First 15 Days of Session

The GOP majority legislature, under the direction of Governor Eric Greitens and Speaker Todd Richardson, is off to a fast start with their priorities hitting us hard.

I have one eye on what’s happening at the White House and one eye on what’s taking place in the Capitol.  I’m feeling the anguish that many of you are feeling with rights and protections for Missourians at risk, almost every single day.

Our Democratic caucus is working closely together and doing everything we can to stand up for every Missourian, not special interests or corporations.

To date, we have sent 4 bills over to the State Senate or the Governor:

HB60 – (Alferman, R-Herman) – LOBBYIST GIFTS

Bans certain lobbyist gifts to elected officials – I voted YES

HB91 – (Rehder, R-Sikeston) – RIGHT TO WORK

Designed to bust labor organizations – I was Against

HB130 – (Mathews, R-Pacific) – TRANSPORTATION NETWORKS – “UBER”

Authorizes Uber-style companies in MO – I voted NO

(no fingerprinting & leaves on the table much needed revenue in MO)

HCR4 – (Bernskoetter, R-Jefferson City) – ELECTED OFFICIAL PAY RAISES

We always vote no, even though the Commission always recommends pay raises for elected officials and judges – I voted NO

Delivered to Governor 1/31/17  

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WHATS HAPPENING WITH MY COMMITTEES?

Actually, not much.

Children and Families Committee meets today for the 1st time (where most anti-reproductive health bills start in the House).  We are only hearing HB260 which expands “kin” who are authorized for foster child placement.  The chair or Speaker are sitting on the plethora of anti-abortion bills…for now.

Elections Committee has heard one bill so far, HB353, expanding non-election elections to a bit larger communities.  Democracy weighing against cost of elections —that’s a tough ethical idea. We are awaiting a harsher Voter ID bill which we expect to see this session.

Crime and Public Safety Committee

Questioning a bill sponsor in committee hearing this morning.

Last week we heard HB37 which would criminalize those, including medical personnel if they crossed a police barricade.

I pointed out that an operating room nurse (Nancy) and surgeon husband were shopping in the Tucson Safeway when Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and others were shot in 2011 and happened to be the first responders on the scene. Under HB39, they would have been charged with a misdemeanor – which is absurd. The bill sponsor was not aware of the full consequences of his legislation and pulled it.

Thank you Nancy for having an impact re saving lives — much more than you think.

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Our first “GOV 101” in Kansas City – Success!

The activist momentum around the country since the Novembe election is alive and booming in Missouri.

Over 200 hundred people from the Metropolitan Kansas City area came out Saturday morning, January 28th to help launch our inaugural statewide “GOV 101” series – demystifying the Missouri State Legislature and tips how you can advocate for policies which help people and fight those which hurt.

Thanks to everyone at Center High School who were extremely welcoming – shout out to Center District Superintendent Dr. Sharon Nibbelink and high school staff, volunteers Pat Gallagher and Drew Gilmore and the excellent panelists above: from left, Craig Yugawa, Washington University Medical School; Laura McQuade, E.D. of Planned Parenthood Great Plains; Rep. DaRon McGee – Kansas City; Sara Baker, legislative/policy director of ACLU Missouri; Elizabeth Fuchs, policy director of PROMO; Rep. Greg Razer – Kansas City and me.

We are getting rave reviews – especially of our testimony demonstration where panelists simulated a Children and Families Committee hearing (almost better than the real thing) and the frank honesty from local state representatives on what they actually need from citizens in the State Capitol.

The highlight of the seminar hosted by ProgressWomen.com: putting directly in the hands of every registrant a personalized card listing their state legislators, governor and congressional electeds with phone numbers and emails.

The prep for these seminars has been intense but my assistant Adam and Wash U med student Craig Yugawa are as committed to this project as I am – our motto?  Just do it.

YOU’RE IN LUCK!  WE ARE DOING TWO MORE IN ST. LOUIS

*Saturday, February 4th – 10am in Fenton – SOLD OUT

*Saturday, February 11th – 10am at Maplewood Richmond Heights High School

WHAT THE HECK. WE DECIDED TO FILL IT TO THE RAFTERS —–YOU MUST RSVP HERE

Over 140 people in the past 48 hours have registered since we opened up the event again.

People keep asking us to book more around the state —I’d love to.

IMPORTANT:  If you previously registered for our “Iced Out” GOV 101 on January 14th and want to attend this rescheduled seminar, please let me know right away so we can save your seat.

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WOMEN’S MARCH IN WASHINGTON D.C.

If you know me, you know that wild horses couldn’t have kept me from attending the historic Women’s March in Washington D.C. January 21st.

I only have one word for it: “overwhelming”.  Pink hats and people as far as you could see in every direction.  For blocks and blocks.  Who kept pouring in even as we were trying to leave.

I attended with 11 of my best gun violence prevention (GVP) women friends from all over the country – survivors and activists who do this work every single day – but are never all in the same city at one time.  We rented a large 5 bedroom house and when we’re weren’t marching or rallying, shared intense detailed personal stories of how we came to this GVP work.

Our house included: Pat, who helped tackle the gunman & took away the ammunition while he was loading during the Tucson shooting of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and 18 others; Loren, whose 6 year old son was shot (but survived)  and Donna, whose 16 year old daughter was shot (but survived) at the 1999 Los Angeles Jewish Community Day Camp shooting; Donna, who founded the 2000 Million Mom March in DC and our newest activist, Nancy, a Tuscon operating room nurse who happened to be the first medical responder, along with her surgeon husband that day because she had been shopping inside the Safeway.  We came from Tucson, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City, East Lansing and St. Louis.

Po, a super mom and Abbey, a former Sandy Hook 2nd grade teacher joined us from Newtown, CT. Our friend, Shira of Ceasefire Pennsylvania found us from Philadelphia.

Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence is using this in their Women’s March emails.

Even those who don’t identify as survivors, know that gun violence impacts us, along with every American, in so many ways.

We marched for Gun Violence Prevention, as others beside us marched for Reproductive Justice, Equality, Immigration Rights, Pay Equity, you name it – there was a sign or button for every human right and justice you can think of. The entire town was caught up in a welcoming spirit and people of all shapes , genders and types felt connected to each other —when was the last time you felt that?

One of the best parts?  Literally running into Kirkwood native, Mackenzie Becker, now a law student at Howard University.  I last saw her in 2006 when she was 14 years old, volunteering on a campaign.  One million people and we find each other!

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