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.

Proposed Bylaws Update, 2017 Annual Meeting

Empower Missouri

Formerly: Missouri State Conference of Charities and Corrections [1901]

Missouri Conference for Social Welfare [1914]

Missouri Association for Social Welfare [1933]


~ BYLAWS ~

Proposed Updated


VOTE 1: 

Current Section 2. The management of Empower Missouri shall be vested in the Board of Directors composed of: the Officers of Empower Missouri; twelve directors-at-large, to be elected by the membership to terms of two years, six to be elected each year; the chairpersons or a designee of the chapters; the chairpersons or a designee of all standing committees; and the chairperson or a designee of the task forces.

(Suggested changes are bolded and italicized)

Proposed Section 2. The management of Empower Missouri shall be vested in the Board of Directors composed of: the Officers of Empower Missouri; ten directors-at-large, to be elected by the membership to terms of two years, five to be elected each year. the chairpersons or a designee of the chapters; the chairpersons or a designee of all standing committees; and the chairperson or a designee of the task forces.

Rationale for the Change: The Board of Directors of Empower Missouri sometimes has as many as 30 members, and, with successful formation of additional chapters, could grow even larger. Such a large board can cause challenges to efficient functioning (the time needed for decision-making and communication, expenses for meetings, etc.). A smaller board that focuses on governance, evaluation, and financial stability would serve our organization best as we build capacity to be effective in achieving our mission.

Chapters and task forces with their issue area focus are part of our programming. A committed Board will make sure effective communication is occurring and resources are provided to each part of our programming. Seats at the table by chapter chairs or issue area chairs are not necessary to ensure such coordination occurs.


VOTE 2:

Current Section 3. The officers of Empower Missouri shall be President, First Vice-President, Second Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and Immediate Past President. Together these officers will comprise the Executive Committee.

Proposed Section 3. The officers of Empower Missouri shall be President, First Vice-President, Second Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and Immediate Past President. Together these officers will comprise the Executive Committee.

Rationale for the Change: The Second Vice President position is redundant in that duties had been same as for the First Vice President.


VOTE 3:

Current ARTICLE XI: AMENDMENTS

These bylaws may be amended by a majority vote of the members present at any annual meeting provided that notice of such amendments has been electronically distributed to the members of Empower Missouri not less than fifteen days prior to the date of the annual meeting.

Proposed ARTICLE XI: AMENDMENTS

These bylaws may be amended by a majority vote of the members present at any annual meeting provided that notice of such amendments has been electronically distributed to the members of Empower Missouri not less than fifteen days twenty-one (21) days prior to the date prior to the date of the annual meeting.

Rationale for the Change: Making all distribution notices the same amount of days – 21 – is a simplification and allows one notice to serve multiple functions.

Federal Budget Blueprint Slashes Food Assistance for Hungry Missourians

Note: Thanks to our national partners at Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy for the briefing documents that made the following analysis possible.

 

On July 19, the House Budget Committee “marked up” its 2018 Budget Resolution for the fiscal year that begins October 1. While this markup is just the first step in the budget process, we are alarmed that structural elements in the Trump Administration proposal match priorities of Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Please join Empower Missouri in speaking out clearly and persistently: trillions of dollars in cuts to programs that support low- and moderate-income families cannot be tolerated.

Budget reconciliation instructions to several House committees require $203 billion in mandatory spending through “savings and reforms” (read more accurately as cuts) over the next 10 years. That includes:

  • Reducing funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, commonly known as food stamps) of $10 billion over the next 10 years
  • During that same period, cutting the School Meal Community Eligibility Provision by $1.6 billion
  • Directing trillions in further cuts to SNAP, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and low income tax credits

 

For SNAP, the budget committee identified harsher time limits for unemployed and underemployed adults to find work and increased flexibility. As you may recall, Missouri’s majority party passed Senate Bill 24 in 2015 on a largely party-line vote, and tens of thousands of unemployed Missouri adults have since lost the ability to receive food stamps for longer than three months out of every three years – even if they live in high unemployment counties. With our current ranking of second in the nation in hunger and seventh in the nation in food insecurity, we tremble to think of the strain on Missouri’s community food pantries and helping agencies if even harsher restrictions go into effect.

 

The committee also recommends that states be given the authority to administer SNAP (akin to block grants). This is a step away from the American commitment that we would like to see – that no child goes hungry in this country and that struggling families, including the unemployed and low wage workers, are still able to put healthy food on their tables.  In block grant systems, when funds run out, those in need are turned away or help is rationed as funds grow low. This is especially dangerous in a state like Missouri where our revenue system is so anemic that a supplemental program from the state is likely to be an impossibility at a time when federal caps are reached.

Here are additional proposals regarding SNAP in the budget blueprint that we, FRAC and CBPP consider ill-conceived:

  • Shifting 25 percent of the costs of SNAP benefits (now financed 100 percent by the federal government) to states;
  • Allowing states to cut benefits to meet their share of costs (SNAP already averages less than $1.40 per person per meal in Missouri);
  • Severing the connections between SNAP and heating assistance
  • Eliminating the minimum monthly SNAP benefit (now $16) that many struggling seniors receive;
  • Cutting SNAP benefits for larger size households; and
  • Charging retailers fees to apply and be certified to accept SNAP at their stores (which may undermine the public-private partnership that has made SNAP a cost efficient and mainstream transaction).

 

We believe these cuts to SNAP and other poverty-reduction programs in the House budget would pull the rug out beneath the most vulnerable in our society, including children, the elderly, and people with disabilities. Meanwhile the wealthiest Americans and profitable corporations get huge tax cuts under the proposal. To see the breakdown for Missouri, go to: https://itep.org/trumpprelimmo/. The richest one percent in Missouri, households with incomes over $480,200 and averaging $1,587,000 annually, would receive more than half of all the tax cut benefits (50.3%).

 

Please join other civic leaders from Empower Missouri in urging Missouri’s U.S. House and Senate members to reject this cruel and skewed vision for our nation. Hunger is a bi-partisan issue and both sides of the aisle should work together to craft a bipartisan plan that protects SNAP and other poverty-reduction programs.

 

To see a letter to Congress about hunger and nutrition assistance that we signed with hundreds of other justice-seeking organizations nationally, go to:

http://frac.org/wp-content/uploads/naho-signers-list-2017.pdf

 

STL Annual Dinner SOLD OUT!

2017 Annual Awards Dinner
WHEN: May 25, 2017 at 5:30pm
WHERE: Il Monastero, SLU, 3050 Olive St.
SPEAKER: Susan Talve, Central Reform Congregation
COST: SOLD OUT!

If your organization reserved a table but still needs to pay, please contact AJ Bockelman at Local: (573) 634-2901, Toll Free: (888) 634-2901

Empower Missouri- St. Louis Chapter 2017 Annual Dinner Awardees

The Mickey Rosen Community Advocate Award
Susan Talve

Media Award
Joe Kenny

Community Organization Award
Metropolitan Congregations United- Breaking the
School to Prison Pipeline Initiative

Emerging Leader Award
Kayla Reed

Elected Official Award
Alderwoman Cara Spencer

Champion of Justice Lifetime Achievement Award
Fr. Rich Creason

Call Coordinator Christine Woody @ 314-503-7277
RSVP by- May 12, 2017

We will be voting on the new slate of leadership.

Proposed 2017-2018
St. Louis Chapter
Board of Directors

Officers: (Terms expire June 2018) Members-at-Large: Members-at-Large
Chapter officers: (Term expires June 2017) (Term expires June 2018)
President: Sabrina Tyuse Pat Dougherty Rachel Cramsey
Vice President: Alison Dreith Courtney Stevenson Christine Dragonette
Secretary: Gary Busiek Matt Swango Leticia Sites
Treasurer: Rich Hennicke Erica Vogler Susan Sneed
Past President: Michael Klein Theresa Washington Derek Wetherell

Share event with your friends on Facebook and invite them! 

Legislative Heads-Up Week of 2.27.17

Full Floor Debate

House Calendar

SB 45 – Sponsor: Romine (District 3)
Many Missourians might feel forced to sign arbitration agreements as a condition of employment if this bill passes, without fully understanding the implications. Arbitration does not have to follow legal precedents, and remedies through the courts may be more appropriate in some employment situations than arbitration.

Senate Calendar

SB 43 – Sponsor: Romine (District 3), with Senate Committee Substitute
Weakens the protections of the human rights code and makes it more difficult to prove discrimination.

SB 28 – Sponsor: Sater (District 29), with Senate Committee Substitute
This is the dangerous Medicaid reform bill that could lead to reductions in coverage or funding and that is a premature gamble, given the uncertainty in Washington , DC.

SB 34 – Sponsor: Cunningham (District 33)
Creates a redundant state law regarding illegal re-entry by undocumented persons. Immigration law change is best undertaken as comprehensive and compassionate federal reform with adequate funding and staffing for implementation. A patchwork of state level laws is confusing and saps state resources.

 

Hearings 

House Hearings:

Find House Committee members at: http://www.house.mo.gov/ActiveCommittees.aspx

 

Monday, February 27

• 1 p.m., Hearing Room 6, Special Committee on Litigation Reform – House Bill 156, sponsored by Rep. Corlew (District 14). This bill weakens employee protections in that arbitration does not have to follow previous legal precedence. Many employees would not understand that signing an arbitration agreement at hiring would cut off their access to the courts should they experience discrimination or other abuse from that employer.
• 1 p.m., Hearing Room 1, Ways and Means Committee – House Bill 547, sponsored by Rep. Curtman (District 109). This bill would add an inflation adjustment to our long outdated income tax table, preventing it from becoming even more outdated, a small step, but in the right direction.
• Also in that Ways and Means hearing – House Bill 688, sponsored by John McCaherty (District 97). This authorizes a tax credit for organizations that work with ex-offenders. It would be better to fund these very crucial programs through a progressive income tax producing adequate revenue for our state’s essential needs, but that is not currently an option.
• 5 p.m., Hearing Room 5, Special Committee on Urban Issues – House Bill 847, sponsored by Rep. Cora Faith Walker (District 74). This bill would require teacher training to include proficiency on the concepts of the trauma-informed and approach and trauma-informed interventions.

Tuesday, February 28

• 8 a.m., Hearing Room 7, Economic Development – House Bill 637 – sponsored by Rep. Helms (District 135). One of the many attacks on organized labor, this one is against public sector unions. Our allies at the State Workers Union (CWA Local 6355) have asked for our solidarity in opposing this bill.
• Noon, Hearing Room 4, Insurance Policy – House Bill 780 – sponsored by Rep. Hill (District 108). This bill establishes a state innovation waiver task force to develop a health care reform plan. While there are pro-patient reforms that need to be made to Medicaid, state innovations can hold as much threat as opportunity, so vigilance by advocates would be needed.
• 4 p.m. (or upon adjournment), Hearing Room 1, Judiciary – House Bill 274 – sponsored by Rep. Schroer (District 107). This bill requires children under the age of 18 to be prosecuted for most criminal offenses in juvenile courts unless the child is certified as an adult. This is a priority of our Criminal Justice Task Force, so please contact the House Judiciary Committee with messages of support. Those who Tweet may also use this message: “#moleg – we need smarter policies that improve public safety and protect our youth. It’s time to pass #HB274 and #RaisetheAgeMO!” Please Follow @RaiseTheAgeMO on Twitter! You may also Tweet and Facebook Share Rep. Nick Schroer’s interview.

Wednesday, March 1

• Noon, Hearing Room 7, Health and Mental Health Policy – House Bill 437 – sponsored by Rep. Neely (District 8). This bill allows persons with certain serious medical conditions to use medical cannabis.

Senate Hearings:

Find Senate Committee members at: http://www.senate.mo.gov/standing-committees/

Tuesday, February 28

• 10:30 a.m., Senate Committee Room 1, Small Business and Industry – Senate Bill 205 – sponsored by Sen. Sifton (District 1). This bill prohibits paying any employee wages less than those paid to employees of the opposite gender for the same work performed under similar working conditions.
• At that same 10:30 hearing, Senate Bill 289 – sponsored by Sen. Nasheed (District 5). This allows tenants to terminate their lease or change the locks on the premises in certain situations of domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault. It is a positive bill, especially with an amendment added, according to our allies at Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.
• Noon, Senate Committee Room 1, Education – Senate Bill 378 – sponsored by Sen. Wallingford (District 27). This act allows children who attend early childhood education programs that are under contract with school districts or charter schools that have declared themselves as a local education agency to be included in the average daily attendance of the school district or charter school. This is a priority bill for the Missouri Children’s Leadership Council of which Empower Missouri is a member.

Wednesday, March 1

• 8 a.m., Senate Lounge, Seniors, Families and Children – Senate Bill 291 – sponsored by Sen. Rowden (District 19). All state employees shall be given the option to take up to ten consecutive days of paid parental leave following either the birth of a child or the adoption of a child under age two. This is a family-supportive policy and a help to our state workers, still lowest paid in the nation.

St. Lous Chapter March 10th Forum

Make note of the different date!!!! Its MARCH 10th

Policing: Creating a Change

WHEN: Friday, March 10th at 12pm (This is a week early due to St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th in Dogtown)

WHERE: The Highlands Golf Course inside Forest Park, 5163 Clayton Ave.

WHO:

Representative Brandon Ellington: State Rep from Kansas City

Representative Shamed Dogan (Invited): State Rep from Ballwin

 Metropolitan Congregations United

 Mustafa Abdullah: ACLU

CEU’s Available for Social Workers

Lunch Available for $12

RSVP to Christine Woody Christine@empowermissouri.org