08/23/21 - Missouri Mondays - KC welcomes Afghan refugees- How you can help / MO House hearing!
Welcome to another Missouri Mondays! There’s a lot of important news, events, and actions to cover so let’s get started!
KANSAS CITY MAYOR QUINTON LUCAS INVITED AFGHAN REFUGEES TO RESETTLE HERE - HOW YOU CAN HELP!
“As U.S. troops withdrew from Afghanistan and the Taliban retook control of the country, Mayor Quinton Lucas on Monday tweeted that Kansas City was ready to receive refugees. “Kansas City would proudly accept refugees from Afghanistan who have served bravely by our side over the past generation,” Lucas wrote. “And, we have space for many who have not been able to serve, but who seek freedom to learn, vote, work, and have the equal rights our country offers for women and men.” By the time Lucas made his invitation, Kansas City had already welcomed several families fleeing Afghanistan and the Taliban, and more are expected to arrive in the coming months. Della Lamb Community Center and Jewish Vocational Services are two agencies in Kansas City who receive refugees through the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement. Della Lamb resettled two families in the past 60 days and Jewish Vocational Services received one family last week. “So we've worked with about, I would say 15 or 20 in the last couple of months,” says Jewish Vocational Services executive director Hilary Singer. “But we are anticipating getting, hopefully, a whole lot more folks who are able to make their way to safety.”
HOW TO HELP SUPPORT REFUGEES IN KC
“Jewish Vocational Services (JVS) and Della Lamb are the primary organizations in Kansas City for resettling people with Special Immigrant Visas — immigrants who worked as translators, interpreters or other professional roles for the U.S. government in Afghanistan or Iraq.
Donate household items and clothing to Jewish Vocational Services (JVS): https://jvskc.org/get-involved/donate-stuff/
Make a monetary donation to JVS: https://jvskc.org/give/
Make a monetary, furniture, or household item donation to Della Lamb: https://www.dellalamb.org/how-you-can-help/donate
GOVERNOR PARSON ANNOUNCED 14 PARDONS AND COMMUTATIONS, SO FAR EXCLUDING KEVIN STRICKLAND AND LAMAR JOHNSON
Update on Lamar Johnson The Davis Vanguard Aug 20
“Gov. Mike Parson has now announced 14 pardons and commutations, but excluded from those pardoned was Lamar Johnson, a man incarcerated for 26 years for a crime he didn’t commit. Lamar Johnson was wrongfully convicted of killing Marcus Boyd in 1995 and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Since his conviction, the responsible perpetrators Phillip Campbell and James Howard have come forward and confessed to the crime, but Johnson has still not been exonerated.
Lamar maintains his innocence and has worked tirelessly to gather evidence with the help of the Midwest Innocence Project to support his case. Since then, Johnson has petitioned for a new trial, in which he maintained his innocence and argued that his right to due process under the 14th amendment was violated through the state’s interference.”
Update on Kevin Strickland MSN Aug 19
“Kevin Strickland's attorneys dropped his pending case in DeKalb County to focus on a new path to freedom that will be available later this month. The move, made in a court filing Wednesday, will allow his lawyers to shift efforts to a future Jackson County case that could lead to his exoneration much sooner. Dropping the DeKalb County case eliminates a three-day evidentiary hearing set for Nov. 17 to 19, during which Strickland's attorneys would have argued he is innocent in front of a DeKalb County judge. Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker, whose office determined Strickland is innocent in a 1978 triple murder, intends to use a new law that goes into effect Aug. 28 to file a motion asking a Jackson County judge to exonerate Strickland. He could be freed through that process before November, which would make the DeKalb County case a waste of time.” If Kevin Strickland is exonerated, he will have suffered the longest wrongful imprisonment known in Missouri history.
For more details on Kevin Strickland’s case go to MSN Aug 19
Help Kevin Strickland by donating to his GoFundMe fund organized by the Midwest Innocence Project: https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-kevin-strickland-after-wrongful-conviction
Call Gov. Parson (573) 751-3222 and tell him to pardon wrongfully convicted Missourians Kevin Strickland and Lamar Johnson. The story of these wrongfully convicted Missourians has made national news, as Governor Parson prioritized the pardon of the McCloskeys, the gun-toting couple who pleaded guilty to assault just recently. Meanwhile, Kevin Strickland has maintained his innocence for 43 years and Lamar Johnson has been incarcerated 26 years for a crime he did not commit. We must continue to advocate for Mr. Strickland and Mr. Johnson’s freedom!
Join the National Organization of Exonerees, clergy, and elected officials from across the state in Jefferson City, Monday August 30th, 12-4pm in front of the Missouri Supreme Court, to rally for justice. Attorney General Eric Schmitt (whose office is in the Supreme Court building), continues his fight against wrongfully convicted Missourians like Kevin Strickland and Lamar Johnson.
JUDGE TO RULE SOON ON MISSOURI BILL HB 85 TO BLOCK ENFORCEMENT OF FEDERAL GUN LAWS
The U.S. Justice Department is stepping up its fight against a new state law in Missouri that aims to invalidate many federal gun regulations, saying the measure has impeded law enforcement efforts to work with state and local police and is also unconstitutional. On Wednesday, the Justice Department filed a statement of interest in an ongoing lawsuit in Cole County, Missouri, saying the state's Second Amendment Preservation Act, also known as "HB85," should be declared unconstitutional and that the court should issue an injunction barring its enforcement. "HB85 is legally invalid. Under the United States Constitution’s Supremacy Clause, the State of Missouri has no power to nullify federal laws," the department's filing says.” Reuters Aug 18 Cole County Judge Daniel Green said last Thursday Missouri police agencies will know whether they can work with the federal government to enforce certain gun laws within a week when he makes his decision.
MEDICAID EXPANSION UPDATE
Todd Richardson, Missouri Medicaid director slated to return from absence as state prepares expansion implementation but process to approve applications expected to take months
“While the state must now move forward with implementing Medicaid expansion, DSS officials reiterated Thursday that the process will still require several months of fine-tuning and updates until applications can be approved.” For more details go to missouriindependent.com/2021/08/19/missouri-medicaid-director-slated-to-return-as-state-prepares-expansion-implementation/
HOW TO ENROLL IN MEDICAID - PLEASE SHARE!
Apply through the online portal at: https://mydssapp.mo.gov/CitizenPortal/application.do
If the message “ineligible based on income” appears on the pre-screening page, hit NEXT and continue the application. DSS may still be making system changes.
Apply by phone at 855-373-9994
For translation services call 1-855-373-4636
TTY/TDD 1-800-735-2966/1-800-735-2466 for American Sign Language
Download & print application:
Paper applications can be submitted via:
Family Support Division
615 E 13th St
Kansas City, MO 64106
MISSOURI COVID UPDATE - Week 8/15-8/22
“Missouri nears 500 July deaths from Delta surge as hospitalizations continue to rise - COVID-19 cases statewide decline slowly from peak set in first week of the month“ Missouri Independent Aug 18
“July was the deadliest month for COVID-19 in Missouri since January, data released Tuesday by the Department of Health and Senior Services shows. There have been 179 deaths confirmed so far for August, including 30 in the past week. The deadliest month of the year was January, with 1,276 deaths. The highest number of fatalities was 1,771 in December. The recent numbers are likely higher because of delays in reporting deaths and that state data only includes cases identified by lab tests looking for genetic material from the virus. The state does not report deaths in cases identified by antigen tests that find proteins from the virus. The new report came as hospitalizations continue to rise, the state announced that people with weakened immune systems are eligible for a booster vaccination shot and vaccine delivery rates remain below levels seen in early June.”
LET’S GET VACCINATED MISSOURI! - PLEASE SHARE THIS RESOURCES LINK WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY!
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
HELP PROTECT THE RIGHT TO VOTE IN MISSOURI WITH THE MISSOURI VOTER PROTECTION COALITION (MOVPC)
Join Missouri Voter Protection Coalition Zoom weekly meeting with statewide advocates working to protect the right to vote in Missouri.
TODAY Monday August 23 at 10AM
Sign up HERE or text “MOVPC” to 66866 and watch for an email with details and the link to join the meeting
MISSOURI HOUSE ELECTIONS COMMITTEE INTERIM MEETING AUG. 24 ON INITIATIVE PETITION & ELECTION SECURITY
The Missouri legislature failed to pass harmful initiative petition reforms or voting restrictions in the 2021 regular session but as expected they have not given up. On Tuesday the Missouri House Elections and Elected Officials Committee is holding a hearing on initiative petition reform and election security. Submit your written testimony opposing any changes to the initiative petition process or election security using the link below.
Committee Hearing: MO House-Elections and Elected Officials
August 24, 2021
Hearing Room 6
Subject: Discussion of Initiative Petition Reform and Election Security.
Watch Live HERE
Submit Written Testimony HERE
MO-KS Women’s Leadership Forum of the DNC
“Saving Our Democracy One Vote at a Time” Virtual Reception
Wed August 25 - 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
This is the time to unite to stop the alarming efforts to suppress our right to vote, and build on our multi-racial democracy! Join the MO-KS Women’s Leadership Forum of the DNC for an important virtual evening of conversation, inspiration and activism to support the DNC’s immediate 50 state initiatives, protect all voters, and win at all levels in 2022! Featuring Jaime Harrison, Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chair, Tricia Gephardt - Founder of Georgia’s Postcard Project, daughter-in-law of Dick Gephardt, former 14 term Missouri US Representative and Speaker of the House, and KS/MO Democratic leaders and prominent elected officials.
Panel: "Women's Suffrage, Racism and Intersectionality
A Celebration of the 19th Amendment 101st Anniversary
August 26, 7:00 PM (via Zoom)
Sponsored by AAUW of Missouri
Two distinguished speakers: Dr. April Langley, Chair of Black Studies Department, Associate professor of English and Black Studies at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
See event flyer for more information: https://aauw-mo.aauw.net/files/2021/07/Aug-26-2021-Panel-19th-Amendment-101st-Anniversary-w-Link-1.pdf
FIND MORE AUGUST EVENTS HERE AND MARK YOUR CALENDAR!
Missourians Vaccinated - as of Sunday August 21 The New York Times
44% of Missourians are fully vaccinated - (50% fully vaccinated in the U.S.)
52% of Missourians have received at least one dose - (59% at least one dose in the U.S.
Total COVID-19 Cases and Deaths in Missouri
649,939 confirmed cases and 10,205 deaths as of Sat August 21 MO Dept of Health and Senior Services
752,688 total cases and 10,877 deaths as of Sun August 22 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
Missouri Action Alliance