By SHERI GASSAWAY
Cori Bush is a registered nurse, an ordained pastor, a single mom of two and an activist. And she’s poised to become the first Black woman to represent Missouri in the nation’s capital.
Bush, who is endorsed by the Missouri AFL-CIO and many local unions, is a Democrat running for the 1st Congressional District, which has been held by U.S. Representative William Lacy Clay for the past 20 years.
She’ll face off against Republican Anthony Rogers and Libertarian Alex Furman in the Nov. 3 election in the heavily Democratic-leaning district, which includes all of St. Louis City and much of northern St. Louis County.
PROTECT AND UPLIFT ALL PEOPLE
Bush, 44, is pledging to eradicate targeted, hateful discrimination, enact federal policies that protect and uplift all people, and create a social, political and economic system that works for working people.
“I fight because I know what it’s like to live paycheck to paycheck, to be burdened with student and medical debt, and to live day to day in St. Louis where poverty is violence, crime is rampant, and our unhoused community grows daily,” she writes on her campaign website.
“I have battled with homelessness and have lived paycheck to paycheck. I understand the hardships that come with not being paid a living wage.
“That is why I will stand with St. Louis, a community where homelessness continues to increase, and I will fight for a federal $15 minimum wage increase. A full-time worker should not have to live in poverty.”
In addition to fighting for social and economic justice and raising the federal minimum wage, she is hoping to strengthen unions. Specifically, she plans to:
- Make it easier to form and join a union through measures like enacting a majority sign-up process and passing the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act (H.R. 2474).
- Enact “first contract” provisions so that employers cannot prevent union formation.
- Give federal workers and other disenfranchised workers the right to strike.
- Repeal the “right-to-work” provisions imposed on public employees with the Supreme Court’s Janus decision and guarantee the right of all public employees to bargain collectively.
- Enact a $15 minimum living wage for all Americans.
Bush, of Florissant, grew up in Northwoods where her father, Errol Bush served as an alderman and mayor. She was an activist and helped as a medic during demonstrations in Ferguson following the 2014 police shooting of Michael Brown.
She entered the political arena in 2016 with a run for U.S. Senate, but lost in the Democratic primary to Jason Kander, who was serving as Missouri’s secretary of state. In 2018, she ran unsuccessfully in the Democratic primary against Clay for the 1st District U.S. House seat.
“Since 2014, I’ve fought for justice in our communities, and I’m ready to bring the fight from protest to politics,” she states on her website. “We are living through a history-making moment. When we face unprecedented challenges, we must respond with bold solutions and fearless leadership.”