Jeanette Mott Oxford for State Representative 2010

Thursday, October 27, 2005

JMO4Rep Update - late October 2005

Friends and allies -

It's a busy time as I prepare for the upcoming 2006 Legislative Session. State reps can begin pre-filing bills on Dec. 1, and bills that are filed early have a better chance of receiving a committee hearing.

Today I am meeting with representatives from a group of Ethiopian, Somali, and Eritrean cab drivers to discuss possible revisions in the legislation that I sponsored for them last year. Before the memorable hearing on that bill this past spring, more than a dozen St. Louis cabs made the long drive to circle the Capitol with horns beeping vigorously, before the drivers and their passengers came inside to pack the hearing room. At issue was the taxi industry representation on the Metropolitan Taxi Commission, a situation that the immigrant entrepreneurs say greatly disadvantages their companies.

Yesterday afternoon I met with the Child Care Subsidy Task Force to discuss the twin problems in subsidized childcare: 1) We are 50th in the nation in our eligibility guidelines. There is a gap of about $7 per hour between where our childcare subsidies end and the point at which families have incomes adequate to cover all basic human needs. And 2) Our reimbursement levels to child care providers are so low that we constantly lose competent workers. Much time is spent on local fundraising to keep childcare centers afloat, and funds are not available to train staff in age appropriate skills that will mean that children enter school ready to learn. I filed a bill to address problem # 1 last year (but the bill did not receive a hearing); look for a bill to tackle problem # 2 this year as well.

Yesterday morning I met with a local principal and the lead police officer for the school to make a plan to reduce bullying in the school, including threatened gay-bashings. I appreciate help from Scott Emanuel of ACLU and the Growing American Youth program at that meeting, and I also am pleased to learn that the Missouri National Education Association has anti-bullying training that we will be able to schedule for the school. I will support Rep. Lampe's anti-bullying legislation in 2006, and I will continue to look for other ways to strengthen St. Louis Public Schools and provide a safe and healthy atmosphere for all our students.

Other constituent issues:
- As part of the Shepard eMints Academy Task Force, I am working with others to raise funds to purchase and install playground equipment for this excellent elementary school which celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2006.
- I have met with utility company representatives and emergency social service agencies to discuss proposed utility company rate increases for this winter. I will file a percentage of income payment plan bill in an attempt to bring greater stability to the homes of low wage workers.
- I've been meeting with the Tax Campaign for a Healthy Missouri to analyze ways to reshape Missouri's tax system so that it will be fair, adequate, and sustainable.
- I've been discussing juvenile crime issues with alderpersons and neighborhood association leaders and will call a strategy session for these groups in November.
- With Sen. Bray, I am working on increasing awareness of human trafficking issues in the St. Louis region.

Public speaking engagements in recent weeks and upcoming weeks:
- Anti-racism training for St. Louis Family Courts
- Keynote speaker for the GLBT History Month Celebration at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
- "From Advocate to Legislator" for the St. Louis Ethical Society
- "Progressive Tax Reform: Changing the Wind" for Missourians for Tax Justice on Nov. 11

Finally, you may be interested to read this article in the Riverfront Times related to Mark Rice's plans to oppose me in next year's Democratic primary:

This offers an opportunity for publicity to help readers know who I am. If I'm the kind of person you want in Missouri government, I hope you'll send a letter to:
Riverfront Times
6358 Delmar Blvd., Suite 200
St. Louis, MO 63130
Fax: 314-754-6416

It's also helpful to build my campaign account in the final quarter of 2005. (This might discourage Mark or other opponents from filing.) Checks may be sent to: Citizens to Elect Oxford, P. O. Box 19112, St. Louis, MO 63118.

Happy Halloween to all!