11/21/22 Missouri Mondays - Our work must continue and we are grateful for YOU!
Welcome to another Missouri Mondays! We wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving and thank you for staying informed and taking action to help protect our democracy and freedoms!
MISSOURI IN THE NEWS
“Bobby Bostic released on parole after being imprisoned in Missouri for 27 years”
“The St. Louis native who has been behind bars since he was 16 was among 100 people given life sentences as juveniles who got a new chance at parole after state legislators passed a law in 2021”
“Standing on the Missouri Capitol steps moments after being released from prison, Bobby Bostic said the first place he planned to visit was his mother’s grave in St. Louis — a city he’d last freely walked in 1995.
“I’m a free man all because of you all who supported me,” Bostic, 43, said Wednesday morning while surrounded by friends and family donning matching sweatshirts that read “Bobby Bostic is Free.”
“While I cannot change what happened so many years ago,” he said, “I will mentor and teach young people to take a different path than I did when I was a young child myself.”
Bostic was imprisoned in 1995 for a crime he committed when he was 16, when he was an accomplice in two armed robberies in St. Louis.
Now-retired St. Louis judge Evelyn Baker sentenced Bostic to 241 years, with the first chance at parole being when Bostic turned 112.
Full story here: https://missouriindependent.com/2022/11/09/bobby-bostic-released-on-parole-after-being-imprisoned-in-missouri-for-27-years/ Missouri Independent Nov 9
“Nearly 350,000 Missouri children are too poor to receive full child tax credit”
“Nearly a quarter of the children who fall into the gap are Black — roughly 10 percentage points higher than the overall population of Black children in Missouri”
“A new report released this week found that nearly 350,000 Missouri children are in families with incomes too low to qualify for the full federal child tax credit — with children of color and children in rural areas particularly likely to fall through the cracks.
Many of the lowest-income families nationally earn too little to qualify for the $2,000 federal benefit for each child, which is tied to a family’s earnings and income taxes. It is a policy design advocates have long argued excludes the most vulnerable children.
For six months last year, the federal government expanded the program, including by making the full amount available to children in the lowest-income families. Research widely found the expansion lifted children from poverty and reduced food insecurity.
“The success of the 2021 expansion showed us that high child poverty rates are a policy choice, not an inevitability,” according to researchers from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a nonpartisan policy institute. But Congress failed to make the reform permanent, and the changes expired in January. Without federal action to expand the program, CBPP researchers argue policymakers will “unnecessarily push more children back into poverty.” Child poverty is “likely to return to the same level as it was pre-pandemic,” they wrote.”
Full story here: https://missouriindependent.com/2022/11/18/nearly-350000-missouri-children-are-too-poor-to-receive-full-child-tax-credit/ Missouri Independent Nov 18
“Missouri judge rules AG’s office under Josh Hawley ‘knowingly’ violated transparency laws”
“Judge Jon Beetem concluded Hawley’s staff illegally refused to turn over public records out of concern it could have hurt his 2018 Senate campaign”
“A Missouri judge on Monday ruled staff in the attorney general’s office, while it was being run by now-U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley, used private email accounts to “knowingly and purposefully” subvert the state’s open records law.
Cole County Judge Jon Beetem determined the attorney general’s office violated the Sunshine Law by taking steps to conceal emails between Hawley’s taxpayer-funded staff and his political consultants during his 2018 campaign for U.S. Senate.
The attorney general’s office must pay $12,000 in civil penalties — the maximum allowed under state law — plus attorney’s fees.”
Full story here: https://missouriindependent.com/2022/11/15/missouri-judge-rules-ags-office-under-josh-hawley-knowingly-violated-transparency-laws/ Missouri Independent Nov 15
“Nancy Pelosi, first woman to serve as speaker of the U.S. House, steps down from leadership”
“U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who became the first woman in history to hold the gavel, shepherding landmark bills across four presidencies, announced Thursday she’ll step aside from leadership though she’ll remain in Congress.”
“With great confidence in our caucus, I will not seek reelection to Democratic leadership in the next Congress,” she said in remarks on the floor of the House. “For me, the hour has come for a new generation to lead the Democratic caucus that I so deeply respect, and I’m grateful that so many are ready and willing to shoulder this awesome responsibility.”
Pelosi, who wore a winter-white pantsuit in a nod to suffragettes and other key moments throughout her own political career, announced her retirement from leadership during a 15-minute speech just after the House met at noon with the chamber full of Democratic members and several Republicans. She has served as Democrats’ leader while they were in both the minority and majority for 19 years.”
Full story here: https://missouriindependent.com/2022/11/17/nancy-pelosi-first-woman-to-serve-as-speaker-of-the-u-s-house-steps-down-from-leadership/ Missouri Independent
“Bill protecting same-sex marriage gains bipartisan support in U.S. Senate”
“Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt was among 12 Republicans backing the procedural vote on Wednesday”
“The U.S. Senate cleared a key hurdle to passing a marriage equality bill Wednesday, garnering even more than the 60 senators from both political parties needed to move past a legislative filibuster.
The bill, which could win final passage in the Senate as soon as this week, would ensure same-sex and interracial couples continue having their marriages recognized regardless of future Supreme Court rulings. The U.S. House passed the measure earlier this year, but will need to vote once more after the Senate changed the bill to include a so-called religious liberty amendment.
The 62-37 Senate procedural vote Wednesday drew the backing of 12 Republicans, including retiring Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, retiring North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr, West Virginia’s Shelley Moore Capito, Maine’s Susan Collins, Iowa’s Joni Ernst, Wyoming’s Cynthia Lummis, Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski, retiring Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, Utah’s Mitt Romney, Alaska’s Dan Sullivan, North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis and Indiana’s Todd Young.
Wisconsin Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin said during floor debate that millions of Americans are concerned the Supreme Court could overturn the cases that guaranteed the right to same-sex or interracial marriages, similarly to how it ended the constitutional right to abortion this summer.
“Let’s face it, regardless of your position on the issue of abortion, the highest court of the land has just overturned a precedent of nearly 50 years. There’s no questioning that,” Baldwin said. “And the same legal arguments the Supreme Court rested on to reverse Roe v. Wade could just as easily be applied to reverse numerous other cases related to families, related to intimate relations, to contraception and marriage.”
Full story here: https://missouriindependent.com/2022/11/16/bill-protecting-same-sex-marriage-gains-bipartisan-support-in-u-s-senate/ Missouri Independent Nov 16
“U.S. Senate Democrats make a last-ditch push for a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers”
“Democratic U.S. senators have set a December deadline for passing bipartisan legislation that would create a pathway to citizenship for more than 600,000 undocumented people who were brought into the country as children — but they don’t yet have enough Senate Republican votes to make it a reality.
During a Wednesday press conference outside the U.S. Capitol, Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin, who chairs the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, said after the Thanksgiving break Democrats will have a limited window for passing protections for those enrolled in the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program or DACA, also referred to as Dreamers.
Durbin did not specify if senators would attempt to pass stand-alone legislation or try to attach DACA language to a must-pass government spending bill.
The new push comes now for several reasons. Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey and Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, who were also at the press briefing, acknowledged that the House is expected to switch to Republican control next year. There would not be enough support among GOP House members to pass legislation to create a pathway for Dreamers, so the next two months will be advocates’ only window. “That’s the grim reality. The political reality is that we need 10 Republicans who will step up and join us in this effort,” Durbin said, adding that he knows at least five Republicans who are interested in the issue, though he did not name names.”
Full story here: https://missouriindependent.com/2022/11/16/u-s-senate-democrats-make-a-last-ditch-push-for-a-pathway-to-citizenship-for-dreamers/ Missouri Independent Nov 16
CHECK OUT OUR 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
MARK YOUR CALENDAR FOR THESE UPCOMING ACTIONS AND EVENTS
TAKE ACTION WITH THE MISSOURI VOTER PROTECTION COALITION (MOVPC) TO PROTECT THE RIGHT TO VOTE
Our work to protect the vote requires our continued attention!
Join our next meeting where we will discuss next steps
in our fight to protect the right to vote in Missouri.
JOIN THE MOVPC MEETING MONDAY NOV 21 AT 10:00 AM
TEXT “MOVPC” to 66866 or register HERE: bit.ly/protectmovoters
MOVPC is a nonpartisan statewide network promoting access to the ballot and working to remove barriers to voting in Missouri!
MAKE CALLS FOR GEORGIA RUNOFF!
VIRTUAL PHONE BANK FOR RAPHAEL WARNOCK!
Hosted by Georgia Votes
Multiple times available
Sign up here: https://www.mobilize.us/mobilize/event/488467/
We are excited to ‘Keep Our Dem Senate’ with Reverend Warnock! You’re invited with front-row seats! From now until our big win on December 6th we will have phone bank events that welcome amazing volunteers and special groups across the U.S. + abroad!
NEW TO CALLING WITH US?
No problem! We will host a training at the start of every shift, just sign up here to get the Zoom information and one of our organizers or trusted volunteers will be able to help!
WHAT YOU NEED
Please come prepared with: A computer or smartphone / Headphones, recommended for comfort and ease of use!
POSTCARDS TO GEORGIA VOTERS: HELP ELECT RAPHAEL WARNOCK FOR U.S. SENATE
Virtual Postcard Writing
Hosted by Activate America (formerly Flip the West)
Sign up here: https://www.mobilize.us/mobilize/event/543329/
Join Activate America as we write postcards to Georgia voters. Help get out the vote to elect Sen. Raphael Warnock to the U.S. Senate. IT IS URGENT, AS DEC 6 IS ELECTION DAY. We need Warnock in Washington D.C.
Democracy on the (Down) Ballot
Unpacking the 2022 Midterms, Voting Rights, & Local Electoral Reforms Webinar
TUESDAY NOVEMBER 22nd - 11:00am-12:00pm (CST)
Sponsored by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard University
Register here: https://ash.harvard.edu/event/democracy-down-ballot-unpacking-2022-midterms-voting-rights-and-local-electoral-reforms
During the 2022 midterms, voters not only cast a ballot to decide the balance of power in congress, but in in many states voters decided on a range of consequential ballot initiatives impacting the nuts and bolts of the electoral process including voter-ID laws, party primary reform, ranked choice voting, and proportional representation. The outcomes of these statewide and local level ballot initiatives have direct implications for future elections and participatory democracy.
This midterm recap webinar will go beyond the candidate horse race and focus on analysis and perspectives from advocates and scholars on recent voting-related ballot initiatives, immediate implications for future elections, and what’s ahead for emerging electoral reforms at the state and local level.
Join panelists Deb Otis, Director of Research at FairVote; Jenny Lee, Deputy Director of the Coalition of Communities of Color; and Wendy Underhill, Director of Elections and Redistricting at the National Conference of State Legislatures. Ash Center Reimagining Democracy Fellow Nick Chedli Carter will moderate.
November is National Native American Heritage Month
“During National Native American Heritage Month, we celebrate Indigenous peoples past and present and rededicate ourselves to honoring Tribal sovereignty, promoting Tribal self-determination, and upholding the United States’ solemn trust and treaty responsibilities to Tribal Nations….. I urge all Americans, as well as their elected representatives at the Federal, State, and local levels, to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities, and to celebrate November 25, 2022, as Native American Heritage Day.”
–President Joe Biden
Throughout November, discover the rich history, ceremonies, and storytelling traditions of the Indigenous peoples of North America as part of Native American Heritage Month with The Kansas City Public Library
“Sharice’s Big Voice: A Native Kid Becomes a Congresswoman”
One of the first two Native American women elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, and the first openly LGBTQ representative from Kansas, Rep. Sharice Davis discussed her new picture-book autobiography in an online program hosted by the Library on October 11, 2021, in observance of Indigenous Peoples Day.
Davids, a member of Wisconsin’s Ho-Chunk Nation, was joined in conversation by her two collaborators on her book. Illustrator Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley, a member of Wasauksing First Nation, is an Ojibwe Woodland-style artist from Barrie, Ontario, and co-writer Nancy K. Mays is an adjunct professor of journalism at the University of Kansas whose writing has been published in Ploughshares, the Colorado Review, and Mid-American Review, among other publications.
Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3ftJyNZjqg&t=60s
For more information and resources visit The Kansas City Public Library Native American Heritage Web Page here: https://www.kclibrary.org/blog/native-american-heritage-month-0
FIND MORE UPCOMING ACTIONS AND EVENTS here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/19AZUdtRH5WXefOC4Q5D9u-HyuzhBEL8rYX9Ospn3n18/edit?usp=sharing
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