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11/06/23 Missouri Mondays - Your vote is precious! Make it count Nov 7!

Missouri Mondays - Your vote is precious! Make it count Nov 7 / Speaker Dean Plocher under MO House ethics investigation / RSVP KC Abortion Week Training / Native American Heritage Month / Take action for candidates, rights, and freedoms!


Welcome to another Missouri Mondays!



“Your vote is precious, almost sacred. It is the most powerful non-violent tool we have to create a more perfect union.” – Late civil rights pioneer Rep. John Lewis


Today is the last day of no-excuse “Early” voting for the Nov 7 special election so make your plan to VOTE and make your voice heard! Find our list of voter resources below and share with family, friends and neighbors.


Also this week on Wed Nov 8, don’t miss the KC Focus on Abortion Action training “Having More Effective Conversations About Abortion” (dinner will be served). RSVP here: https://go.au.org/KCActionWeek KC Focus on Abortion Action events are centered around the powerful Focus on Abortion photo-journalism exhibit that Missouri Action Alliance is proud to support here in Kansas City.


Thank you for staying informed and involved each week, whether it’s supporting pro-Democracy candidates, or taking action to protect and defend our rights and freedoms! 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!


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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 Last Day: Monday Nov 6


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


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NOVEMBER IS NATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH!


What started at the turn of the century as an effort to gain a day of recognition for the significant contributions the first Americans made to the establishment and growth of the U.S., has resulted in a whole month being designated for that purpose.


Find Native American Heritage Month events, exhibits, performances and more celebrating the rich traditions, languages, and contributions of Indigenous people

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Fundraiser for Shirley Mata

Candidate for MO House District 17

Monday, Nov 6

5:30pm - 7:00pm

Tequilas Restaurant Bar and Grill

5010 NE Parvin Road

Kansas City, MO 64117


Join supporters and friends to help elect Shirley Mata to MO House District 17!

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TELL YOUR MO STATE REPRESENTATIVE TO SUPPORT THE HOUSE ETHICS INVESTIGATION INTO SPEAKER DEAN PLOCHER!


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.


The Missouri House Ethics Committee began an inquiry into Speaker Plocher’s personnel moves and a second hearing is set for this week on WED NOV 8.


Tell your state representative to support the House Ethics investigation into Dean Plocher!


Search for your representative and contact information here: https://www.senate.mo.gov/LegisLookup/Default


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KC Focus on Abortion Action Week

Wed Nov 8 Training

“Having More Effective Conversations About Abortion” (dinner will be served)


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!


**UPDATE

Due to circumstances beyond control, the exhibit and opening reception must be postponed until Jan 7-14, 2024 with the opening reception tentatively planned for Jan 7, 2024 from 4pm – 6pm with more details to follow.

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). We 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.

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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.

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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


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Missouri in the News


“Appeals court swats down Ashcroft arguments on Missouri abortion rights petitions – Western District Court of Appeals rules Jay Ashcroft wrote misleading ballot titles with a ‘singular focus on abortion’


“Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft wrote ballot titles for six proposals to restore abortion rights that were “replete with politically partisan language,” a Missouri appeals court unanimously ruled Tuesday.


In an expedited decision issued a day after hearing arguments, a three-judge panel of the Western District Court of Appeals upheld, with only minor revisions, the revised ballot titles written by Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem.


In a decision by a separate panel, the court upheld the fiscal note summary written by State Auditor Scott Fitzpatrick. Rejecting arguments from two lawmakers and an anti-abortion activist, the court said Fitzpatrick’s summary was “fair and sufficient.”


Ashcroft issued a statement that he would appeal the decision to the Missouri Supreme Court, a process likely to take several weeks. The ongoing court battle narrows the time for gathering signatures to put the proposal on the 2024. Backers must secure more than 170,000 signatures from registered voters by early May.


A key error in Ashcroft’s ballot titles, states the opinion signed by Judge Thomas Chapman, was its single-minded focus on how it would impact the legality of abortion. The proposed constitutional amendments, he wrote, cover all aspects of reproductive health care.


“The absence of any reference to a right to reproductive health care beyond abortion in the summary statements is misleading,” Chapman wrote.


There was little to be saved from Ashcroft’s summaries, he wrote.


“The secretary’s summary statements do not fairly describe the purposes and probable effects of the initiatives,” he wrote. “The secretary’s summary statements are replete with politically partisan language.”



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“MO House Speaker Dean Plocher is not the first — MO House Speakers have a history of landing in hot water”


*Note: The MO House Ethics Committee holding a second inquiry meeting on Speaker Plocher this Wed Nov 8.


Missouri has seen its share of political scandals, and recent accusations levied at Missouri Speaker of the House Dean Plocher are just the latest in a litany of controversies.


While many remember the 2018 resignation of former Gov. Eric Greitens following accusations of sexual misconduct and improper fundraising actions, which garnered national attention, there have been a handful of Missouri House Speakers involved in scandals prior to Plocher.


This list, which is by no means exhaustive, spans back to the 1970s, and includes former speakers Richard Rabbitt, Bob Griffin, Rod Jetton and John Diehl.


Plocher faces scrutiny for three reasons — his zealous push for an expensive information management program for the Missouri House, the firing of long-time chief-of-staff Kenny Ross and his requests to be reimbursed with public funds for expenses he already paid for with campaign cash.


Plocher, who announced his intention to run for Lieutenant Governor last month, could not be reached for comment for this story.


In late September, reporting by the Missouri Independent found that Plocher pushed for a private company to receive a lucrative contract — worth about $400,000 annually — to provide a constituent management program for legislators, a service that the staff of the Missouri House of Representatives already provides for free.”



More reporting on Speaker Plocher here:





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‘Broken system’: Call center backlogs impede Missouri families seeking food assistance – Over a year after a lawsuit alleged the state’s ‘dysfunctional’ SNAP call center violates federal law, low-income Missourians still face automatic disconnections and wait times of around an hour”


“Missouri’s troubled call center became the subject of a federal lawsuit in February 2022. The lawsuit, which is ongoing, alleges that barriers to obtaining a SNAP interview, primarily because of the state’s “dysfunctional” call center, violate federal law and deprive eligible Missourians of benefits.


Those barriers — including the system automatically hanging up on people before they get through and long wait times which lead people to abandon the calls — have persisted, data obtained in discovery and published in court filings shows.


One of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs suing the state, Katherine Holley, senior attorney at Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, said 20 months into the litigation the state still has “extreme access problems.”


“[The Department of Social Services] has been on notice for quite a while that these problems are going on,” Holley said. “And it’s a shame because that means people who are doing everything that they can to get SNAP are not getting them.”



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“Medicaid ‘unwinding’ breeds chaos in states as millions lose coverage -

Callers in Missouri reported waiting on hold for more than two hours on hotlines to renew their Medicaid coverage”


“More than two dozen people lined up outside a state public assistance office in Montana before it opened to ensure they didn’t get cut off from Medicaid.


Callers in Missouri and Florida reported waiting on hold for more than two hours on hotlines to renew their Medicaid coverage.


The parents of a disabled man in Tennessee who had been on Medicaid for three decades fought with the state this summer to keep him enrolled as he lay dying from pneumonia in a hospital.


Seven months into what was predicted to be the biggest upheaval in the 58-year history of the government health insurance program for people with low incomes and disabilities, states have reviewed the eligibility of more than 28 million people and terminated coverage for over 10 million of them. Millions more are expected to lose Medicaid in the coming months.


The unprecedented enrollment drop comes after federal protections ended this spring that had prohibited states from removing people from Medicaid during the three pandemic years. Since March 2020, enrollment in Medicaid and the related Children’s Health Insurance Program had surged by more than 22 million to reach 94 million people.”



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National News


“GM and the UAW come to tentative agreement”


“General Motors and the United Auto Workers union have come to a tentative agreement, the union and company announced Monday afternoon, just two days after the union expanded the strike at America’s largest automaker.


The tentative deal could bring an end to the union’s unprecedented strike against all three of the nation’s unionized automakers.


“Like the agreements with Ford and Stellantis, the GM agreement has turned record profits into a record contract,” said a statement from the union.


“GM is pleased to have reached a tentative agreement with the UAW that reflects the contributions of the team while enabling us to continue to invest in our future and provide good jobs in the U.S.,” said GM Chair and CEO Mary Barra.


Full details of the deal are not yet known, but its broad terms follow the lines of the deals already announced at Ford and Stellantis, including an immediate 11% raise in the top hourly wage rate, additional pay hikes totaling another 14% during the four-and-a-half years of the contract, as well as a return of the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) meant to protect workers from rising prices. When the COLA and guaranteed pay increases are combined together, they could lift members’ pay more than 30% over the life of the contract.”


“The union went on strike against all three automakers on September 15, nearly seven weeks ago, making this the longest US auto strike in 25 years. It started with a strike at one assembly plant at each company, but it expanded the scope of the strike six times since then in an effort to step up pressure on the companies at the bargaining table.


The union announced its first deal, with Ford, on Wednesday and then announced a deal with Stellantis on Saturday. But it failed to reach a deal with GM at that time, despite indications the two were close to a deal. Instead, it expanded the strike to a fourth assembly plant, this one in Spring Hill, Tennessee, as nearly 4,000 UAW members joined the strike at that time.


All three tentative deals will need to be ratified by rank-and-file members before they take effect. And it is possible that members at one or more companies could vote down the tentative deal, leading to a resumption of the strike at that company.”

CNN Oct 30


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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.

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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