Indivisible KC Week in Action: Missouri, February 12
Today at lunchtime, we march for the Poor People's Campaign with Stand Up KC, low-wage workers, and their allies from across America. Click here for details! Join us as the nation's foremost movement of workers fighting for racial and economic equality joins forces with the nation's foremost moral movement in the new Poor People's Campaign! We're bringing workers together across racial lines behind Dr. King's call to force our "nation to undergo a radical revolution of values."
The folks at Stand Up KC are amazing organizers - we love them! Expect a well-organized march with signs provided, uplifting chants, engaging speakers, and working class people centered in the organizing and action. Civil disobedience is not planned as part of this event. We will be there to uplift workers and take part in the moral revival of America!
With the moral revival in mind, we've had our eye on the Budget Committee, which was in session this week in the Missouri legislature. We're closely following the social media accounts of committee members for news, anxious to know how revenue shortfalls will impacts the programs Missourians rely on. State Auditor Nicole Galloway conducted a stress test of the state's finances that was released this week, and found (unsurprisingly) that despite a robust economy, the state's finances are not in good shape, and they rely too heavily on taxes that disproportionately affect middle and working class people. Meanwhile the programs that help those same people are the first to be cut. Galloway said:
Policy makers … talk a lot about lowering the tax burden on Missouri families. The reality is a family of four is paying higher property tax rates to support their kids’ schools, shelling out higher sales taxes on their newborn’s diapers, and having more difficult conversations around the dinner table about how to pay for their teenager’s college tuition.
Elementary and secondary education funding is also under threat. Rep. Peter Merideth (D-St. Louis) shared his experience at a recent Budget Committee meeting:
Amazing. Sitting in a Committee right now listening to Rs actually argue that our K-12 schools have plenty of money. They are claiming that a bill placing significant new costs on schools (as outlined in the fiscal note for the bill) isn’t any burden at all. The sponsor, Rep. Christofanelli, actually said schools are lying in suggesting their staffs are at full capacity, and the chair of the committee said in his term he’s seen us spend billions of dollars on K-12 public schools and they have plenty of money.
In reality, Missouri schools have been underfunded for years, and were only “fully funded” in the 2017 budget after legislators made drastic changes to the funding formula. Read about this and other important budget news in out Missouri News Roundup.
Budget debates were also happening in Washington, DC this week. legislators managed to shut down the government again, but this time for just five hours as they finished hammering out a budget agreement. Democrats secured increases in domestic spending for disaster relief, infrastructure, child care and public health programs to combat substance abuse, while Rand Paul railed against Republicans for their hypocrisy in calling for fiscal austerity only when it was politically expedient as a tool against President Obama.
What's going on this week?
From our friends:
For Missouri Mondays with Indivisible Missouri, tell your Representative to vote No on HB 1383, which threatens the health and safety of pregnant teens. Remember Jefferson City Lobby Days are coming up on Feb 13th and Feb 27.
Rally for Dreamers: Join Dream Fighters Coalitionon Thursday, February 15th at 5:30 pm, where we will Rally for a Clean Dream Act during the evening commute at the intersection of Southwest Traffic way and Valentine Rd. All you need to do is show up. Signs will be provided. Restrooms, hot drinks, and a place to warm up will be available so don’t let the weather stop you. Dream Fighters Coalition is asking allies to please consider committing to this weekly event. Even if you cannot stay the full hour, your commitment to show up and rally against hate and racism will make a difference.
Save the Date! Huge citizen lobby day in Jefferson City on February 20th, the day after President's day. Both Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and PROMO, Missouri's LGBT advocacy organization, are organizing lobby days that day. There are some very important bills impacting both gun safety and LGBT rights that are being considered this year, and it's important that we as citizens show our faces and raise our voices to legislators.
Thank you to everyone who made it out to Senator Blunt's office this week! Thanks also to every one of you who made a call, wrote a letter, attended an event, and shared it with a friend. This is how activism works, and this is how we make a difference.