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04/03/23 Missouri Mondays - Time to VOTE in Municipal Elections April 4! Use your voice....

to stop MO GOP overreach and attacks on initiative petitions, libraries, LGBTQ rights, diversity, equity, inclusion (DEI)!




Welcome to another Missouri Mondays! Today is the last day to take advantage of no excuse in person absentee (early) voting and Tuesday April 4 is Election Day! Every election matters so make your voice heard at the ballot box and remind your friends and family to go VOTE!

We must also use our voices this week to stop MO Republican attacks on our LGBTQ community, citizen-led initiative petitions, bans on diversity, equity, inclusion (DEI), defunding MO public libraries, and more. Find everything you need to take action from home or in Jefferson City. Help us spread the word to others to get involved and share our link to sign up for Missouri Mondays: https://www.moactionalliance.com/signup.


 

APRIL 4 PRIMARY MUNICIPAL ELECTION! MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD! VOTE!


LAST DAY APRIL 3 FOR NO EXCUSE IN PERSON ABSENTEE (EARLY) VOTING


Voting Information and Voter Resources


 

TAKE ACTION TO PROTECT THE CITIZEN’S INITIATIVE PETITION PROCESS!


Last week Senate Democrats held the Senate floor for almost four hours filibustering HCS HJR 43 that would raise the threshold to 60% for passage of citizen initiative petitions. Republicans sat the bill aside but we know this fight is not over!


For more than 100 years Missourians have utilized the initiative petition process to expand Medicaid coverage, overturn the right to work law harming unions, and legalize medical and recreational marijuana. Now the GOP majority is desperate to make it harder if not impossible to place a measure on the ballot through the initiative petition process and pass it statewide.


CALL YOUR STATE SENATOR TO VOTE NO ON HCS HJR43 AND OPPOSE ANY EFFORTS TO UNDERMINE THE CITIZEN-LED INITIATIVE PETITION PROCESS!


Find your senator using the Legislator Lookup here: https://www.senate.mo.gov/LegisLookup/Default


Or


Call 1-833-491-0334 MO Jobs with Justice initiative petition patch-through line to leave a voicemail for your State Senator!



  • Would increase the threshold for passage of constitutional amendments from a simple majority to 60%.

  • Statutory initiatives would pass with a simple majority. In other words the legislature is exempting their own initiatives from the 60% threshold for passage but a higher bar for citizen initiatives!

  • Deceptive language defining eligible voters as “only citizens of the United States and residents of Missouri.

  • Requires the Secretary of State to provide voters in each Congressional district with a period in which to review and comment upon all initiative petitions proposing amendments to the Constitution.


About our current initiative petition process (from Missouri Voter Protection Coalition (MOVPC)


  • Since 1907 Missourians have made their voices heard through the initiative petition process.

  • Missourians across the political spectrum have benefitted from the citizen initiative process.

  • Measures passed by a majority - as is currently the case - reflect the will of the people. Making it more difficult undermines the will of the people.

  • Lawmakers should reject efforts to make direct democracy more difficult - the deceptive citizenship language stands to weaken the protection for our right to vote in our constitution.


For more information on HCS HJR 43, read testimony in opposition from Missouri Voter Protection Coalition (MOVPC) here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Qe32-sdwgSmKTCowLTChqPo46wrh4HtA/view


Find additional legislation information in the Missouri Voter Protection Coalition (MOVPC) Legislative Tracker here: bit.ly/movotingbills


 

Senate Democrats in the news for filibuster of HCS HJR 43 last week

“Senate Democrats seized control of the Missouri Senate floor Wednesday afternoon to block a Republican proposal making it harder to change the state constitution.


The measure that would impose a 60% threshold as the minimum majority for amendments has already passed the House and, if approved in the Senate, would go before voters in 2024. Republicans pushing the measure argue that groups from outside the state have funded campaigns that enact measures their legislative majority has rejected, including Medicaid expansion and marijuana legalization.


Democrats argue that the initiative process has worked well since it was enacted in 1908 and no changes are needed.


After nearly four hours of debate, Republicans sat the bill aside for the night.”



 

TELL YOUR STATE SENATOR TO REMOVE LANGUAGE FROM THE BUDGET BANNING DIVERSITY EQUITY INCLUSION (DEI) AND ADD BACK FUNDING FOR DISABILITY CAREGIVERS!


Find your senator using the Legislator Lookup here: https://www.senate.mo.gov/LegisLookup/Default


Last week the MO House sent 14 budget bills to the Senate all with sweeping language barring every state agency and contract from spending tax dollars on diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. The DEI ban language amendment was sponsored by Republican Rep. Doug Richey, Excelsior Springs.


“Each of the 13 bills spending $45.6 billion to run state government in the year beginning July 1 includes the language, as does the supplemental budget bill spending $2 billion to maintain state operations through the end of the current fiscal year.”


Democrats say Rep. Richey’s amendment with “restrictive language barring the state from spending tax dollars on diversity and inclusion initiatives threatens to close charter schools, interrupt delivery of medical services and could even force the Capitol Building to go dark.” Democrats fought hard to stop Rep. Richey’s language to ban DEI and also fought to provide 8.7% raises for caregivers for those with disabilities but the votes failed without bipartisan GOP support.



Listen to Rep. Emily Weber’s powerful personal story on why DEI is so important


Rep. Emily Weber (D-Kansas City) is the 1st Asian American woman elected to serve in the Missouri Legislature. She told her powerful personal story during debate on the MO House floor illustrating why DEI is so important and shared the video in a Facebook post where she explained: “My name is Emily Soo Weber. I’m an Asian adoptee who grew up in rural KS with conservative, white parents. I’m the 1st Asian American woman to be elected into the MO General Assembly and represent a very blue urban district in MO and I’m a proud Democrat. I told a story, trust me I have many more, about why diversity, equity, inclusion, are needed. If we all looked and acted the same, we would be pretty bland. I love my unique self.” Watch the video of Rep. Weber on the House floor here: https://fb.watch/jFYTi_poy-/


 

TELL YOUR STATE SENATOR TO RETURN STATE FUNDING FOR MO PUBLIC LIBRARIES TO THE BUDGET!


Last week House Budget Chair Rep. Cody Smith (R-Carthage) stripped all state funding for Missouri public libraries from the House budget in retaliation for an ACLU lawsuit on behalf of the Missouri Library Association and the Missouri Association of School Libraries that seeks to overturn a state law that bans sexually explicit material from schools and has resulted in school districts pulling books from their shelves.


"As president I hear a lot of anxiety and worry from all of the librarians that are a part of our association," Otter Bowman, president of MLA, said. "This is a scary time to be trying to manage everything in libraries.” Because of the size of the towns some public libraries are in, the tax base is much smaller. This means that in order to provide services to the public, libraries use state funding.

If the proposed budget cut passes, Missouri libraries might have to cut back on what they can provide the public. "... They would have to reduce hours, their collections would probably not be able to be updated in any sort of way, resources that they offered to the community like Wi-Fi connection and job assistance... all of those services would be at risk," Bowman said. "Each library has a different story in terms of how much it's going to affect them, but no one is going to walk away okay." KOMU March 29


CONTACT YOUR STATE SENATOR AND TELL THEM TO RETURN FUNDING FOR MO PUBLIC LIBRARIES TO THE BUDGET!


Find your senator using the Legislator Lookup here: https://www.senate.mo.gov/LegisLookup/Default


“Missouri Budget Defunding Could Cause Rural Libraries To Shorten Hours, Shutter”


“Libraries in Missouri, particularly rural libraries, felt a major blow this week when the state House granted initial approval to slash the roughly $4.5 million in state aid to public libraries from its budget.


The chair of the budget committee, Rep. Cody Smith (R-Carthage), spearheaded the move, stating that funds would be used to subsidize a lawsuit challenging a Missouri law banning sexually explicit material in school libraries. The Missouri Library Association and the Missouri Association of School Librarians joined the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in the suit, which is being heard in the Kansas City Circuit Court.

Rep. Peter Merideth (D-South St. Louis City), ranking Democrat on the House budget committee, told Library Journal the argument that libraries would be using state funds to contribute to the legal battle is inaccurate.


“We pointed to the [Missouri] library association’s website. It makes it very clear they are not spending a penny on it,” he said. “The library association is a named party, but they are not spending any money on the suit.”


“It’s punitive, because they think that their funding was being used to pay for a lawsuit with the ACLU against Senate Bill 775,” Otter Bowman, president of the Missouri Library Association, told LJ. “Of course, that’s completely unfounded. We’re volunteer organizations. The ACLU is providing all of their services pro bono.”


“It feels 100 percent politically motivated,” she added. “Here in Missouri, there are some really staunch right-wing people who don’t like public libraries and they don’t like public schools. And they are just trying to make it really difficult for us to exist.”




 

TELL CHAIRMAN SEN. MIKE BERNSKOETTER TO BRING SB 60 “MISSOURI NONDISCRIMINATION ACT (MONA) TO A VOTE IN GENERAL LAWS!


Senator Greg Razer (D-Kansas City) presented Senate Bill SB 60, also known as the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act (MONA), to the Senate General Laws Committee on March 29. MONA has been filed for over twenty consecutive years by members of both parties in the General Assembly and has been filed by Sen. Razer every year that he has served.

MONA states that Missourians cannot be denied housing, employment, or access to public accommodations simply because they may be LGBT. The bill also contains numerous exemptions for religious liberties.


TELL Chairman Senator Bernskoetter to bring SB 60 MONA to a vote in the General Laws Committee!


Phone: 573-751-2076

Email: mike.bernskoetter@senate.mo.gov


Read more about MONA here:

Missourinet, "Out of the Closet: Missouri Bill Seeks to Expand Protections for LGBTQ Community" https://www.missourinet.com/2023/03/29/out-of-the-closet-missouri-bill-seeks-to-expand-protections-for-lgbtq-community/


 

TELL JACKSON COUNTY LEGISLATORS TO BAN CONVERSION THERAPY IN JACKSON COUNTY!


Conversion therapy is dangerous and has been rejected by mainstream medical and mental health organizations for decades. Minors are especially at risk and conversion therapy can lead to anxiety, depression, drug use, homelessness, and suicide.


Find more information and resources on the Human Rights Campaign website here: "The Lies and Dangers of Efforts to Change Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity" https://www.hrc.org/resources/the-lies-and-dangers-of-reparative-therapy


Jalen Anderson - (1st District At-Large) - anderson@jacksongov.org

Manny Abarca (1st District) - mabarca@jacksongov.org

Donna Peyton (2nd District At-Large) - dpeyton@jacksongov.org

Venessa Huskey (2nd District) - vhuskey@jacksongov.org

Megan Marshall (3rd District At-Large) - mmarshall@jacksongov.org

Charlie Franklin (3rd District) - cfranklin@jacksongov.org

DaRon McGee (4th District) - dmcgee@jacksongov.org

Jeanie Lauer (5th District) - jlauer@jacksongov.org

Sean Smith (6th District) - sesmith@jacksongov.org

Locate your Jackson County in-district legislator on the map here: https://jacksoncomo.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=00aea7b613ee4421b4d37fa2d71c06c9


 

STOP GOVERNMENT OVERREACH! – SUBMIT PUBLIC COMMENT ON MISSOURIANS FOR CONSTITUTIONAL FREEDOM ABORTION PROTECTION BALLOT MEASURES!


Missourians for Constitutional Freedom has filed 11 ballot measures that would add abortion protections to the Missouri Constitution.


From Missouri Independent

“Eleven versions of a proposed initiative petition seeking to roll back Missouri’s ban on abortion by adding protections for the procedure to the state constitution were filed Wednesday with the Secretary of State’s office.


Filed by a St. Louis doctor on behalf of a political action committee called Missourians for Constitutional Freedom, the proposals would amend the constitution to declare that the “government shall not infringe upon a person’s fundamental right to reproductive freedom.” That would include “prenatal care, childbirth, postpartum care, birth control, abortion care, miscarriage care and respectful birthing conditions.” Penalties for both patients seeking reproductive-related care and medical providers would be outlawed.


But there are key differences on a range of topics between the 11 different proposals.

Each version of the proposed amendment says there must be a “compelling governmental interest” for abortion restrictions to be put in place. But while some allow the legislature to regulate abortion after “fetal viability,” others draw the line at 24 weeks of gestation. Some versions make it clear the state can enact parental consent laws for minors seeking abortions. Others leave the topic out entirely.”


“The next step is for the Secretary of State’s office to accept public comments on the 11 versions of the proposed amendment. A summary will be written and supporters can then begin gathering signatures to place the issue on the 2024 ballot.”


SEND PUBLIC COMMENTS TO SECRETARY OF STATE JAY ASHCROFT!


Go to https://www.sos.mo.gov/petitions/2024comment to find full petition text for 11 petitions submitted by “Anna Fitz-James” with Missourians for Constitutional Freedom and click “Submit Comment” button.



 


CHECK OUT OUR MISSOURI MONDAYS NEWS SUPPLEMENT!


With so much important news each week we don’t want you to miss a thing!


 

MARK YOUR CALENDAR FOR THESE UPCOMING ACTIONS AND EVENTS


TAKE ACTION WITH THE MISSOURI VOTER PROTECTION COALITION (MOVPC)

TO PROTECT THE RIGHT TO VOTE

Join the MOVPC weekly meeting MONDAYS at 10 AM

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


Our work to protect the vote requires our continued attention! So we hope you'll join our next MOVPC call where we will discuss next steps in our fight to protect the right to vote in Missouri. MOVPC is a nonpartisan statewide network promoting access to the ballot and working to remove barriers to voting in Missouri!


 


Democratic Legislative Network Monday Night Call

Every Monday night at 7pm


Want to stay up to date on what's happening in Jefferson City and how YOU can help secure Democratic victories for Missouri? Sign up below to join the Democratic Legislative Network and be a part of our Monday night messaging calls.


Sign up here: Bit.ly/MissouriDLN


 

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

Follow us on 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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