It is the last week of Missouri’s legislative session, which brings a flurry of activity to Jefferson City, so our entire team is heading to the capitol to be nearby for final discussions and debates on key pieces of legislation. We’re keeping a very close eye on conference committee discussions on two key pieces of criminal justice legislation- – SB 26 and SB 53/60. Each of these bills has some wonderful reforms as well as some regressive policy, and we’re working hard to ensure that we can carve out as much of the bad while keeping as much of the good as possible. We’ll look forward to sharing a final update next week after session draws to a close on Friday.
This week also marks the first time that our team will meet in person in over a year, since the start of the pandemic. Most of our team has never met each other face-to-face, so we’re all thrilled to sit in a room together to wrap up the session. We’re taking advantage of the time that we’ll be spending together to finish a draft of our re-envisioned strategic plan for the organization.
Empower’s board and staff drafted a strategic plan in Fall 2019, but internal and external factors led the team to shelve the plan and focus on making a new set of strategic decisions to function effectively in a global pandemic. Now that we are (hopefully) through the worst of COVID-19, our team has brushed off that document and have spent the past few months looking at it with fresh eyes. We’ve solicited community feedback through surveys, focus groups, and interviews. We’ve built clarity around our theory of change. And this week, we’ll finalize a new draft of the plan for the next three years.
We’ll be excited to share our draft with you in a couple of weeks. We won’t be finalizing the plan until we open another round of community feedback & engagement. Be on the lookout for opportunities to chat with us about our plans later this month. If there is one thing that we’re sure about, it’s that Empower Missouri will always be centered on uplifting the voices of Missouri’s most vulnerable citizens and those who support them. We can’t chart a course for the organization without buy-in from you, the community we serve. So plan to join us this month in dreaming big about the future of Empower — it won’t be possible without you.