Everyone wants to live in a safe neighborhood. Combating crime is not a matter of merely hiring additional police officers, though we certainly need more and better officers to respond to residents’ concerns. We also need to focus on related issues that cause crime – including holding developers and landlords accountable for properties that bring down our neighborhoods and promote criminal activity. I will also sponsor bills to improve accountability for police departments, increase police funding and pay so we can hire better officers, provide de-escalation and implicit bias training, and require absentee landlords to manage run-down properties that provide a haven for criminal activity.
Fair Wages and Workers’ Rights
The Missouri legislature has relentlessly attacked workers’ rights to unionize and earn a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work. As someone who comes from a family of union members, I strongly oppose so-called “right to work” legislation and other attacks on union workers. Everyone in St. Louis should be paid a living wage. When we have strong unions and fair wages, all working people benefit.
We must promote small business development within our own community. Due to historical and ongoing discrimination against African-Americans, neighborhoods north of Delmar have not gotten the attention they need from our city and state. We need new incentives for entrepreneurs who will give back to our communities and create good jobs for local residents. I support state backing of micro-enterprise and micro-loans for entrepreneurs to boost economic activity, generate income for residents, and reinvest in our neighborhoods.
Criminal Justice Reform
Missouri’s criminal justice system is broken. The courts condone keeping the wrongfully convicted in prison, prosecutors and public defenders are overworked, and too many individuals (including the wrongfully accused) are forced to languish in the workhouse simply because they cannot afford bail. I have fought for criminal justice reform in my law practice. Now I want to sponsor bail reform and an overhaul of our prison system so that the wrongfully convicted and reformed non-violent offenders will not remain imprisoned, with all the attendant costs to families and taxpayers. Missouri should also follow Colorado's lead and legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana sales / use. We can combat opioid addiction, divert public safety resources to areas where they are needed, and garner much needed revenue for our city and state.
Missouri government has permitted lobbyists and billionaires to manipulate politicians for far too long. Our legislature essentially legalizes corruption by permitting unlimited gifts and favors to people who should be public servants. This has to stop. I pledge to never accept lobbyist gifts and will fight to clean up Jefferson City from the corrosive effects of dark money. Clean government is good government, and Missourians deserve better.
Missouri desperately needs Medicaid expansion. Every week that we fail to expand Medicaid forces more Missourians into poverty and institutionalization. Medicaid expansion will allow individuals to obtain the healthcare they need and live independently in their own homes.
Our education system is vital to improving our neighborhoods and communities. I will work to ensure that public schools gets the resources they need. Everyone in our community should be able to send their children to a public school that provides a safe and productive learning environment where our children have the books, supplies, and nourishment they need.
Women’s Health and Choice
The Missouri legislature has obsessively attacked women’s health and interfered with the reproductive choices of women. Governor Greitens’ wasteful special session is simply another example of Missouri politicians attacking women’s rights. I will defend women’s rights and reproductive freedom so they can make their choices in consultation with their healthcare providers and free from government interference.
For too long in Missouri we have neglected our roads, bridges, parks, and other public works. It’s time for the state legislature to allocate funds to properly maintain and rebuild our crumbling infrastructure.
Our communities and businesses should recognize the equal rights and dignity of all lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender citizens. I fully support an amendment to the Missouri Human Rights Act to ban discrimination by the state or businesses on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. We must also remove the illegal and discriminatory language against LGBTQ individuals from the Missouri Constitution. The legacy of discrimination cannot be enshrined in the law.
Streamline & Simplify
I believe government should exist to make our lives easier so that families can focus on more important matters. Too often, simple activities such as obtaining a driver’s license or car registration have become needlessly complicated. I will work with other legislators to find ways to simplify government services.