WE NEED YOU!
WHEN: April 19th – 22nd at noon each day.
The Missouri legislative session is heating up, and it is critical that your voices are heard in Jefferson City. Please join Empower Missouri April 19th – 22nd for a virtual lunch hour Week of Action. Each day, spend one hour with us learning about our coalitions and their legislative priorities. Together, we will take COVID-safe actions with big impact to advance evidenced-based public policies on issues of poverty. Sessions are structured to help you learn something new every day but you can also participate just once if you can’t make all four days. It is critical that all of us join forces to make our voices heard with state legislators and their staff.
See the full Week of Action schedule below:
Monday, April 19, Food Security: We must fight back against SB 138 & HB 217 that would threaten SNAP benefits for thousands of low-income families. Everyone in our state should have access to basic nutrition including fresh fruits and vegetables. Many studies on food insecurity have shown that an increase in SNAP benefits helps families provide healthy meals for their children. SNAP keeps more than 221,000 people out of poverty, including 109,000 children each year.
Tuesday, April 20, Criminal Justice Reform: HB 316 would provide thousands of new job opportunities for formerly incarcerated individuals. Missouri should be ‘Smart on Crime’ to best serve all our neighbors. HB 316 would remove restrictions from those with prior felony convictions from working in establishments that sell alcohol or lottery tickets. This would open up new employment opportunities for thousands of Missourians who currently aren’t allowed to work in many gas stations, convenience stores, grocery stores & restaurants.
Wednesday, April 21, Affordable Housing: What will it take for everyone in Missouri to have access to housing which truly meets their needs? The latest report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition titled “The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Homes 2021,” found a housing shortage of over 122,000 affordable and available rental homes for extremely low income households in Missouri.
Thursday, April 22nd HIV Modernization: Missouri must pass SB 65 & HB 755 to update MO’s outdated, harmful, medically inaccurate HIV criminalization laws. State laws which stigmatize HIV increase community spread and harm our neighbors. In Missouri, if you are living with HIV and know your status, you can be charged with a Class B felony, punishable by 5 to 15 years in prison, for not disclosing your status before engaging in certain activities, some of which do not actually transmit the virus. It doesn’t matter if you had no intent to transmit HIV. It doesn’t matter if there wasn’t even a risk of transmission. If you cannot prove you told a sexual partner your status, you may be at risk of prosecution. Empower Missouri will be joined by Missouri state Rep. Phil Christofanelli (R-105), who sponsored HB 755.
To maximize our collective voices and impact, following each session, we ask folks to join us in continuing to fight for all Missourians. We hope that you will flood social media, calling on your local representatives to demand that they pass legislation that will help communities in Missouri thrive. Adequate nutrition, affordable housing, and equal justice are essential for Missouri’s success.
Register HERE for Empower Missouri’s Week of Action. We look forward to seeing and hearing from you!
Become an Coalition Supporter Today!
Empower Missouri’s Advocacy Day would not be possible without broad, field-wide support. All of our successes occurred because you responded when we asked you to take action. Please considering joining one of our coalitions.
- Affordable Housing Coalition
- Smart Sentencing Coalition
- HIV Justice Coalition
- Food Security Coalition
Empower Advocates to Raise Their Voices
You can make an individual donation to the cause today. Your donation can ensure that your voices are heard on food and shelter policy decisions, second chances for those formerly incarcerated, juvenile justice, smart sentencing, and ending the criminalization of People Living with HIV.