01/17/22 - Missouri Mondays - Honoring Dr. King, Jr., Medicaid Expansion and Schools-Act Now!
Today we honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the hope and strength he gave us to continue the struggle for freedom, equality, and justice.
As Barack Obama said of Dr. King,
“His life, his story, tells us that change can come if you don’t give up. He would not give up, no matter how long it took, because in the smallest hamlets and the darkest slums, he had witnessed the highest reaches of the human spirit; because in those moments when the struggle seemed most hopeless, he had seen men and women and children conquer their fear; because he had seen hills and mountains made low and rough places made plain, and the crooked places made straight and God make a way out of no way.”
“And so with our eyes on the horizon and our faith squarely placed in one another, let us keep striving; let us keep struggling; let us keep climbing toward that promised land of a nation and a world that is more fair, and more just, and more equal for every single child of God.”
Martin Luther King Day is a Day of Service. We can honor his legacy by offering our service in our community and standing up for the ideals he fought for.
TAKE ACTION NOW ON THIS WEEK’S DANGEROUS BILLS!
MEDICAID EXPANSION UNDER ATTACK
Medicaid Expansion is being threatened by Rep. Cody Smith who has proposed a constitutional amendment that would give Republicans the ability to overturn Medicaid expansion in Missouri. Voters passed Medicaid expansion and the Missouri Supreme Court upheld our vote to make 275,000 Missourians eligible for affordable healthcare. Now Rep. Smith wants to ignore the will of the people and take away the promise of healthcare to over a quarter of a million Missourians.
TO TAKE ACTION–
Call Rep. Cody Smith 573-751-5458, the Budget Committee Chair and sponsor of HJR 117, and tell him to respect the will of Missourians and to ensure that all Missourians continue to be eligible for affordable healthcare. Contact other Budget Committee members here–https://www.house.mo.gov/Committees.aspx?cluster=true
UPDATE ON THE ATTACK ON PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Charter School Expansion Bill in the Senate
SB 650 (Eigel) would expand charter schools in the state. It would allow outside entities to sponsor the charter school rather than requiring accountability to the local community and elected board members. A Senate hearing will take place on Jan. 18 at 1:00 pm. If you cannot attend, you can submit a written statement here. Witness Statement
More bills that seek to undermine public education and to limit the teaching of history, including banning the use of several nationally renowned and vetted curriculum materials have been assigned to committees. As we reported last week, these bills pretend to be anti-racist, but in reality they seek to limit the use of historical and current curricular materials and deny that racism exists or has ever existed in our country. They oppose Critical Race Theory, or CRT, which is typically not taught in K-12 schools. CRT is a theoretical framework taught in law school courses and graduate schools that examines how racism or racial bias in society has influenced our laws and institutions. It is being misrepresented and used to stoke fear in the public.
While no hearings are scheduled this week, we must continue to make our views known by contacting members of the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee.
HB 1474 (Schroer) would ban the use of the 1619 Project as well as other materials from highly respected organizations such as the Southern Poverty Law Center.
HB 1747 (Basye) details a plan for the recall of school board members that includes language that could lead to frivolous lawsuits.
HB 1995 (Richey) creates new requirements regarding the teaching of "controversial or divisive" topics. The bill creates mechanisms by which parents can object to instruction and materials based on their beliefs and creates an extensive mandate to put all school curriculum and all source materials. It includes a “penalty provision” that could result in fines of up to $10,000 each from the school district with 80% of the fine amount going to the Empowerment Scholarship Fund, a voucher program.
TO TAKE ACTION–
Make your views known by contacting members of the Elementary and Secondary Education Committee.
Rep. Chuck Bayse 573-751-1501 Rep. Mike Haffner 573-751-3783 Rep. Ben Baker 573-751-9781 Rep. Rusty Black 573-751-2917 Rep. Phil Christofanelli 573-751-2949 Rep. Bruce DeGroot 573-751-1247 Rep. Shamed Dogan 573-751-4392 Rep. Derek Grier 573-751-9765 Rep. Ron Hicks 573-751-9768 Rep. Jon Patterson 573-751-0907 Rep. Brad Pollitt 573-751-9774 Rep. Dan Stacy 573-751-8636 Rep. Cheri Toalson Reisch 573-751-1169
INITIATIVE PETITIONS UNDER THREAT
The House Elections and Elected Officials Committee heard HJR 79 (Henderson) on January 12. HJR 79 would require a higher fraction of signatures (10% of voters rather than 8 % per district) in more parts of the state (all eight Congressional districts rather than six) for an initiative that amends the Constitution. The HJR also would require a two-thirds supermajority vote (rather than the simple majority vote required since Missouri became a state) to pass a Constitutional amendment.
Several similar bills that would make it more difficult for the citizens of Missouri to file a ballot initiative petition will have public hearings this week.
TO TAKE ACTION–
Attend the Hearing or Submit written comments
If you are unable to attend the hearing in person, submit your testimony here. Witness Statement
Call these members of the Elections and Elected Officials Committee and tell them to leave the Initiative Petition Process alone!
Rep. Dan Shaul 573-751-2504
Rep. Peggy McGuagh 573-751-1468
Rep. Jeff Coleman 573-751-1487
Rep. Bishop Davidson 573-751-2381
Rep. Ann Kelly 573-751-2165
Rep. Adam Schwadron 573-751-1452
Rep. John Simmons 573-751-3776
Rep. Dan Stacy 573-751-8636
Rep. Cheri Toalson Reisch 573-751-1169
REDISTRICTING NEGOTIATIONS CONTINUE
CONTACT YOUR STATE REP FOR MORE INFORMATION ON PROPOSED REDISTRICTING MAPS FOR YOUR DISTRICT
Although some Republicans have pushed for a 7-1 revision to Congressional Districts in order to favor Republican candidates, it looks like the current 6-2 division will remain in the proposed map.
TO TAKE ACTION–
For more information about your district’s proposed maps contact your State Representative. Find yours using the “Legislator Lookup” here: https://www.senate.mo.gov/LegisLookup/Default.aspx
MARK YOUR CALENDAR FOR THESE UPCOMING EVENTS
Gov. Parson will deliver his 2022 State of the State address on January 19 at 3:00 pm. The address can be watched live at https://www.mo.gov/live
NATIONAL BLOOD DONOR MONTH
January is National Blood Donor Month. Amidst a nation-wide critical blood shortage, you can help by joining the #GiveLifeKC campaign and donating blood at one of the Community Blood Center’s donor centers. Donors can schedule appointments by calling 1-877-468-6844 or visiting www.savealifenow.org.
TAKE ACTION WITH THE MISSOURI VOTER PROTECTION COALITION (MOVPC)
TO PROTECT THE RIGHT TO VOTE
Missouri lawmakers have prefiled more than 300 bills for the 2022 session that started Jan 5 and using false claims of voter fraud the GOP majority will try again to pass restrictive photo ID laws, make the initiative petition process harder, reduce or eliminate voting by mail, and other laws suppressing our vote and our voice!
Help protect the right to vote in Missouri with the Missouri Voter Protection Coalition! The Missouri Voter Protection Coalition (MOVPC) is a nonpartisan statewide network working to protect the right to vote in Missouri, promoting access to the ballot and working to remove barriers to voting.
Weekly MOVPC Meeting
TODAY Mon Jan 17
Text “MOVPC” to 66866 or register HERE: https://wustl.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYoceyuqTsqGN1NlXOMKb88rSExyr-kWjbt
MORE UPCOMING ACTIONS AND EVENTS IN JANUARY
Find more upcoming actions and events here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/19AZUdtRH5WXefOC4Q5D9u-HyuzhBEL8rYX9Ospn3n18/edit?usp=sharing
MISSOURI COVID UPDATE - Week Jan 3 - 9
“Missouri has reported more cases of COVID-19 in the first 12 days of January than any full month of the pandemic so far.” Missouri Independent
Schools closing or warning of imminent closures, hospitals drowning in new cases, staff out sick in increasing numbers–we have seen shutdowns, slowdowns, and more shortages of goods and services as numbers of the sick and hospitalized in Missouri continue to mount. And as the virus takes a heavier toll, we see mitigation efforts attacked. Crystal Williams, a Jackson County legislator recently proposed an ordinance that would restore some powers to the county health department after they were stripped away through a decision from a Cole County judge. She withdrew her proposed ordinance after receiving an “extraordinary amount of threatened violence.” Jackson County legislator pulls proposal on health powers after receiving violent threats –Missouri Independent
Free rapid at-home tests may be ordered starting Jan. 19 at COVIDtests.gov.
The state of Missouri is also providing free at-home PCR tests, however, their supply may be low. A notice on their website states: “Please note that due to the current spike in demand, a limited quantity will be available each day through January. If the ordering site says the limit has been reached, please check back again the following day for availability. Thank you for your patience.”
FIND COVID-19 Vaccines KC Metro - Statewide and COVID-19 Testing & Recovery Treatment (KC Metro) HERE https://docs.google.com/document/d/1i1vCikZiGfMulA8tFCDSJbEKV5N37S1JU_TSlgs699A/edit?usp=sharing
Everyone ages 5 and older get a COVID-19 vaccine.
CDC has updated its recommendations for COVID-19 vaccines with a preference for people to receive an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna). Read CDC’s media statement here: https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2021/s1216-covid-19-vaccines.html
COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shots (CDC updated Dec 28 2021)
Everyone 16 years and older can get a booster shot. Details HERE: https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2021/s1119-booster-shots.html
Three COVID-19 vaccines are authorized or approved for use in the United States to prevent COVID-19. Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna (COVID-19 mRNA vaccines) are preferred. You may get Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine in some situations–https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines/janssen.html
CDC Key Things to Know About COVID-19 Vaccines HERE (updated Nov 30 2021): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/keythingstoknow.html
Missourians Vaccinated - as of Sun Jan 16 The New York Times
63% of Missourians have received at least one dose - (75% at least one dose in the U.S.)
54% of Missourians are fully vaccinated - (63% fully vaccinated in the U.S.)
Total COVID-19 Cases and Deaths in Missouri
954,454 confirmed cases (61,433 in last week) and 13,535 confirmed deaths and a testing positivity rate of 33.6% –data through 01/14/22 MO Dept of Health and Senior Services
1,193,393 total reported cases and 16,822 deaths as of Sun Jan 16 The New York Times
THANK YOU! for answering the Missouri Mondays CALL TO ACTION!
Invite your friends and neighbors to join us and sign up for Missouri Action Alliance and this Missouri Mondays email at moactionalliance.com/signup