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An Open Letter to the AOH Regarding the Grand Marshal of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dogtown

Mr. Dennis Pogue,

We represent the 24th Ward Progressive Democrats and members of the broader St. Louis region who have signed below. Like you, we are proud of our community and the culture it represents.

Each year, our members are active in the festivities around the St. Patrick’s Day parade held annually in our neighborhood. We are grateful for the over three decades of the Ancient Order of Hibernians selecting our neighborhood as the location of this beloved event. We look forward to many more years of celebration on March 17th with our community partners.

This year, the Ancient Order of Hibernians have selected Robert (Bob) McCulloch, former prosecutor of St. Louis County, as the parade Grand Marshal. We believe this is inappropriate for our community for a variety of troubling reasons.

As a prosecutor of St. Louis County, McCulloch’s tenure is fraught with policies that discriminate based on income and race. His policies on cash bail directly impact the poor; setting bail so high that many of those who are accused of minor offenses are imprisoned pending trial. Often this temporary incarceration causes loss of income, housing, and the ability to support families.

McCulloch’s mishandling of the 2000 Jack‐in‐the Box shootings and Michael Brown’s killing in 2014 highlighted racial discrimination in the office and exacerbated racial inequities in St. Louis.

In August 2018, Mr. McCulloch was invited to speak at the Oregon District Attorneys Association annual conference. During McCulloch’s presentation he showed a photo of four young black men standing on a street in Ferguson, Missouri. He commented, pointing to the photo, “This is what we are dealing with.” The St. Louis County Prosecutor’s remarks were so offensive throughout his speech that many in his audience walked out. Many more refused to attend the evening dinner where McCulloch was to be the keynote speaker.

Regardless of how any one individual or organization views the tenure of Mr. McCulloch, it is clear that he has been a racially divisive figure. The voters of St. Louis County decisively removed him from office and instead elected a forward thinking and innovative prosecutor who immediately began dismantling some of the policies that were explicitly discriminatory. The decision of the AOH to honor Mr. McCulloch as Grand Marshal in 2019 is tone deaf to the concerns of the broader community and to the will of the voters and the mandate they gave to Mr. McCulloch’s replacement.

We understand that Mr. McCulloch has long been a supporter of the parade and often participates in AOH events, but we do not believe that Mr. McCulloch’s connections to the AOH tip the scales when weighed against the harm and systemic inequity that he has consistently perpetuated within our community.

The 24th Ward Progressive Democrats appreciate the sponsorship of The Ancient Order of Hibernians in the Dogtown parade and believe AOH to be a good steward of the community. We respectfully request that our concerns are considered regarding his appointment, and Bob McCulloch be removed as Grand Marshal, replaced with a more appropriate representation of not only the AOH values, but those of the people of St. Louis.


Carolyn McMahon ‐ 24th Ward Progressive Democrats, President

Karen Smith ‐ 24th Ward Progressive Democrats, Vice President

Bruce Carlson ‐ 24th Ward Progressive Democrats, Secretary

Jean Corbett ‐ 24th Ward Progressive Democrats, Treasurer

Stephanie Herndon ‐ 24th Ward Progressive Democrats, Director of Membership

Liz Zanter ‐ 24th Ward Progressive Democrats, Director of Communications

Senator Karla May, District 4 Missouri State Senate

Representative Wiley Price, District 084 Missouri House of Representatives

Kate Lovelady, Dogtown resident and Leader of Ethical Society of St. Louis

William Hagen, Owner Heavy Riff Brewing Company, LLC & HRBC Holdings, LLC

Gregory Meyer Jr., Owner Heavy Riff Brewing Company, LLC & HRBC Holdings, LLC

Co-signed by:

Megan Ellyia Green – 15th Ward Alderwoman
Shawna Brinson – 24th Ward Homeowner / Resident for 13 years
Alyssa Billingsley – 24th Ward Progressive Democrats, Member
Janie Lewis – 24th Ward resident, former Dogtown resident
Rasheen Aldridge – 5th Ward Democratic Committeeman
Christine Ingrassia – 6th Ward Alderwoman
Marie Ceselski – 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman
Bryan Walsh – 9th Ward Democratic Committeeman
Graham Stewart – City Resident
Jennie Ragland – Concerned Citizen
Kevin McGrane Sr. – Deacon-Episcopal Diocese of Missouri
Katiemae Hicks – Dogtown business owner, & resident
Kalin Pearce – Dogtown resident
Lou Huertas – Dogtown resident
Jennifer Boudreau – Dogtown resident (Franz Park)
Maggie Haller – Dogtown resident on the parade route.
Margot Cavanaugh – DOGTOWN RESIDENT, member 24th Ward Progressive Democrats
Katie Belisle-Iffrig – Dr.
Michael Berg – Member, 24th Ward Progressive Democrats
Jennifer Kovar – National Lawyers Guild, St. Louis Jail Support, Anti-Racist Organizing Collective, Dogtown Resident
Brian A. Sieve – Pastor
Mark Miller – Pastor, Westminster Presbyterian Church
Kris Schmieder – President of CTCA and proud Dogtown resident
The Rev. Dr. Teresa Mithen Danieley – Priest, Episcopal Diocese of Missouri
Lindsay – Resident
Patrick Van Der Tuin – Resident of 24th ward, Executive Director St. Louis Bworks
Luis Huertas – Senior Field Marketing Rep
Brittany Minor – St. Louis Resident, 23rd Ward
Jessie Thornton – Student
Jordan Shaw – Student
Chris Cook Phelps – The Phelps Family-Franz Park
Catherine Sherwin – Vice President, Coalition of Labor Union Women, Missouri
John Corbett
Aaron Blake
Amy Cate
Anna Schmidt
Anne Patterson
Austin Perkins
Dillon J
Gwendolyn Hood
Jordan Simpson –
Lindsey Benham –
Matthew Laury –
Niki Bridges –
Patricia Harris –
Robert West –
Stephen Cavin –
Kurt Odendahl –
Andrew Herndon –
Alex Welsch –
Megan Welsch –
Tricia harris –
Helen Al-Jureidini –
Janet Workman –
Amir Qalbani –
Amy mersinger –
Andrej Marich –
Anita Cleaver –
Benjamin West –
Brian Eagan –
Brian Villa –
Bridget Kelly –
Catie O’Keeffe –
Frank Drayton –
Jack Mohrmann –
Kara Schoen –
Kathleen Dunne –
Katie Arnold –
Lauren Komp –
Melissa Eagan –
Patrice McNeil –
Patrice McNeil –
Rebecca Kirkwood –
Todd Plume –
Jaime Malan –
Jason Brown –
Kevin FitzGerald –
Susan Clark –
Kathi Corbett-Otto –
Dan Stout –
Joe Gilsinger –
Tauren Taylor –
Judith Kay Jackson –
Jimmy Lappe –
Michael J. Murphy, MA, PhD –
Mike Baldwin –
Patricia Tracy –
Nancy Ritzel –
Kent Ritzel –
John Costello –
Sandy –
mary ann zaggy –
Emily Davis –
Janey Archey –
Jennifer Day –
Laura Maichel –
Lisa Weingarth Picker –
Maureen Sheehan Hoock –
Michael Forbis –
Sarah Holtz Stout –
Seth Weissman –
Shelly Ohlms
Steven Ley

Click Here to View the Full Official Letter

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