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01/08/24 Missouri Mondays - Happy New Year! Resolve to protect democracy and freedoms for all Missourians in 2024! Join us! Take action this week!



Happy New Year and welcome to our first Missouri Mondays of 2024!  The Missouri Legislative Session began last week and the GOP immediately resumed their attack on the citizen’s initiative process to make it harder if not impossible for the people to make constitutional change. We know why they are so desperate especially in this election year to silence your voice. They saw what happened last year in states where bodily autonomy and abortion rights were on the line, the people voted to protect those rights and rejected the extreme Republican agenda.

For those in the Kansas City area, we are excited to invite you to join us for a series of events THIS WEEK centered around the powerful Focus on Abortion photo-journalism exhibit that we’re supporting here from January 7- 14, 2024! Join us for receptions, trainings, faith leader gatherings and more by RSVP’ing at https://go.au.org/KCActionWeek.

Focus on Abortion is a powerful visual that centers the voices of people who have experienced abortion, and helps connect the issue to our support of religious freedom and church state separation (check out this video of the exhibit). Whether you join us for just the exhibit or multiple events, we look forward to coming together as a community around this important issue.

Each week we’ll continue to provide resources, upcoming events and ways to get involved that we hope you will find meaningful. We are grateful for you and thank you for staying informed, taking action, and sharing this Missouri Mondays weekly email sign up link bit.ly/3pF99Uw.  


UPCOMING EVENTS - ACTIONS TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE


TAKE ACTION WITH THE MISSOURI VOTER PROTECTION COALITION (MOVPC)

TO PROTECT THE RIGHT TO VOTE 


Join the MOVPC weekly online meeting MONDAYS at 10 AM

Text “MOVPC” to 66866 or register HERE: bit.ly/protectmovoters


Missouri lawmakers returned to Jefferson City last week and wasted no time advancing legislation that threatens our state’s open primaries and long-standing citizen-initiative process. On the plus side, we have the opportunity to advance pro-active legislation restoring voting rights to those on probation and parole and protect our dedicated election workers from threats and harassment.


Register here to join our 2024 Missouri Voting Rights Legislative Preview TODAY JAN 8 at 10am CT and hear from our advocates under the dome about what's in store for democracy at the Missouri Legislature and how you can get involved in Missouri Voting Rights Lobby Day Jan. 30!


MOVPC 2024 Missouri Legislative Tracker

See a breakdown of elections related bills on MOVPC's Voting Rights Legislative Tracker here:  bit.ly/movotingbills


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Missouri Workers Center (Kansas City)

Good Jobs And Affordable Housing For All Coalition

Packing the Jackson County Legislature Meeting!

TODAY MONDAY JAN 8, 2024

Arrive 2:30 PM for 3:00PM meeting

Jackson County Courthouse

2nd Floor

415 E 12th St

Kansas City, MO  64106


Jackson County Legislators will VOTE on an ordinance to place a 3/8 cent sales tax for the Royals' stadium development project on the April ballot. They're voting on whether or not to move forward with this project even though the Royals HAVE NOT committed to negotiating a strong community benefits agreement with low-wage workers and tenants who will be most impacted by the stadium development. That's why workers and their allies are packing the meeting tomorrow. We're going to let our elected representatives know we won't support ONE DIME of taxpayer money for a new stadium if we don't have a seat at the table.

 

WHO: Workers, faith and labor leaders, and community allies in the Good Jobs And Affordable Housing For All coalition

 

WHAT: Jackson County Legislature meeting

 

WHEN: Monday, January 8, 2024, at 3 P.M. CT (arrive at 2:30 to be sure you get a seat in the room) 

 

WHERE: 2nd floor of the Jackson County Courthouse, 415 E. 12th Street, KCMO 64106

 

WHY: To tell the legislators doing the bidding of billionaire team owner John Sherman: NOTHING ABOUT US, WITHOUT US!


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Focus on Abortion Action Week - Kansas City

January 7- 14, 2024


Join us for events starting TONIGHT for Focus on Abortion Action Week Photo-Journalism Exhibit, receptions, trainings, faith leader gatherings and more by RSVP’ing at https://go.au.org/KCActionWeek.

Focus on Abortion is a powerful visual that centers the voices of people who have experienced abortion, and helps connect the issue to our support of religious freedom and church state separation (check out this video of the exhibit). Whether you join us for just the exhibit or multiple events, we look forward to coming together as a community around this important issue.



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MARK YOUR CALENDAR!


The Greater Kansas City Women’s Political Caucus Campaign School

Saturday, January 20, 2024

9AM - 3PM

Sylvester Powell Community Center

6200 Martway St

Mission, KS 66202


The GKCWPC Campaign School is an annual event focusing on supporting women who are interested in running for office and for people interested in working on campaigns at all levels of government. The event, which will be held at Sylvester Powell Community Center in Mission, KS from approximately 9am - 3pm will include all the basics: fundraising, public speaking, recruiting volunteers and talking about women's reproductive rights. The training is free of charge thanks to a grant from the Women in Politics Foundation.  Apply Here: https://forms.gle/F8xEfDd9KAVu6FYT7



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MISSOURI VOTER PROTECTION COALITION (MOVPC)

MISSOURI VOTING RIGHTS LOBBY DAY!

January 30, 2024

Missouri Capitol 

Jefferson City, MO  


Plan to join Missouri Voter Protection Coalition and voter protection allies from all across the state for a Pro-Democracy Day at the Capitol to defend Missouri's Initiative Petition Process and support our Freedom to Vote!  Mark your calendar and watch for more details coming soon!



HELP SUPPORT THE WORK OF MOVPC PROTECTING OUR FREEDOM TO VOTE IN MISSOURI!


With the 2024 elections ahead, and the third anniversary of the January 6 attack on our democracy in mind as Missouri lawmkers return to session, we must act now to ensure our elections are free, fair and acccessible for ALL Missouri’s voters in 2024. Help the non-partisan Missouri Voter Protection Coalition lead the fight against attacks on our freedom to vote in the statehouse, in the courthouse, in the media, in the streets and at the polls on Election Day. Missouri Voter Protection Coalition and its more than 60 affiliated partners collaborate to lead legislative advocacy, strategic litigation, training and education, combat disinformaiton, and election protection to ensure that no eligible voter is denied the right to cast a vote that counts. 


Note: Your gift will appear on your credit card as Missouri WIN, our fiscal sponsor. Missouri WIN is a 501c4 non-profit organization and your gift is not tax-deductible.



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Meet Crystal Quade Democratic Candidate for Missouri Governor


“Growing up in rural Missouri, young Crystal Quade made the trek before daylight every morning to help her mom prepare the diner where she worked double or triple shifts waitressing.


They lived in a small house on a gravel road, and Crystal was the first in her family to graduate from high school. She worked her way through Missouri State, began her own family – and then became the Democratic Leader of the Missouri House of Representatives.


Crystal is leading our most important fights to restore our abortion rights, standing up to the biggest corporate special interests, and stopping China and Russia from buying up our farmland and squeezing Missouri farmers out.


Crystal will take on extremist Jay Ashcroft, who says he will ban abortion forever, and give more tax breaks to the wealthiest and most privileged families like the one he grew up in.


If you are looking for a new kind of leader, who will stand up for our working and farming families – meet Crystal Quade.”



Support Crystal's Campaign for Missouri's Future: https://crystalquade.com/


The Heartland Pod Interview with Rep. Crystal Quade https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJwbn8m4_q8



“Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes is endorsing Crystal Quade, Missouri House Minority Leader for governor. In a state where nearly all abortions have been illegal since Roe v. Wade was overturned, Quade says she supports putting the most expansive possible abortion access amendment on the 2024 ballot.”


“House Minority Leader Crystal Quade believes abortion can win on the ballot in Missouri. And Planned Parenthood, which announced its endorsement of the Springfield Democrat’s campaign for governor on Monday, believes Quade can win, too.


Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes is endorsing Quade, who announced a campaign for governor in July. In a state where nearly all abortions have been illegal since Roe v. Wade was overturned, two rival coalitions are working to put the issue on the statewide ballot — placing the debate front and center heading into the 2024 campaign. “This really is a crisis, and, regardless of political affiliation, Missourians are feeling that,” Quade said.”


“Campaigning on abortion access


Missouri was the first state to enact its trigger lawafter Roe fell, only permitting abortions in medical emergencies.


Quade said since then, her constituents in southwest Missouri – where it used to be suggested that she not broach the topic of abortion – have been increasingly concerned about government overreach, regardless of political affiliation.”




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Missouri in the News


“In a statehouse short on space, Missouri House Speaker Dean Plocher converted an office into a liquor ‘pantry’ – Public records show the Missouri House spent $60,000 of taxpayer money renovating the speaker’s office — including $29,000 on new furniture”


“For four years, state Rep. Mike Stephens occupied prime real estate on the third floor of the Missouri Capitol. His office in room 306B certainly wasn’t the biggest in the space-starved statehouse, where staff often work out of musty, windowless rooms, and many lawmakers are stacked on top of each other in non-ADA compliant mezzanines. 


But Stephens’ office was steps away from the House chamber. And it was the only one besides the speaker’s with direct access to the House Lounge — a room adorned with a Thomas Hart Benton mural where conference committees, leadership meetings and press conferences are often held. 


For decades, it was reserved for the chairman of the House budget committee, but in more recent years was occupied by senior Republicans. Entering into his final term in the House, it was a relatively safe bet that Stephens would finish his legislative career in the coveted office space. 


But in late 2022, he got word he’d be moving down the hall. 


House Speaker Dean Plocher took over that space and converted it into what has been jokingly referred to as his “butler’s pantry,” a makeshift storage room stocked with liquor, beer, wine and soda to complement the supply in his office.


The move was part of a $60,000 renovation of Plocher’s office in late 2022 and early 2023, paid for with public funds by the House. Half the costs stemmed from expenses resulting from repairs to walls, baseboards and ceilings in the speaker’s office. 


The other half, according to records obtained by The Independent through Missouri’s Sunshine Law, went towards new furnishings — to the tune of about $29,000, including $8,600 for a black leather sofa and armchairs, $2,500 for a new walnut table, $2,500 for a refrigerator with an ice maker, $5,000 for a custom cabinet to hold the refrigerator and $385 for two walnut trash can bins.”



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“Missouri Senate leaders outline 2024 goals but fear infighting will stymie progress”


“In a legislative session many fear will be fruitless, Missouri Senate leaders echo sentiments expressed in the Missouri House hoping for a productive session.


As 2024 is an election year, many are pessimistic about accomplishing legislative goals. With five state senators seeking statewide office and 15 state representatives eyeing state senate seats, there is concern that lawmakers will use this session for political grandstanding and scoring campaign wins.”


“Federal funding, education among priorities


A top concern for lawmakers this session will be approving the federal reimbursement allowance, or FRA, which allows federal funds to supplement the state’s Medicaid program. If not accomplished this session, a special session will be called, as it was in 2021. It makes up about $4.3 billion of the state budget.


Lawmakers in both the House and Senate have turned their focus to education this session. While state Sen. Bill Eigel, who is running for governor this year, wants to abolish the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, others think a reevaluation is in order.


“I'm not an advocate for saying, ‘I don't think this department works the way I think it should, so I'm just gonna burn that to the ground and start over,’” O’Laughlin said. “It's a time-consuming thing. You have to be able to put in the work, see what is working, see what isn't working.”

Investing in childcare, in some capacity, has also been an idea tossed around by members of the House and Senate in the first week of session. Industry groups, such as National Federation of Independent Business, have implored lawmakers to focus on this issue.


Gov. Mike Parson also hoped to see it addressed in the last session. However, while lawmakers are cognizant of the issue, they aren’t quite sure the best way to approach it at this time.


Democrats could capitalize on dysfunction


Senate Democrats are also eyeing a solution for the childcare issue, as well as focusing on lowering health care costs, investing in classrooms and raising teacher pay. Democrats are in a super-minority in both the House and Senate, but the formation of the Freedom Caucus may give them more maneuverability to work with moderate conservatives to accomplish goals.


However, Senate Minority Floor Leader John Rizzo laments the Republican infighting, as it usually only serves to stymie progress on legislative goals that could help the people of Missouri. “We got into public service to try to help Missourians, to try to help the average worker and to get things done to provide relief for taxpayers,” Rizzo said. “To see the Senate devolve into what it has these last four or five years is, it's not enjoyable, regardless of what side of the aisle you sit on.”



Freedom Caucus wants initiative petition reform, budget cuts


The Freedom Caucus stands resolute in its goals. Republican Sen. Rick Brattin, chairman of the newly formed caucus, said that its members aren’t there to be obstructionists, but to advance Republican goals.


“Our mission is to advance the Republican platform, (initiative petition) reform, budget cuts, educational choice, giving every single student a choice and the capability to be able to get a good quality education,” Brattin said.


Along with altering the initiative petition process and overhauling the education department, the Freedom Caucus is focused on cutting the budget. Last year, the budget was about $52 billion, a number that members of the caucus feel is far too bloated.”


“The Freedom Caucus hosts its official launch on Friday afternoon in St. Charles, at which time its full current membership will be revealed. On Thursday, Brattin was joined by other Freedom Caucus members, which include Sens. Bill Eigel, Hoskins and Nick Schroer.  The Freedom Caucus is part of a larger national organization that provides research and resources to the Missouri branch that formed last month.


Brattin expressed that the “time for playing nice” in the Senate was over, stressing that members of the caucus will stand strong for the issues that they want to see accomplished.  “If we're forced to really press in on an issue, to advance that issue that I'm elected to advance, then we're going to do whatever means necessary,” Brattin said.”





MISSOURI MONDAYS NEWS SUPPLEMENT!


With so much important news each week we don’t want you to miss a thing! Check out our MISSOURI MONDAYS NEWS SUPPLEMENT here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/13cokjWlCh2EkY5K6bM357rjVPizZDzxlMqjAuoBQfoI/edit?usp=sharing


 

THANK YOU! for staying informed and taking action to make a difference!

Invite your friends and neighbors to join us and sign up for Missouri Action Alliance and this Missouri Mondays weekly email at bit.ly/3pF99Uw

Follow us on X (formerly Twitter) at @MissouriAction, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/MOActionAlliance and check out our website at http://www.MOActionAlliance.com

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