Jeanette Mott Oxford for State Representative 2010

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

JMO4Rep Update - End of the Year Edition 2007

Friends, constituents, and allies,

As we move through the final days of 2007, many are preparing for holidays of one kind or another or making New Year's resolutions. But for members of the Missouri General Assembly, December has an additional meaning: It's almost time for the new Legislative Session!

Legislative Session 2008

This year we return to the State Capitol on January 9. Early indications are that some of the major issues that we will debate in 2008 include:

- the governor's Insure Missouri plan (an expansion of state funded health insurance after a previous three years in which about 170,000 Missourians lost Medicaid coverage and perhaps 300,000 seniors and persons with illness and disabilities lost access to some services)
- property taxes
- immigration

There is much disagreement about how to handle each of these issues, but since 2008 is an election year, we also may find more willingness to work in a bi-partisan and civil fashion than last year. I hope so! I look forward to any discussion that may lead to expansion of health coverage and real solutions for so-called "uncompensated care." (Someone always pays when it comes to health care, and right now all of us with insurance are paying for treatment for those without coverage.) We need a tax system that is fair, adequate, and sustainable, and property tax reform is only one component of changes that are needed. Immigration is at heart a federal issue, and I believe the best solution would be comprehensive federal reform. One concern that I have is that state solutions not divert state and local law enforcement personnel from tasks that serve our communities. We already are short of needed officers, and residents of the 59th District often list public safety as one of their main concerns. They generally mean violent crime and offenses to property, not "homeland security" involving undocumented immigrants.

I welcome your ideas about legislation that I should co-sponsor orsponsor in 2008. Feel free to write to this address or call the numbers below.

Good News from the 59th:

- Principal Terry Houston of Roosevelt High School has received a Principal of the Year Award from the Teach for America program. Congratulations, Mr. Houston!
- Principal Sue Geldmacher of St. Elizabeth's Academy has been honored for community leadership by Commerce Bank. Kudos, Ms. Geldmacher.
- Retired teacher Sharon Hoffman has been offering a special unit on "Quilts of the Underground Railroad" at Froebel School. What a wonderful way to teach American history! Applause for Sharon (who also was honored with a special community volunteer award from Compton Heights Neighborhood Betterment Association on Dec. 10).
- The Roosevelt High School, Marine Corps JROTC is collecting toys for the Toys for Tots program. To participate or to find out where to leave your donated toy, contact:
Col Christopher K. Joyce, USMC (Ret), (314)776-6040 ext 6535; Cell (314)-413-0445

Update on Surrounding Our Schools with Care

With your help, we were able to provide the three-ring binders needed for the Achievement Via Individual Determination program. Wonderful!

Volunteers have started a career exploration post for Roosevelt High School students in the area of fashion and design. Others are trying to launch groups to explore careers in law and in healthcare. If you can help with any of these, please let me know.

The new Big Picture Schools (like the one at Kottmeyer on S. Grand) hold lots of promise, but one key to success is business internships for all students. Metro bus passes are needed to get the students to and from the internships. Can you adopt a student and provide:
- a pass for a day (less than $5 needed)
- a pass for a few weeks (less than $100 needed)
- a pass for the remaining months of the school year (less than $500needed)

If one of these amounts meets your budget, please contact me, and I will let you know how to proceed as a partner with a young student who is determined to succeed and with the educators who are determined to help that youth achieve her or his dream.

To stay current on what's happening in St. Louis Public Schools, read Dr. Bourisaw's frequent columns at:

Scholarship Available

The Jack and Jill Club has announced details for the Hortense Brooks Scholarship. $500.00-$1,500.00 scholarships are available, and applications must be postmarked by February 4, 2008. To receive an application, e-mail me at or call Professor Kimberly Norwood at Washington University School of Law: 314-935-6416.

Prospective or current college student
Minimum Cumulative G.P.A. of 2.5
Must exhibit financial need
Non Jack and Jill Member

Well Worth Visiting

In 1992, the Bosnian city of Prijedor in the former Yugoslavia became the epicenter of genocidal violence. Through artifacts, photographs, and first person survivor account a new exhibit presents a compelling chronicle of human tragedy and deliverance that has important implications for our region and our world. The "Prijedor: Lives from the Bosnian Genocide" Exhibit opened recently at the Holocaust Museum (12 Millstone Campus Drive, 63146).

The exhibit will be available to view during regular Holocaust Museum hours through May, 2008 (St. Louis Holocaust Museum and Learning Center). Some portions may not be acessible during regular museum hours when student groups are there, so you might want to call the museum first(314-442-3715) when planning your visit. The hours are: Monday- Thursday 9:30-4:30 Friday- 9:30-3:00 Sunday- 10:00-4:00

"My Right Leg" - Thank You to Many Who Helped

My Left Foot, the Christy Brown story starring Daniel Day-Lewis, certainly makes a better movie, but I am very thankful to have a new right knee through the skills of Dr. Bruce Jones and the staff of St. Luke's Hospital. A knee injury in 2001 and surgery at that time left me with very little cartilage in my right knee. During the past six years I have experienced increasing pain, stiffness, and loss of mobility. Following Total Knee Replacement on Sept. 25, I have been working with physical therapists three days per week and doing exercises two or three times daily. During the weeks that I could not drive myself or do much for myself around the house, I was helped by a long list of friends and neighbors, and I thank them one and all! I am already in less pain and able to do some things that I haven't been able to do for some years. I am hopeful that I will reach new levels of fitness in 2008. I'm already starting to drive away and forget my cane and have to go back for it, so that's a very good sign (although it's not good for the environment to drive back miles to pick up the cane so I need work out a reminder system


New Year's Resolution

It's time to re-think our society's obsession with bottled water. According to Corporate Accountability International, some bottlers disregard the concerns of communities and the environment when they extract water and build bottling plants to get local spring and groundwater. Also bottled water travels many miles from the source, results in the burning of massive amounts of fossil fuels, and contributes to the billions of plastic bottles ending up in our landfills. Consider taking a pledge to choose public tap water and support the efforts of local officials who prioritize strong public water systems over bottled water profits.


Holiday Wishes

Whether you celebrate
   The Winter Solstice
      The Festival of Lights (Hanukkah)
         The Journey of Advent & A Merry Christmas
            The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa
                  Or another December holiday
                     I wish you peace, joy,and the blessings of family and friends
                        ... and a very

Happy New Year!