DFA endorses Wesley Bell for St. Louis County Prosecutor
Today, Democracy for America (DFA) endorsed Wesley Bell for St. Louis County (MO) Prosecutor in his race to replace long-time county prosecutor Bob McCulloch, notorious for his role in denying justice to Michael Brown and others killed by police in St. Louis County and aggressive prosecuting tactics
With his endorsement, Bell is being added to DFA's national "Criminal Justice Reform Champions" slate of candidates for Sheriff, District Attorney, County Prosecutor, and Judge specifically focused on criminal justice reform.
DFA Chair Jim Dean on the grassroots progressive organization's endorsement of Wesley Bell for County Prosecutor in St. Louis County, MO:
"Democracy for America is endorsing Wesley Bell for St. Louis County Prosecutor, because he understands the systemic racism that underlies the broken justice system in St. Louis County and his work on the Ferguson City Council demonstrates that he knows how to implement the concrete reforms necessary to begin addressing it.
"The antiquated and ineffective arrest-and-incarcerate, win-at-any-costs methods of the current county prosecutor alienates the criminal justice system from the residents it serves and them them less safe. That's why Wesley Bells supports modern criminal justice reforms that are proven to combat serious crime and build trust within the communities the police and courts are sworn to protect, such as ending cash bail for non-violent offenses, replacing jail time with treatment for those struggling with drug addiction, and requiring independent review of police misconduct.
"Four days after Bob McCulloch was re-elected to his seventh term as St. Louis County Prosecutor, Ferguson and the nation was rocked by the killing of Michael Brown and the failure of the "justice" system it came to represent . By electing Wesley Bell it's next County Prosecutor, St. Louis County has the opportunity to break from its history of reflecting the injustices of our current justice system to leading the charge for the robust and visionary criminal justice reforms our country needs nationwide." -- Jim Dean, Chair, Democracy for America
DFA has 19,925 members in the state of Missouri and more than one million members nationwide.
Raised in North St. Louis County, Wesley Bell is the son of a Police Officer and a County civil servant. After earning degrees from Lindenwood University and the University of Missouri law school, Bell served his community as a Public Defender and was elected to Ferguson's city council following the uprising that came in the wake of Michael Brown's murder. As a Ferguson City Councilmember, Bell worked with Barack Obama's U.S. Department of Justice to implement the consent decree to reform the City's criminal justice system. This included more thorough training for police, the use of body cameras, a pay raise for police, reforming use-of-force policy, and overhauling the municipal court system. If elected, Bell is committed to fixing a broken and outdated County Prosecutor's office and replacing it's failed arrest-and-incarcerate, win-at-any-cost methods with a focus on strategies designed to combat serious crime and heal the relationship between the County's criminal justice system and the residents it serves.
As a part of its work in the 2018 election cycle, DFA intends to raise and spend more than $12 million in support of progressive candidates, make more than 2 million voter contacts, and support more than 250 candidates nationwide -- like Danielle, Lee, Lori, & Len -- in running inclusive populist campaigns committed to turning out the New American Majority of people of color and progressive white voters in November.
Democracy for America is a member-driven, people-powered progressive PAC with more than one million members nationwide committed to taking on income inequality, money in politics, and structural racism. Since its 2004 founding, DFA members have raised and contributed more than $54 million and made more than 21.9 million volunteer calls to help successfully elect 917 progressive candidates nationwide.