By
Jeanette Mott Oxford

The 2020 Legislative Session came to an end on May 15th, amidst the special challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite having floor debate time reduced by about six weeks due to the public health emergency, 51 bills became “Truly Agreed and Finally Passed” (TAFP) during the abbreviated session. We were disappointed to see many of...
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Happy Juneteenth! Empower Missouri is among organizations that has begun a discussion about amending our personnel manual to create a paid staff holiday for Juneteenth. We have not adopted that policy yet, but the deliberative process is just one of the many ways that our staff and Board are attempting to fulfill the mandate of...
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Whether you have been part of the Empower Missouri advocacy network for a long time or just joined our mailing list this week, there has never been a more important time to be a social justice advocate. Our planet is rocked by three crises simultaneously that interact with each other with synergistic power: The novel...
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Note: The following blog contains links to stories that include photos and descriptions of actions that are traumatizing. Recently, I have heard a number of people speculate that living through the COVID-19 pandemic is bringing uncommon unity to people in the U.S. that “we are all in the same boat now.” Despite the longing that...
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On May 15, in the final hours of Legislative Session 2020, the Missouri General Assembly Truly Agreed and Finally Passed the Senate Substitute for Senate Bill 600 (SS SB 600). This legislation utilizes several criminal justice policies that have been tried repeatedly and proven to be costly failures: imposition of mandatory minimums increasing the felony...
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At Empower Missouri, we subscribe to a daily political newsletter that lists who has recently registered as a lobbyist. A quick search on the Missouri Ethics Commission of “principles” shows that more than 2300 people and/or companies have someone lobbying for them. This list is incredibly diverse. It includes organizations such as auto dealers, grocers,...
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As our Missouri General Assembly convenes in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are outraged to see some lawmakers pushing to pass voter suppression measures. Many of our ancestors suffered and died to secure the right to vote, so we must take action immediately. Voter suppression language was amended to the House Committee Substitute...
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One of the most positive trends that I have seen during our public health emergency is a robust discussion around what we mean by “essential workers.” Many have asked whether our public policies live up to the “you’re a hero” accolades now heaped on grocery store cashiers and housekeeping staff at nursing homes. Rev. William...
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Even though the final two weeks of the 2020 Legislative Session tempts us to focus all attention on Jefferson City just now, social justice advocates in Missouri cannot afford to do so. We must keep one eye focused on DC, because the first half of May is a crucial window of time in which we...
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The Empower Missouri advocacy family experienced a heart-breaking loss last week. Reverend Theodore (Ted) William Schroeder was tragically killed in a traffic accident on Wednesday afternoon, April 15, 2020. He was 83. His wife Linda was also injured in the accident and was briefly hospitalized, but has been released. Ted and Linda have been very...
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