Empowering You November Newsletter

WOW! What a great POW! Conference. Thanks to all those who attended. See what you missed and share in the great pics. This issue also includes updates on the case of Michael Johnson who was convicted under MO’s outdated and stigmatizing HIV criminal laws, the illegal lockout bill in STL city, and a welcome to our new board chair! Take a look.

Click for downloadable/printable PDF.

Empowering You – October Newsletter

Check out Empowering You- newsletter from Empower Missouri.

In this issue:

  • Preview our workshops and meet our Superhero Awardees for the 116th Annual Conference: Persisting & Organizing to Win – POW! October 5-6th! Register NOW!
  • Veto Session: were any of Gov. Greitens’ vetoes overridden?
  • How will you honor World Food Day?

Download a PDF.

POW! 2017 Annual Conference

Persisting & Organizing to Win! Putting the POW in EMPOWER!

October 5-6, St Louis, MO

Online Registration is NOW OPEN!

Empower Missouri is dedicating the 2017 Annual Conference to the role of labor organizing. With continued attacks to reduce the reach and influence of the labor community, now is the time to focus on building strong alliances across the broad social justice spectrum.

Keynote Speakers:

  • Nancy Cross: Opening Keynoter, Vice President SEIU Local 1
  • Tiffany Dena Loftin: Closing Keynoter, Senior Program Specialist, NEA
  • Rev. Traci Blackmon & Rabbi Susan Talve: Dinner & Awards Speaker

>>>Preview our complete POW! Conference program booklet, with descriptions of workshops, bios of presenters and awardees, and final schedule. <<<


Thursday, October 05, 2017

9:00 - 10:00


Registration Opens - remains open throughout conference

Pre-Conference Session Presented by Missouri Jobs with Justice



11:45- 1:15

Conference opens with Welcome 

Buffet Lunch Available

Keynote: Nancy Cross 




Session 1 Breakouts.  See below for list.




Session 2 Breakouts. See below for list.


Break and Awards Dinner check-in.


Networking Happy Hour with Cash Bar.

6:00-8:00 PM

Dinner and guest speakers Reverend Traci Blackmon & Rabbi Susan Talve.

Presentation of annual awards winners.

Friday, October 06, 2017



Breakfast buffet

Annual Business Meeting




Keynote Presentation - Tiffany Dena Loftin 


Response Panel 

11:45 AM-Noon

Call to Action, Thank You’s & Safe Travels


Subject to change, more details to follow.

Breakout Session #1 1:30-3:00 PM   Breakout Session #2 3:15-4:45 PM
Housing & Food Insecurity Among Low-Wage Workers (AHHTF & HTF)   Housing & Food Insecurity Among Low-Wage Workers (Repeat) (AHHTF & HTF)
Justice in the Workplace (HRTF)   Faith/Labor Alliance
MO Budget Project (EJTF)   Ban the Box - Fair Chance Hiring Policies (CJTF)
Impact of Trauma on Low-Wage Workers (H/MHTF)   Minimum Wage and #FF$15 (EJTF)


10% of the total tickets sold are available at a Scholarship Rate of 10% of the conference price. Click here to apply for a scholarship. If selected, you will receive registration instructions.


You and/or your organization can show your support for worker's rights and grassroots organizing by sponsoring our conference and contributing to our scholarship fund for low-wage workers. 

Thank you to last year's Sponsors. 2017 Sponsors include:

Bob Fox & Maxine Clark
Center for Budget & Policy
Clark-Fox Foundation
CWA Local 6355
David Bohnett Foundation
Dowd Bennett, LLP
Lutheran Children & Family Services
Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys
Missouri Faith Voices
Missouri Jobs with Justice
Missouri Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
National Council of Jewish Women
National Low Income Housing Coalition
Painters & Allied Trades, District Council 58
Places for People
Representative Deb Lavender
Schuchat, Cook & Werner
Second Chance Freedom Foundation
Service Employees International Union Local One
Senator Jill Schupp
Sts Joachim & Ann Care Service
Vision for Children at Risk
Women's Voices Raised for Social Justice
15th Ward Democratic Club

When & Where

October 5-6, 2017

Sheraton Clayton Plaza Hotel, St. Louis

7730 Bonhomme Ave.

St. Louis, MO 63105

(Special hotel rate of $109/night is available under "Empower Missouri October 2017" RATE EXPIRES 9/12)





Southeast Missouri Chapter Update

We are continuing our efforts to expand our individual memberships in Southeast Missouri as well as to increase the number of organizations we have as members. This effort has allowed me to meet many different individuals throughout this area, including groups such as Southeast Missouri State University and several local unions. Our Southeast Missouri Regional Health Care Organizer Tracy Morrow and I have met with several Department heads and within the next few weeks are scheduled to meet with university President Carlos Vargas. The University holds a great deal of promise to be a very effective partner in advocating for issues in all of Southeast Missouri.

On April 19th, we had the opportunity to join Health Care for All in Jefferson City for a lobby day. We were joined by supporters from the MS Society and advocated for concepts that we all shared and provided a truly collaborative effort. The people attending were assigned to small groups who were then assigned specific members of the Missouri Legislature to visit. The group I was working with was led by Racheal Baker of Health Care for All, who did a great job leading that group for the lobby day effort. Among many different issues, we focused on two specific issues: rate review and raising the asset limits for those applying for the SNAP program. The members of the Missouri Legislature who we met with were in support of both of those two issues.

Be sure to follow these and many other activities on our website at www.empowermissouri.org where our Task Force goals are listed, all of our meeting dates and how to get involved in those groups.  If you are down in my area, give me a call!

Walt Wildman
Southeast Missouri Chapter Organizer


Southeast Missouri Chapter Meeting

You are invited to take part in the first membership meeting of the year of the Southeast Missouri Chapter  of Empower Missouri on May 10th at 6:30 PM. The meeting will take place at #37 Doctors park in Cape Girardeau. You can get to #37 by taking the entrance B into Doctors park and then turn right into the first drive, # 37 is on your right.

If you know of people that may have an interest in attending the Chapter meeting, please share this information.

The Executive Director of Empower Missouri  Jeanette Mott Oxford will be our guest speaker, via telephone, and will give us all a legislative update. We will also be discussing ideas on what this Chapter would like to do as special projects and establishing regular meeting dates for the coming year. We want to know what we can do to make this Chapter more meaningful to you, so be thinking about the direction you would like to see this Chapter take over the coming year.

Let us know if you have any questions or comments and we look forward to seeing you on May 10th.

Walt Wildman, Empower Missouri

Now Hiring!

Empower Missouri is hiring!

Job Description:

Southeast Missouri Health Care Organizer at Empower Missouri

The Job:

The Southeast Missouri Regional Health Care Organizer will work closely with the Director of the Missouri Medicaid Coalition as well as staff from Empower Missouri to create and execute a plan that 1) builds a base of supporters for increased health care access in Southeast Missouri and 2) mobilizes that base into action. The work will include travel (reimbursed), evening and weekend hours.


  • Identify and engage supportive organizations in Southeast Missouri around increased access to health care.
  • Recruit and mobilize supporters in Southeast Missouri to engage on health care access issues through education events, in-district meetings, canvasses and phonebanks to build public support, and other tactics.
  • Participate in local coalitions that are working on health care access.
  • Track and report all activities on a monthly basis.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with diverse groups and organizational allies that support health care access.
  • Identify and engage consumers that are uninsured due to the Medicaid gap or other health care access issues.
  • Conduct educational community and organizational presentations on health care access issues.
  • Write action alerts and use social media to educate and mobilize supporters in support of increase health care access.
  • Organize press events, letters to the editor, and op eds to raise broad public awareness of the stakes of Missouri’s decision on health care access issues, such as Medicaid expansion.



  • Solid commitment to increasing access to health care and the mission of Empower Missouri. (See www.EmpowerMissouri.org.)
  • 1-2 years experience in grassroots organizing or campaigns.
  • Experience in some or all grassroots organizing tactics, including in-district meetings, phonebanking, canvassing, community outreach, earned media, volunteer training and leadership development.
  • Ability to develop and maintain relationships with a wide range of organizations and people.
  • Very strong written and verbal communication skills, including public speaking skills.
  • Ability to be a self-starter, and to work independently toward agreed upon goals.
  • Reliable transportation and driver’s license (mileage is reimbursed).
  • Willingness to work long hours, including nights and weekends.
  • Proficient in computer skills, including word processing, Excel and Google docs.



This position will be based in southeast Missouri, from the organizer’s home or from office space that the organizer may be able to secure from an ally organization, faith community, or agency.


In-state travel will be required, with mileage paid by Empower Missouri at the current IRS rate.  Other approved expenses will also be reimbursed.



The Southeast Missouri Health Care Organizer a full-time salaried position funded for two years, and funding will be sought (including the organizer’s own fundraising efforts) to continue the position after the initial two-years of funding expires. Annual salary as of December 1 is a starting range of $30,000-34,000.


Benefits include health insurance, employer-match for IRA contributions, paid vacation, holidays and sick leave, as specified in the Empower Missouri Personnel Policies.


To Apply:

Please send cover letter, resume, and contact information for three references by November 16 to Jeanette@EmpowerMissouri.org.

Legislative Update with SEMO Chapter


Want to know what has been happening in the MO State Legislature this last session?  The SEMO Chapter of Empower Missouri is holding a Legislative Update chapter meeting on July 22nd from 1:00 to 3:00 pm at the Municipal Building in Dexter (119 Vine Street).  Join us for a very interesting program!

Our guest panel will consist of state representatives who will bring us up-to-date on what has been happening in our state legislature.  Representative Todd Richardson (District 151), Representative Don Rone (District 149) and Representative Tila Hubrecht (District 151) have already all agreed to be on the panel and we are still anxiously awaiting to hear from a few others.  We sincerely appreciate these elected officials taking time to meet with us and keep us informed!

This meeting is FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC for all Empower Missouri members and potential members. Contact SEMO Chapter Coordinator, Walt Wildman at walt@empowermissouri.org for more information.