This is Hard But…

THIS IS HARD BUT HEY, THE ECLIPSE HAPPENED

Events in Charlottesville and since November are causing us angst. Difficult to stomach. Difficult to know what to do next.

I understand our fears, frustration, desperation & difficulties – even with each other – over what to do.

Attacks continue towards Muslims, Jews, African-Americans, Hispanics, immigrants, LGBTQ community, women – the list seems to be endless.  We don’t understand the hate but it seems to be growing.

I am sickened by the display of bigotry, white supremacy and anti-semitism. Afraid for our friends and communities.  Afraid for ourselves.

WHAT DO WE DO?  WHAT CAN WE DO?

As a four term state legislator, I am asked this every single day.  I also ask myself every single day.

Every week a new pop-up issue or injustice to fight.  An unbalanced President.  A Governor who seems to be Trump’s twin.

I don’t have immediate answers.

BUT I KNOW THIS

Those elected last November are in office until 2018 & 2020.  Not enough of us showed up.  Those elected are in charge.  For now.

In St. Louis County (the largest county in the state), only 73% of registered voters showed up to vote, down from 78% in 2008.  In St. Louis City only 67% of registered voters showed up, down from 83% in 2008.  Not enough voters bothered to show up. Not enough cared.

The majority of us in the legislature are in partisan districts and were elected in the August primary.  Voter turnout then in St. Louis County = 26.36%.

Hardly any voters bothered to show up August 2016 to choose their legislators.

Most people STILL don’t know who represents them in the legislature or know the difference between those in Congress and those in Jefferson City.

Start with those of us in office right now – legislators, mayors, local councilpeople.  Learn our names, contact us.  Hold us accountable. Run against us or vote us out if you don’t like our policies.  

PROGRESSWOMEN PETITION DELIVERED TO MISSOURI DEMOCRATIC PARTY CHAIR

From our press statement:

Thursday August 17th we delivered a petition to Missouri Democratic Party (MDP) Chair Stephen Webber demanding that he only recruit legislative candidates who will advocate for constitutionally protected reproductive rights.

After several public statements from the MDP Chair and national Democratic leaders regarding recruitment and support of “pro-life candidates”, Democrats, women AND men in 146 zip codes in numerous counties in all parts of the state, are insistent that reproductive justice remain a hallmark issue in recruitment of future candidates and the MDP state party platform.

We remind MDP Chair Webber that in the last century, strides by women academically, in the workforce and in government is due to reproductive freedom – deciding if, when and how to raise a family, no matter what kind or color of family we are.

Women having autonomy over their own body is not just a moral, religious or social issue but a basic human right. Read more of the Statement HERE. 

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch on our efforts:  “Should Democrats Recruit Pro-Life Candidates? No Way, Says One Group

Lady Parts Justice, headed by Lizz Winstead (co-creator of the Daily Show), applauded and helped promote our efforts.

I couldn’t agree more with Ilyse Hogue, president of Naral Pro-choice America on Twitter:

ProgressWomen will not stop protecting reproductive rights.

LAST WEEK I SHADOWED DR. COLLEEN MCNICHOLAS, TRAVELING WITH HER TO OKLAHOMA CITY AND WICHITA ABORTION CLINICS

I can’t stop thinking about my journey with Dr. McNicholas last week.  It changed me at my core.

I’ve documented part of my incredible experience on ProgressWomen.combeginning with my post the night we left.

Stay tuned as I write more of the humanity of women -who are just like you and me – who allowed me to be part of their trust.

State Rep. Stacey Newman