Campaign Finance Reform
I support the Clean Missouri citizen’s initiative that will be on the ballot in November. The referendum can make our state government more transparent and limit the power of big money to ensure citizens will be able to hold legislators accountable when they fail to act in the public interest. The initiative would install a waiting period of 2 years for legislators to become lobbyists, impose campaign finance limits and help eliminate gerrymandering of Missouri House and Senate districts.
Missouri has one of the most widely-acclaimed state park systems in the nation. I helped to defeat divestiture bills that would have sold off state land that was purchased for future state parks. I also backed increased oversight of coal ash ponds and fought bills that installed industry representatives as a majority on the boards of the Missouri Air Conservation Commission and Missouri Clean Water Commission. I believe climate change is real and is largely caused by our continued release of greenhouse gases. Missouri needs to be much more pro-active in encouraging renewable energy production and low-emission vehicles and making our homes and buildings more energy efficient.
Everybody should be equal under the law, and that includes our LGBTQ community. We need to pass the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act (MONA). It would add sexual orientation and gender identity to Missouri’s Human Rights Act, which currently prohibits discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations for other protected categories, including race, sex, and national origin. MONA has been introduced each year since 1998, several of which I sponsored. I have been endorsed by PROMO, a Missouri organization advocating for LGBTQ equality.
As a state representative, I have fought for and continue to support health care reforms, including expansion of Medicaid so that tens of thousands of our neighbors can have insurance. I will work hard to undo cuts in funding to health programs vital for our seniors, and I will continue my unwavering support for families and comprehensive women’s health care, including the right to reproductive choice. I have been endorsed by NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri, which advocates for women’s health and reproductive freedom.
Labor and Proposition A
I grew up in a strong union family and have always been pro-labor. I have the endorsements of Teamsters Local 600, Plumbing Industry Council, and Missouri State Council of Machinists. I actively opposed “Right-To-Work” when the referendum was defeated in 1978, and I voted against the bill in the Missouri House in 2017. I urge all Missourians to vote NO on Proposition A on August 7th.
We need to encourage more mass transit, which benefits commuters, our environment, and community investment. Our own 25-year old MetroLink light rail system has been a catalyst for creating millions of dollars in local community improvements and new and expanded businesses surrounding MetroLink stations and transit routes.
We need better answers to the growing crisis of opioid addiction. These are our neighbors, friends, and family. We’ve lost too many already to overdoses. Effective treatment responses must be created to avoid losing more. We need to address how the pharmaceutical industry profits from these addictions and how to help patients from becoming addicted in the first place.
Public education is vital. Our schools must have the tools they need to prepare our students for the future. It doesn’t matter if it’s K through 12, higher education or trade schools, all need their funding cuts restored and make sure our hard-working teachers get paid what they deserve. I support universal free preschool. Students must be prepared for education.
Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform
I have always had the safety of our residents as a top priority. Communities must be protected by compassionate police officers and departments that are accountable to their citizens. As a city official, I created the Civilian Police Academy, a course for civilians that is the region’s first opportunity to understand law enforcement work by residents of a participating municipality. We can’t afford to build more state prisons, which was recently at 105% of capacity. We need better rehabilitation because of the 19,000 people admitted in 2016, just 15% were new to prison. We need more community-based treatment programs, especially for the more than a third sentenced to prison for drug-related offenses.
I strongly oppose racial profiling. I want to make sure it is not a crime to walk or drive down the street simply because you are African American. We need justice reform. We need to stop sending African Americans to jail for crimes others can walk away from.
In local government, I ensured our seniors can apply for loans to repair their property and I created senior service buses to drive them to get their groceries or medical appointments. As a state representative, I am committed to ensuring our seniors are not taxed out of their home and can live independently, including restoring state funding for in-home health care and MO Rx, a program that helps seniors pay for their prescription drugs.
Voter ID Laws
I have fought to eliminate archaic voter ID laws so our senior citizens have better opportunities to vote. The voter ID laws are draconian attempts to disenfranchise citizens from being able to vote.
August 3, 2018 Town Hall Conference Call
Listen to the audio where I talked for an hour about issues important to voters in Missouri’s 14th Senate District.