Maria Chappelle-Nadal

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Maria Chappelle-Nadal

Template:TOCnestleft Maria Chapelle-Nadal is a Democrat from University City, Missouri, who represents District 14 in the Missouri State Senate. She is also a former member of the Missouri House of Representatives from District 72, a position which she held from 2005 to 2011. In 2010, Chappelle-Nadal was elected to the Senate to succeed fellow Democrat Rita Heard Days of St. Louis.


She was educated in University City public schools and is a graduate of Georgia State University.[1]

Meeting with Ferguson agitator Bassem Masri

Maria Chappelle Nadal Tweet

After his death, Maria Chappelle-Nadal tweeted that she met with Bassem Masri at her home.[2] "This summer I invited @bassem_masri over to my house to chat about his interest in running for state representative. He was a very loyal friend & ally. He was my favorite freedom fighter in Ferguson."


Maria Chappelle-Nadal is a Berniecrat, is a term used for those democrats (generally) running for office who have expressed support of former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.[3]

Kick Off Event

Maria Chapelle-Nadal and Cori Bush both spoke at the Mobilize Missouri kick-off event in May 2016.[4],[5]

Private Career

Chappelle-Nadal began working for Lt. Governor Joe Maxwell in 2000, as the director of communications. With her skills proven, she chose to serve as Missouri's Senior Advocate. There she successfully shepherded legislation such as the Senior Care and Protection Act of 2003 and the Missouri Senior Rx Generic Drug Rebate.[1]

Organization Affiliations

She is involved in organizations such as the Missouri Community Service Commission and the University City Community Forum. She was an active member of the Democratic National Committee and Missourians Against Handgun Violence. In 2002, Maria was one of sixteen national fellows chosen by the National Organization for Black Elected Legislative Women (NOBEL/Women) and the Center for American Women in Politics (CAWP) at Rutgers University.[1]

UMS Town hall meeting

On July 11, 2005, Congressman William Lacy Clay, Jr. held a town hall meeting at the Millennium Student Center on the UM-St. Louis campus. The discussion on social security was moderated by Julius Hunter, vice president of community relations at St. Louis University and former news anchor for KMOV Channel 4. Panel members included Rep. Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D-University City); Rev. James Morris, of St. Louis Interfaith Partnership; Thomas Helton, executive board member of ASUM; and Margarida Jorge, director of Missourians United to Protect Social Services. Several hundred community members attended the meeting, which was followed by a reception with Clay.[6]

Supported student hunger strike

In April 2005, Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, commited at least $1 million over the next two years toward higher salaries and better benefits for low-paid contract employees as a result of a 19-day sit-in by students demanding a living wage for service workers. Wash U’s Student Worker Alliance reached a groundbreaking agreement with campus officials April 22. “We won more in the last 19 days than we won in the last 18 months put together,” said SWA member Ojiugo Uzoma.

The new agreement is a significant step towards a living wage for campus service workers, who were making an average of $7.50 an hour. The university agreed to continue working towards a living wage and to form a joint student-university committee, with SWA representation, to improve university policy of freedom of association for all workers directly or indirectly employed by the university. Also, the university will join the Workers’ Rights Consortium, which ensures that factories producing university clothing and other goods respect workers’ rights.

At the April 22 victory rally, Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-Mo.) told SWA members, “You students risked a lot. But it was a worthwhile victory.”

Missouri state Rep. Maria Chappelle-Nadal told the Communist Party USA's Peoples World, “These courageous students fought their butts off. Never, for one moment, did they think about giving up.” During the last weekend of the sit-in, Chappelle-Nadal joined the students on the hunger strike and slept in the admissions office with the students.

Throughout the sit-in, community and labor support was strong. On April 7, Missouri AFL-CIO President Hugh McVey led a rally at Washington U in support of the students. John Sweeney, president of the AFL-CIO, sent a letter of support. Every day during the sit-in, labor and community groups, including the Missouri-Kansas Communist Party, brought the students lunch and dinner, and helped organize noon and 5 p.m. rallies. Throughout the hunger strike, religious leaders kept a 24-hour vigil outside of the admissions office.

“Nineteen days is a long time,” said Joan Suarez, a member of Democratic Socialists of America, the Workers Rights Board and Jobs with Justice “Everyone talks about the courage of these students.” Suarez said that as the students were leaving the admissions office, workers walked up to them and told them, “Thank you.” Many had tears in their eyes, she said.

The Washington U victory came just weeks after students at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., went on a hunger strike and won living wages for campus employees there. “SWA learned from like-minded groups across the country,” said Danielle Christmas, an SWA member. “We saw other students take power into their own hands. We knew that if things were going to change here, we had to take power into our hands,”[7]

Obama supporter

Chappelle-Nadal was one of Missouri's superdelegates to the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado. Uncommitted at first, she declared her support for Democratic candidate Barack Obama on the same day that the commonwealth of Puerto Rico held its Democratic presidential primary. Chappelle-Nadal's mother is Puerto Rican. [8]

Communist affiliated legislative assistant

Communist Party USA affiliate, Julie Terbrock officially started her involvement in "the movement for progressive change" as a practicum student and eventually the St. Louis Regional Organizer for Missouri Progressive Vote Coalition. There she worked on numerous candidate, ballot and issue campaigns. She also has had the opportunity to see state government work from the inside as a Legislative Assistant to Representative Maria Chappelle-Nadal. [9]

Communist affiliated campaigner

Communist Party USA affiliate John L. Bowman ran Robin Wright-Jones’ successful Missouri State Senate campaign and was rewarded with her chief of staff job.

That isn’t enough action for Bowman, however, who was once being positioned for a statewide run of his own as a candidate before the Legislative Black Caucus imploded around his chairmanship and he was nailed by the feds for credit card fraud.

In 2010, Bowman left to run another campaign by a state rep. trying to move up to the state Senate: Maria Chappelle-Nadal. Three of the four candidates in that race are in the position of trying to move up from state rep: Ted Hoskins, who is termed out; Chappelle-Nadal, who has served six years of a possible eight; and Don Calloway, who has only one term under his belt. [10]

Communist Party Herschel Walker award event

The Missouri Communist Party USA's Friends of the People’s World hosted their 18th annual ‘Hershel Walker Peace and Justice Awards Breakfast’ Saturday, May 8, 2010, at the CWA Local 6300 Union Hall, 2258 Grissom Drive (in the Westport area), St. Louis.

Newspaper Guild International President Bernie Lunzer was the main speaker for the event.

The honorees were:

The awards honor the memory of late Communist Party USA member Hershel Walker, a Missouri labor and civil rights activist, who died in 1990 at the age of 81. Walker’s life – which spanned 60 years of activism – ended tragically when hit by a car on his way to deliver petitions to save 4,000 jobs at the Chrysler Plant.[11]

Known attendees included Communist Party USA affiliates, Tony Pecinovsky, Jim Wilkerson, Zenobia Thompson, Lew Moye, Glenn Burleigh, Julie Terbrock, John Bowman, Joe Thomas, Jeanette Mott Oxford, Democratic Socialists of America member Joan Suarez, plus Mahrya Monson, Don Giljum, Jessica Pace, Jason Kennedy, Jennifer Rafanan, Solveig Paulson, Dr. Greg Miday, Roosevelt Stewart, Michael Vossler, Maria Chappelle-Nadal, Richard Von Glahn, Shannon Duffy and State Rep. James Morris. [12]

Missouri Gun Ownership School Reporting Bill

A pre-filed bill in the Missouri Senate would require parents of a public school student to report to the school if they own a gun.

Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal filed SB 549, December 2013, which reads:[13]

This act requires a parent or guardian to notify a school district, or the governing body of a private or charter school, that he or she owns a weapon within 30 days of enrolling the child in school or becoming the owner of a weapon. The written notification only needs to include the names of the parent and any child attending the school and the fact that the parent owns a weapon.

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.”

Cara Jensen, the current 8th Ward committeewoman, told Rice she was stepping down and encouraged her to run. Her running mate is Tony Zebroski, also a Ferguson activist.

Others who were inspired to run for a committee position after Ferguson include: Torrey Park (Ward 15); Madeline Buthod (Ward 14); and Marty Murray, Jr. (Ward 7).[14]


The following have worked as staffers for Maria Chappelle-Nadal:[15]