I often describe myself as a grassroots organizer at my core. I really believe that there is no ethical way to advocate for legislative changes other than through the power of the people. For Empower Missouri, that means spending time with people in poverty and the nonprofits agencies they turn to for help. I can bring data to meetings all day, but there are real lives on the other side of those numbers. Those real life folks can tell me way more about an issue, and its solution, than any research ever will. Being with these folks is one of my favorite parts of my job, and I am so excited to lead our policy team on a series of trips over the next few months to get back into the most impacted communities in our state.
Our team will be spending time in 30 counties over the next three months. We selected these locations because they are disproportionately impacted by the issue areas we work on: hunger, housing, and incarceration. On our trip, we will meet with lawmakers, and people experiencing poverty, in their own communities. We also want to spend time getting to know the non-profit agencies which work so hard across our state, and establish relationships with them about systemic policy changes.
We also know that a sense of community is so important to trust in relationships! We’re looking forward to visiting and revisiting Missouri landmarks, small businesses, and public parks. We want to spend time in small businesses and with those who work there. The issues we will talk about will include many aspects of poverty, such as childcare and healthcare.
Our ultimate goal is to grow the representation of advocates who live outside of our major cities. We want to recruit more leaders from small towns and rural spaces for our coalitions, organizational partners, and individuals. Issues of poverty don’t exist in just one geographic location in Missouri, and we all lose out when parts of our state aren’t heard from in Jefferson City. If you want to learn more or schedule meetings with us, fill out this form.
Policy and Advocacy Director