Jeanette Mott Oxford for State Representative 2010

Saturday, September 01, 2007

JMO4Rep Update - Special Session Summary & Progress in Schools

Allies, constituents, and supporters,

Special ("Extra") Session

On Aug. 20 the General Assembly convened in response to Gov. Blunt's call to the "First Extra Session of the First Regular Session." In an "extra session" we are limited to the subjects named by the governor, and in this case, Gov. Blunt offered a five page call that outlined exactly what he wanted passed in two bills. (E-mail me at this address if you'd liketo receive an attachment with the text of the call.) House Bill 1 was a so-called economic development package, scaled down from the mega-bloated version that the governor vetoed in July, and House Bill 2 revised bonding requirements for “design-build” road and bridge projects.

I believe this Extra Session was unnecessary and that the Springfield News-Leader was right in the critique that can be read at this link.

I told them so in a letter to the editor that appeared a few days later.

I attempted to amend HB 1 to offer St. Louis City more protection related to the "distressed areas land assemblage tax credit" which some media reports identify as drafted to benefit one particular developer who has given significant campaign donations to Gov. Blunt and other GOP leadership, as well as to members of my party. My amendment was disallowed as being "beyond the scope of the governor's call." I believe this violates the proper separation of powers as outlined in our Constitution.I was glad that Sen. Smith, Sen. Bray, Sen. Green, and Sen. Shoemyer were able to get some needed changes made over on the Senate side. I still voted no on both bills as I found them fiscally irresponsible given budget projections for a deficit by 2009 or 2010. We need reform of MO's outdated revenue system to make it fair, adequate, and sustainable so that we live up to our state motto that "the welfare of the people will be the supreme law."

You can read more about the debate over these bills at: STLToday or

Surrounding Our Schools with Care (SOS Care)

The response to the Surrounding Our Schools with Care kick-off has been wonderful. Several donations of needed supplies or volunteer hours have already resulted, and I continue to look for opportunities to "motivate,communicate, legislate, celebrate, and 'matchmate'" on behalf of St. Louis Public Schools. Read a wonderful article about the kick-off and the successes of the community task force at Shepard e-Mints Academy here.

On Tuesday (Aug. 28) I toured the new Big Picture Academy at 1530 S.Grand and had the opportunity to answer questions from the students about what it's like to be state representative. I am very impressed by their principal, Kacy Seals, the staff, and the students. I had already been inspired by the great story about Ms. Seals that appeared in thePost-Dispatch on August 20. If you haven't read it, see it here.

I was able to deliver $100 for needed school supplies at Big Picture dueto a generous gift from a couple who belong to some of the same social justice groups to which I belong. The teachers and Ms. Seals were quite appreciative, but Big Picture has many other needs as well, so I am asking for your help.

Please check your attic, basement, or garage (or go shopping at an office supply store) to see if you can come up with any of these:-two lounge chairs (comfortable padded chairs for the parents' supportarea)- two desk lamps- Metro bus passes (for adults or youth/student passes - these are used for students and adult advisors to travel to internship sites)- a binding machine (for making student booklets)- a laminating machine- a Dell compatible printer & ink cartridges for it- four cases of copier paper- two staplers- dry erase markers and eraser

Let me know if you can help with any of these. You may deliver them directly to Principal Seals at 1530 S. Grand. (Ring the buzzer at the purple door on the north end of the complex.) Or call me at the number below to arrange pick up and delivery. Later on Tuesday, I attended a community council meeting in support of Fanning Middle School, and this morning (Sept. 1) it was my pleasure to help serve breakfast to the Roosevelt High School Rough Riders football team before their season opening game against Vashon. Principal Terry Houston and staff are doing a great job, and I hope you'll attend at least one Roosevelt game this year and volunteer some time with one of the community support teams for Roosevelt that are now underway. Call Patrice Crotty at 314-374-1616 if you'd like to volunteer. She'll help match your interests and talents to the school's needs.

Members of the football team planted a flower garden this year, and they have been doing some trash pick-up projects to better the community. Come on out to a tailgate party, to serve breakfast, or to cheer at the games to show you appreciate the way this team is engaging with the neighborhood to make Roosevelt a better school and Tower Grove East a better neighborhood. Contact me if you'd like a schedule of their games. Principal Houston ended his pep talk to the team today by saying "If no one else has said it to you yet today, I want you to know that I love you." The team replied "We love you too." Something is going right when teenage boys are able to express that thought to their principal! Be a part of the transformation that is happening at Roosevelt and within St. Louis Public Schools! Quoting from a favorite Sweet Honey in the Rock song: "We are the ones we've been waiting for."

Improving Childcare in Missouri

In 2008 I will again be filing legislation to improve Missouri'schildcare system. Universal access to safe affordable childcare and highquality early childhood education is an important step toward helpingstudents succeed in school and in life. Read more at:

Happy Labor Day!

It's easier to feel good about where we are now when we tell the truth about where we have been. For amazing photographs and stories from the U.S. labor movement of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, please read: Kids on Strike! by Susan Campbell Bartoletti (Houghton Mifflin, 1999). I checked it out from Carpenter Branch of the St. Louis Public Library, so that's one way you can obtain it. Children and youth participated in the organizing efforts that ended legalized child labor, routine 12-16 hour day/six day per week work shifts, and unsafe working conditions in many U.S. industries. Until next time, have a wonderful Labor Day weekend, and remember the words of the old United Mine Workers anthem:

Step by step the longest march can be won, can be won
Many stones to form an arch, singly none, singly none.
And by union what we will can be accomplished still
Drops of water turn a mill, singly none, singly none.