A diverse coalition of citizens and organizations are ramping up signature gathering efforts for the CLEAN Missouri initiative petition effort to put Missouri families before big donors, lobbyists and partisan politics.
A series of signature gathering trainings and canvasses were held recently in St. Louis, Springfield and Kansas City.
“When we get big money out of state politics, candidates work to win our votes, debate the issues, and represent us — their constituents,” said Rev. Starsky D. Wilson of St. Louis, President & CEO of the Deaconess Foundation and Pastor of Saint John’s Church.
“Too often, the only people running for political offices are the rich, the well connected, or people who cave to special interests,” Rev. Wilson said. “It doesn’t have to be this way. The CLEAN Missouri amendment will level the playing field for the citizens who want to run for office because they understand the struggles of working families — and are tired of politicians ignoring them.”
WHAT IT WILL DO
The Secretary of State certified the CLEAN Missouri initiative for circulation in January. It will appear on the November 2018 ballot if enough valid signatures are submitted by May 2018. Once enacted, it will:
- Lower campaign contribution limits for state legislative candidates.
- Eliminate almost all lobbyist gifts in the General Assembly.
- Require that House and Senate members wait two years before becoming lobbyists.
- Require that legislative records be open to the public.
- Ensure that that neither political party is given an unfair advantage when new maps are drawn after the next census, by asking a nonpartisan expert to draw fair legislative district maps, which would then be reviewed by a citizen commission. This would make Missouri one of the first states to mandate the use of a new statistical model for redistricting to diminish partisan gerrymandering.
“This measure will bring more transparency and fairness to Missouri government,” David Kimball, Professor of Political Science at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
‘OUR DEMOCRACY ISN’T WORKING FOR EVERYONE’
“We’re just five months into 2017, but we’ve seen special interests attack our families again and again,” said Kristian Blackmon, St. Louis organizer for Missouri Jobs with Justice Voter Action.
Among those attacks, Blackmon cites:
- Passage of so-called “right-to-work,” which was signed by Governor Eric Greitens and would hurt ALL workers – union and non-union – unless a Citizens’ Referendum petition is successful in placing the measure on the 2018 ballot so Missouri voters can decide on and defeat the measure.
- The Missouri Legislature’s passage of a bill repealing St. Louis’ minimum wage increase, ripping hard-earned raises away from 69,000 St. Louis workers
- Attacks on health care that would leave hundreds of thousands of Missourians without access to a doctor when they’re sick.
“It’s easy to see that our democracy isn’t working for everyone,” Blackmon said.
“And it’s clear that politicians and lobbyists won’t fix themselves. We’re joining the Clean Missouri campaign to put ordinary Missourians ahead of the lobbyists, big donors and partisan politics. This is our chance to increase integrity, transparency and accountability in government.”
For more information, visit CleanMissouri.org.