By Jo Ann Hughes
Community members do not have to take part in something huge to have a voice. A little known secret to getting involved on a local level begins with township politics. The smallest elected office has limited power, but it is vital to each political party.
Township committees are involved in planning and organizing political events and caucuses and require the time and effort of many individuals. They also organize voters in neighborhoods and promote political involvement at the grassroots level.
Their job is to identify where all the people who vote for their candidate or your party are and make sure that every one of those voters get to their polls on election day.
Township committees were established as part of Missouri Revised Statute 115.605, which states that each party committee shall be selected as provided for the purpose of representing and acting for the party in the interim between party conventions. Each township includes a man and a woman from each party who are elected by the voters to lead that township. Committee members are elected every four years when the governor is elected, and candidates must have lived in the township for at least one year and be a registered voter. Township positions are totally unpaid, volunteer positions.
St. Louis County townships include Airport, Bonhomme, Chesterfield, Clayton, Concord, Creve Coeur, Ferguson, Florissant, Gravois, Hadley, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lemay, Lewis & Clark, Maryland Heights, Meramec, Midland, Missouri River, Normandy, Northwest, Norwood, Oakville, Queeny, Spanish Lake, St. Ferdinand, Tesson Ferry, University and Wild Horse.
Committee members, who are elected by the voters, have the job of organizing residents of a particular township for the purpose of information and getting out the vote.
All the township committeemen and women elected are automatically members of the County Central Committee, which helps to elect local party members and assist the state of national party committees. These committees elect delegates to go to the state convention to choose presidential electors, become delegates to the national convention and vote on the party platform.
Your township is listed on your voting card, and meetings are open to the public.