a rally in support of Muslims, refugees and immigrants hosted by the local chapter of the national advocacy group Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

The marked the fourth local protest action since President Trump signed a controversial Jan. 27 order barring travelers and refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S.

“Make some noise if Black lives matter: make some noise if LGBTQ lives matter; I need you to make some noise if Muslim lives, refugee lives, and immigrant lives matter!” said Bruce Franks, Jr., a Missouri state representative who hails from St. Louis.

Tony Pecinovsky, President of the St. Louis Workers’ Education Society , also brought a call to action:

“Because of you – in all of your diversity – we have put Bannon and Trump back on their heels! We should rejoice in our victory! And continue to build bridges!”[3]

Politics

Rasheen Aldridge, 22, already had several years under his belt as a community organizer before Michael Brown Jr. was killed by Ferguson police on August 9, 2014.

Like several other social-justice fighters on the streets of Ferguson, the movement changed the way Aldridge approaches community organizing.

“Being in Ferguson felt like being alone,” said Aldridge, an organizer with Show Me $15. “There weren’t people in [Ferguson government] seats that understood why we were out here. It made me think about my neighborhood, not having individuals who represent the larger community.”

In 2014, Aldridge was appointed by Gov. Jay Nixon to serve on the Ferguson Commission, where he had an opportunity to influence statewide policy reform. Now in 2016 he is running for 5th Ward Democratic committeeman in St. Louis in the August 2 primary election.

His opponent is incumbent Rodney Hubbard, Sr., part of an entrenched African-American political family in North St. Louis. Aldridge's running mate, Megan Betts, also a Ferguson activist, is challenging incumbent committeewoman Penny Hubbard, Rodney’s wife.

Aldridge, who grew up in the 5th Ward, said the Hubbards “look like us, but they aren’t doing for the people what they’re doing for their family.”

Aldridge has been campaigning alongside state-representative hopeful Bruce Franks, Jr., who is also challenging Penny Hubbard as the incumbent state representative of House District 78. Franks, also a Ferguson activist, said the movement made him realize how much local elected officials played a role in the policies that led to Ferguson.

“Being from the neighborhood I’m from, nobody concentrated on telling us the importance of elections and empowering people to vote,” said Franks, who grew up in the 78th District and owns an insurance business. “I started to see we need some changes over here.”[4]

Backing Pecinovsky

Tony Pecinovsky January 15 2019·

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I am happy to announce that the St. Louis Chapter of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) has endorsed our campaign to Build A Better 14th Ward! I grew up in the CBTU family. They mentored me! To know that I have the support of the progressive Black leadership of our City (CBTU, Tishaura Jones, Clem Smith, Bruce Franks, Jr. and Cori Bush, among others) is truly humbling. Thank you! In solidarity, Tony.

Institutional supporter

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In 2017, Bruce Franks, Jr., State rep. 78th Ward was an "Institutional Supporter" of the St. Louis Workers’ Education Society.

2017 Hershel Walker Peace and Justice Awards

A diverse crowd of 170 gathered at the Painter’s Union District Council 58 hall to honor five labor and community leaders receiving the Hershel Walker ‘Peace and Justice’ Awards Breakfast May 13, 2017.

The annual awards breakfast was commissioned to commemorate the extraordinary life of St. Louis trade unionist and civil rights leader Hershel Walker, who dedicated over 60 years to the labor, peace, and justice movements.

This year’s Hershel Walker ‘Peace and Justice’ awardees were:

Rep. Bruce Franks, Jr.: Democratic representative for the city’s 78th legislative district in the Missouri House of Representatives. He was elected to his first two-year term in November 2016. Bruce is a small-business owner, was appointed Police Community Liaison by the St. Louis police chief, and founded 28 to life, a local youth violence prevention organization.

The awards ceremony was hosted by the Missouri/Kansas People’s World and the St. Louis Workers’ Education Society.[5]

Communist/socialist speakers at birthday event

Julie Salih & Tony Pecinovsky speaking at a Cori Bush for US Congress campaign event at The Ready Room in St Louis on July 21, 2018.[6]

[Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

July 22 at 7:49 PM · Activists from many organizations and community groups, in particular Coalition for Truth in Independence and St. Louis Workers Education Society, spoke at Cori Bush for U.S. Congress, MO-01's birthday party July 21, 2018. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was the guest of honor at the event. Bruce Franks for State Rep 78th District also honored Cori for her outstanding community work and dedicated friendship.[7]

References