Recently there have been reports in local media regarding a Community Justice Coalition and their involvement in a rally to support St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner. While we are always glad to see activists using their voices for causes they believe in, we want to clarify that this rally, and other efforts in support of the Circuit Attorney or calling for Judge Bryan Hettenback to step down, are not sponsored by or otherwise endorsed by Empower Missouri. The CJC mentioned in the media is not Empower Missouri’s coalition. Our CJC is a statewide coalition of individuals and organizations advocating for policy reforms with the common goal of battling the harms of mass incarceration in our communities. We’re not aware of any overlap of membership or leadership between our coalition and the group referenced in the media this week.
Empower Missouri is gravely concerned about the accusations regarding misconduct and incompetence in the Circuit Attorney’s office and the impact on public safety. We are deeply engaged in conversations with legislators about solutions that balance the importance of local control, the rights of voters and residents in the City of St. Louis, and serious public safety concerns. If you would like to learn more about Empower Missouri’s Community Justice Coalition and the issues we are working to address, you can find more information at https://empowermissouri.org/community-justice-coalition/.