OPINION: Fighting for transparency and workers’ rights: Our stand against political silencing

(D-Kansas City)
(D-Kansas City)

What happens in Jefferson City, stays in Jefferson City, or so our Republican colleagues in our state legislature would like to think. But we believe in transparency and accountability, principles that should guide every elected official’s actions. That’s why we are breaking the silence to shed light on a concerning incident that occurred recently.

As staunch supporters of unions, we made a promise to the people who elected us: to be their voice inside the Capitol. Despite facing attempts to silence and shut us out by the Republican majority, we endeavored to uphold that promise at every turn.

Our offices recently submitted routine requests for reprint orders of our official state business cards. In line with our principles and longstanding practice, we included the union bug logo to symbolize our unwavering support for the working class. However, the response we received from Representative Dale Wright (R-Farmington), who serves as the Administration and Accounts chair, was unexpected and disheartening.

Representative Wright refused to approve our business cards with the union bug, despite them being identical to previous approved versions. He instructed us to remove the union bug and resubmit the proofs if we wanted House funds to cover the cost.

This blatant abuse of power by Representative Wright is a clear attempt to stifle the voices of working-class Missourians. Unfortunately, it’s not surprising. Such tactics are standard operating procedure for Republicans who prioritize driving wages down and profits up, regardless of the impact on hardworking families.

But we refuse to be silenced or intimidated. We will continue to fight for transparency, accountability, and the rights of workers, both inside and outside the Capitol. Our commitment to representing the interests of the people who elected us remains unwavering, and we will not back down in the face of political pressure or oppression.

It’s time for all elected officials to remember who they serve and to prioritize the needs of the people over partisan politics. Together, we can build a more just and equitable future for all Missourians.

(Representative Emily Weber, a Democrat, represents Jackson County (District 24) in the Missouri House of Representatives. Representative Ashley Aune, a Democrat, represents parts of Platte County (District 14) in the Missouri House of Representatives including Kansas City, Weatherby Lake, and Lake Waukomis.)

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