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On Tuesday evening, I went to the prison in Bonne Terre to stand in solidarity with our colleagues at Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty in opposing the execution of Kevin Johnson. I honestly didn’t attend in my official capacity as a staff member at Empower Missouri. As I had learned the details of...
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In just over two weeks, Missouri voters will head to polls for the midterm elections. In addition to voting for federal, state, and, in some cases, local leaders, Missouri voters will weigh in on four constitutional amendments. Three of these amendments were proposed by the Missouri legislature, and one, Amendment 3, was proposed by the...
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The governor has called a special session next week for the legislature to debate the largest income tax cut in Missouri’s history. The governor’s proposal would:  Reduce the top rate of income tax from the current 5.3% to 4.8%.Increase the standard deduction by $2,000 for single filers and $4,000 for joint filers.Eliminate the first tax...
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We knew going into the legislative session that it would be a wild year. Unfortunately, wild years where very little gets done has become the normal legislative process in Missouri. It wasn’t designed to be this way. However, partisan infighting, electoral maps designed to favor one party, distrust in government and an overall breakdown in...
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In 1996, Congress passed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), sometimes known as the welfare reform bill. Buried deep within that sweeping legislation was a provision that hardly received any debate, but has had lifelong implications for millions of Americans. This provision imposed a lifetime ban on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program...
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The National Low Income Housing Coalition’s newly released report, The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Homes, documents a shortage of 7 million affordable and available rental homes for our nation’s lowest-income renters, who make up one quarter of all renters in the U.S. This severe shortage forces 71% of our poorest families – seniors, people...
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First coined by sociologist Ruth Glass in the 1960s, gentrification has been part of the lexicon for those working in both economics and the affordable housing sector. Gentrification as an idea has changed over the years. For Glass it was the process wherein middle-class workers moved into the working-class neighborhoods of London, resulting in the...
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This past week Empower Missouri held its Annual Week of Action. In addition to 3 virtual days, this year we were able to be back in the Capitol for the first time in over 2 years! It was so good to be back.  On each of our virtual days attendees were able to learn about...
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Last week, I offered testimony against a pair of bills in the Missouri House and Senate aimed at reducing homelessness. I first celebrated with the sponsors and the committee members that the Missouri legislature should be doing more to address our neighbors who live outside; homelessness is an untenable situation that is below the dignity...
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As I look back in my life, one specific policy has impacted nearly every decision I’ve ever made: Healthcare. I was a single mom during Obama’s first campaign. I worked two jobs which barely covered rent. Even while working more than 40 hours a week in a hospital, I didn’t have healthcare. I pieced together...
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