10/29/23 Missouri Mondays - Be VoteReady for Nov 7 / KC Focus on Abortion Events RSVP/ Gender Equity
Gender Equity Task Force–Share your story / Get involved! Take action with MO allies this week!
Welcome to another Missouri Mondays!
It’s another busy week with so many important events and ways to get involved!
We are especially excited to invite you to rsvp for the upcoming KC Focus on Abortion Action Week, a series of events centered around the powerful Focus on Abortion photo-journalism exhibit that we’re supporting here in Kansas City from November 5-12 to educate on abortion access, the harms of denying abortion access, the connection between abortion access to inclusive religious freedom and church state separation, and raise awareness about the lawsuit filed to overturn the state's abortion ban.
Join us for receptions, speakers, 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.
Thank you for staying informed each week and taking action with pro-Democracy allies all across Missouri! Together we make a difference! Help us spread the word and share this link to sign up for Missouri Mondays weekly email https://bit.ly/3pF99Uw.
UPCOMING EVENTS - WAYS TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE THIS WEEK!
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
Our work to protect the vote requires our continued attention! So we hope you'll join our next MOVPC call where we will discuss the necessary 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!
EVERY ELECTION MATTERS! MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD!
November 7, 2023 Special Election
Election Day: November 7, 2023
Polls Open: 6:00 a.m.
Polls Close: 7:00 p.m.
No Excuse In Person Absentee (Early) Voting Opens: October 24, 2023
Sample Ballot for the Nov 7 Special Election (Kansas City, Jackson County) here:
Sample Ballot for the Nov 7 Special Election (Jackson County outside Kansas City): https://jcebmo.org/wp-content/uploads/11.7.23-Notice-of-Special-Election.pdf
More voter information resources
Jackson County MO voters in Kansas City: https://www.kceb.org **Kansas City Election Board (KCEB) has moved to 4407 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. KCMO 64130**
Jackson County MO voters outside Kansas City: https://jcebmo.org/
State of Missouri voter information: https://www.sos.mo.gov/elections/goVoteMissouri
League of Women Voters of Kansas City, Jackson-Clay-Platte Counties: https://www.lwvkc.org/
KC Focus on Abortion Action Week
Receptions, speakers, trainings, faith leader gatherings & more
November 5 - 12
Kansas City, MO
RSVP HERE: https://go.au.org/KCActionWeek
Missouri Action Alliance is excited to invite you to KC Focus on Abortion Action Week, a series of events centered around the powerful Focus on Abortion photo-journalism exhibit that we’re supporting here in Kansas City from November 5-12! Join us for receptions, speakers, 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, I look forward to coming together as a community around this important issue.
As part of the Missouri Abortion Access Project (MAAP)**, Americans United (AU) and Kansas City partners are organizing these series of events in the Kansas City area to educate on abortion access, the harms of denying abortion access, the connection between abortion access to inclusive religious freedom and church state separation, and raise awareness about the lawsuit filed to overturn the state's abortion ban.
**MAAP includes the lawsuit brought by Americans United for Separation of Church & State (AU) and the National Women's Law Center (NWLC) and the accompanying organizing, training, education and events -- such as these -- to support overturning Missouri's ban on abortion access.
Jackson County Democrats
Friday, Nov 3
5:30pm - 7:30pm
Local 8 Plumbers & Gasfitters
5950 Manchester Trafficway
Kansas City, MO
Jackson County Democrats invite you to our Annual Chili Dinner! We will be joined by local candidates & elected officials, as well as friends in labor. There is no required donation for admittance, but a suggested donation of $20. Your donation will help to support our work electing more Democrats! Hope to see you there!
The Kansas City Human Rights Commission
Gender Equity Task Force
Putting Survivors at the Center: Survivors, Family Members, Advocates and Decision Makers
Violence Against Women Stops Here
Share what you would change that could have made your horrific experience less traumatic. We welcome your personal story in writing and anonymously. A format would include: What would you change in the way you were supported or not supported?
Use this link to share your story anonymously here: https://forms.gle/jmphzF9JjG62A6oe8
This program is the responsibility of the Gender Equity Task Force and not the City of Kansas City.
TELL YOUR MO LEGISLATORS TO SUPPORT THE HOUSE ETHICS INVESTIGATION INTO SPEAKER DEAN PLOCHER!
Progress MO is working to hold MO Speaker of the House Dean Plocher accountable.
As reported October 23 by the Missouri Independent, on at least nine occasions since 2018, Rep. Dean Plocher spent campaign money on travel and conference expenses. THEN, Plocher sought reimbursement from the legislature despite declaring he had used personal funds to pay for the trips. Seeking double reimbursement could violate state and federal law and shows Plocher has a pattern of unethical behavior. This coupled with earlier reporting that House Speaker Plocher threatened a state worker who sounded the alarm on his relentless push for a prohibitively expensive constituent communications software – garnering attention from the FBI – reveals a disturbing pattern of Plocher’s disregard for the law. Missourians deserve to know the truth about Plocher’s actions and if the allegations are found to be true he must resign.
Tell your legislators to support the House Ethics investigation into Plocher and if allegations of unethical behavior are found to be true, he must resign.
Write your legislator here: https://act.progressmo.org/letter/plocher-must-resign/
FIND EVENTS AND MORE WAYS TO GET INVOLVED HERE: https://docs.google.com/document/d/19AZUdtRH5WXefOC4Q5D9u-HyuzhBEL8rYX9Ospn3n18/edit?usp=sharing
Missouri in the News
“Missouri House Ethics Committee begins inquiry into personnel moves by Dean Plocher - Second hearing set in November to continue review of actions by embattled speaker, who also is facing questions about seeking reimbursement for campaign-paid expenses”
The Missouri House Ethics Committee met Friday for more than four hours on a personnel matter. Officially, the subject of the meeting is confidential. But sources confirmed that members discussed the issues surrounding embattled House Speaker Dean Plocher.
When it was over, state Rep. Hannah Kelly, a Republican from Mountain Grove and chair of the ethics committee, said the panel will meet again Nov. 8 for further deliberations.
No formal complaint is currently before the committee, and the meeting notice called it an “inquiry.”
Kelly said it is unclear when, or whether, the inquiry would become a full investigation — which would trigger sworn testimony and a report on whether misconduct occurred.”
Except for the opening roll call and adjournment vote, the hearing was held behind closed doors. Under House and Ethics Committee rules, proceedings are confidential, and none of the discussions, testimony or evidence gathered is public until a report is issued either confirming or repudiating the alleged misconduct. The 10-member committee is split evenly between Republicans and Democrats.
The personnel controversies in the speaker’s office include Plocher’s decision on Oct. 17 to fire his chief of staff, Kenny Ross, who was also chief of staff to the three most recent Republican speakers — Todd Richardson, Elijah Haahr and Rob Vescovo. Another personnel issue involving Plocher is tied to his heavy push for the House to purchase expensive constituent communications software and allegations he threatened to terminate the employment of a nonpartisan legislative staffer who resisted.
Since those episodes became public, The Independent reported that Plocher regularly sought reimbursements for expenses paid by his campaign fund. On at least nine occasions since 2018, Plocher spent campaign money on conference registration, airfare, hotels and other travel expenses, and then also sought reimbursement from the legislature.
In each instance, Plocher was required to sign a sworn statement declaring that the payments were made with “personal funds, for which I have not been reimbursed.”
Plocher has begun repaying the reimbursements two weeks after The Independent submitted a request for his expense reports, writing checks to the House for more than $4,000.”
“Submitting false expense reports could be prosecuted as stealing from the state, a class A misdemeanor. It could also be considered false declaration, a class B misdemeanor that involves knowingly submitting any written false statement. Plocher could also have run afoul of laws prohibiting campaign contributions from being converted to personal use.
Plocher, a Republican from Des Peres, was elected speaker in January. He is barred from seeking another term and is among three Republican candidates intending to enter the 2024 primary for lieutenant governor.”
Full story here: https://missouriindependent.com/2023/10/27/missouri-house-ethics-committee-begins-inquiry-into-personnel-moves-by-dean-plocher/ Missouri Independent Oct 27
More reporting on Speaker Plocher here: https://www.kmov.com/2023/10/26/missouri-house-speaker-says-he-wont-resign-amid-allegations-filing-false-finance-reports/ KMOV Oct 26
“UAW reaches tentative agreement with Stellantis, expands strike at GM”
“The United Auto Workers union came to a tenative agreement with Stellantis Saturday. But it expanded the strike against General Motors, America’s largest automaker and the last remaining Big Three holdout, dashing hopes it was close to ending the last remaining auto strike.
The deal with Stellantis, which makes vehicles under the Dodge, Ram, Chrysler and Jeep brands, was announced Saturday by UAW President Shawn Fain and Vice President Rich Boyer, the union’s chief negotiator in the talks. They hailed it as a major victory, as the tentative agreement includes the revival of an Illinois assembly plant that was closed in February, originally putting 1,200 people out of work, along with other wins for the union.
“On Day 44 of our Stand Up Strike, I am honored to announce that our union is again victorious. Once again, we’ve achieved just weeks ago what we were told was impossible,” Shawn Fain said in a video posted to X, formerly known as Twitter.
The 14,600 UAW members who have been on strike at Stellantis will be returning to work within days. But nearly 4,000 GM factory workers that build Cadillac and GMC SUVs in Spring Hill, Tennessee, joined the strike at 5 pm CT.
“We are disappointed by the UAW’s action in light of the progress we have made,” GM said in a statement about the strike’s expansion. “We have continued to bargain in good faith with the UAW, and our goal remains to reach an agreement as quickly as possible.”
Fain made no mention of the talks with GM or explain the decision to expand the strike there. The union posted a brief statement on X: “The UAW expanded its strike against the third company, ordering workers to walk out of GM’s Spring Hill Assembly Plant in Tennessee.”
It has expanded the reach of the strike five times previously since it started on September 15 in an effort to increase pressure on the Big Three. This is the first time Fain wasn’t the one announcing the expansion, and the first time the union did so without saying why the step was being taken.
The UAW National Stellantis Council will vote on whether or not to send the tentative agreement to the broader membership on November 2, Fain said. After that, the 43,000 rank-and-file UAW members at the company will get a chance to vote on whether to ratify the deal. It needs to be ratified by both in order to go into effect.
The tentative agreement with Stellantis on Saturday follows a similar deal reached with Ford on Wednesday. The Ford deal also still needs to be ratified by rank-and-file members at Ford before it can go into effect, just as the Stellantis deal will need the approval of membership as well.
U.S. House elects Trump ally Rep. Mike Johnson as Speaker three weeks after ouster of Kevin McCarthy
“No Wonder Donald Trump Loves Mike Johnson”
“There were so many chilling moments on Wednesday around the ascension—or, as he himself phrased it, the “raising up” by God—of Rep. Mike Johnson to speaker of the House of Representatives. There was his claim that “I don’t believe there are any coincidences in a matter like this. I believe that Scripture, the Bible, is very clear that God is the one that raises up those in authority.” There was his weird and inscrutable explanation that his wife was not present in the chamber because she was “worn out” from the many weeks she had just spent on her knees in prayer to the Lord. There was his now-infamous taped insistence that the United States is “not a democracy,” having defined democracy as “two wolves and a lamb deciding what is for dinner.” Rather, Johnson insisted, we are a “constitutional republic” set up by the founders based on a “biblical admonition.”
“The founders wanted to protect the church from an encroaching state, not the other way around,” Johnson had said, during a September 2022 episode of his conservative Christian podcast, echoing the fabrications of debunked faux-historian David Barton and other religious zealots who have only ever read the parts of the First Amendment, and constitutional history, with which they agree. None of this is historically accurate or even remotely factually true, as David Rothkopf points out here. But for those like Johnson and his former confederates at the Alliance Defending Freedom, where he worked before being elected to Congress, claims that there are broad Christian roots for the founding documents and distortions of the intentions of the Framers are central to the legal and constitutional push for sectarian theocratic ends. Ultimately, if you believe and disseminate one “big lie,” why not believe and press them all?
There is also the fact that Johnson is a zealous homophobe and anti-abortion crusader who has said that physicians who offer abortion care should be “imprisoned at hard labor” and who has co-sponsored federal legislation that would ban abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat. In 2015 Johnson told Irin Carmon of New York magazine, “Many women use abortion as a form of birth control.” He has, in speeches, suggested that school shootings are the natural consequence of teaching evolution. He co-sponsored legislation introduced by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene that would make it a crime to provide gender-affirming care to people under 18 years of age. The list goes on and on.
And then there is his role in the legal efforts to set aside the results of the 2020 election, not by harssing and threatening election workers or tampering with voting machines—those are the bumbling efforts with which Donald Trump’s goons (and Rudy Giuliani) were tasked. No, Johnson, who styles himself a “constitutional lawyer,” was, according to a New York Times article from last year, “the most important architect of the Electoral College objections” on Jan. 6, 2021. His creative if wholly meritless argument afforded his colleagues a bloodless “third option” to overt “Stop the Steal” violence and idiocy. Instead of falsely blaming their candidate’s defeat on “rigged” voting machines—a claim that has now landed Trump’s low-rent lawyers on probation and has others facing million-dollar defamation lawsuits—Johnson persuaded his colleagues to blame the way key states had altered their voting procedures during COVID-19, bloodlessly insisting that such changes were simply unconstitutional.”
Full story here: https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2023/10/why-donald-trump-loves-mike-johnson.html Slate Oct 27
“What we’re learning about House Speaker Mike Johnson and his demands for government funding”
“The new House speaker, Mike Johnson, is in for on-the-job training as he emerges from relative national obscurity to the top elected Republican in the United States.
In a sort of coming out interview, a chummy talk with Sean Hannity on Fox News Thursday, Johnson laid out his world view, which is rooted in the Bible, answered critics of his long career fighting against gay rights, declined to go into detail on his opposition to all abortion rights, and said he would change House rules to make it harder to remove him as speaker.
But his first order of business, he explained, was to start negotiating with the White House about funding bills. And while he sounded respectful and reasonable, he also made clear Republican support won’t come cheap.”
Full story here: https://www.cnn.com/2023/10/28/politics/what-were-about-to-learn-about-house-speaker-mike-johnson/index.html CNN Oct 28
“Crisis in Gaza as Israel warns of long war with Hamas”
The UN warns "civil order" is deteriorating in Gaza after weeks of siege and bombardment, with people breaking into warehouses to take survival essentials.
Israel's military said it exchanged gunfire with Hamas and struck targets in northern Gaza Sunday as part of its expanded ground operations in the enclave. Israeli media showed the country's troops atop a hotel about 2 miles into the strip.
Israel's offensive has "crossed the red lines," Iran's president said Sunday, as the US national security adviser warned of an "elevated risk" for the war expanding into a broader Middle East conflict.
The UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting Monday, where the United Arab Emirates will seek a resolution on a "humanitarian pause" in the fighting, sources tell CNN. The US has opposed previous calls for a ceasefire.
How to help victims of the Israel-Hamas terrorist attack
Find organizations helping victims of this war here and make a donation:
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 https://bit.ly/3pF99Uw.