To mobilize, energize and inspire ourselves and others to action
To work as individuals and in community for social justice
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Help support the work of our organization with a tax-deductible donation: Use this button to target your donation to the Common Sense Gun Solutions Fund:
Use this button to target your donation to the Melanie Shouse Memorial Advocacy Fund:
or send a check (made out to Women's Voices) marked "Common Sense Fund" or "Advocacy Fund" (on the memo line) to:
Women's Voices 444 Clemens Ave Kirkwood MO 63122
The Melanie Shouse Memorial Advocacy Fund has been established to honor the memory of one of our most effective members. Melanie was an active participant in Women's Voices' health care and environment focus groups, as well as in many other local, state and national initiatives. Contributions to this fund, which are tax-deductible, will be used to support Women's Voices' advocacy work for social justice.
Who We Are
We are a group of ardent, progressive St. Louis area women who finally got fed up.
We became so concerned about the direction of this country and where its priorities seem to be that we decided we must do something. From our frustration and determination, Women's Voices Raised for Social Justice was born.
We are the only multi-issue social justice organization in St. Louis that is not affiliated with a religious tradition. We partner with many other groups in our work, and we try not to re-invent the wheel. We study many different issues and take action for a variety of causes.
Our members are curious, creative, competent and caring.
We believe in doing something meaningful in support of our values, and we have great fun and camaraderie in doing so. If you would like to add your voice to ours, we welcome you to join us.
Next Meeting: Thursday, December 12, 2013
Women's Night Out For Girls Night Out
Darlene Sowell, CEO of Neighborhood Houses
Mariesha Martin, director of Girls Night Out
The Mercy Center, 2039 N. Geyer Rd., 63131
"Safe And Sound: Smart Strategies to Protect Children from Gun Violence" will be the topic of a major forum to be held on Wednesday, April 9. The event is being planned by members of Women's Voices' Committee for Common-Sense Gun Solutions and will be co-sponsored by Vision for Children at Risk. Location of the half-day forum will be announced soon.
Keynote speaker will be James A. Mercy, PhD, who oversees global activities in the division of violence prevention in the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, GA. Dr. Mercy has spent three decades developing a public health approach to violence, and much of his work has focused on homicide, suicide and firearm injuries. He has authored more than 200 publications, many which focus on gun violence as a public health problem.
Other panelists will be announced soon. The forum will be open to the public, free of charge. Mark your calendars now for Wednesday, April 9, and check this site often for updates about the event.
Payday Lending: An Economic And Ethical Problem
December 3, 2013
When does lending money become usury? What do various faith traditions have to say about the prominent practice of payday lending in the United States?
These and other issues were examined in Washington, DC, this fall when the Center for Responsible Lending sponsored an Interfaith Roundtable on Lending. Women's Voices Board member Barbara Paulus participated in this event as a representative of Metropolitan Congregations United in St. Louis.
"All faith traditions have teachings related to just and fair lending practices, and the Christian, Jewish and Muslim traditions explicitly prohibit usury," Paulus said.
An overview of payday lending in the United States revealed the following:
16 states currently have payday usury caps
6 states have enacted significant reforms to curtail the debt trap
29 states (including Missouri) have little to no regulation
80 per cent of payday borrowers say they need the money just to meet everyday living expenses
The U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is beginning an aggressive program to call attention to the problem of payday loans, and is encouraging regulators to use their authority to protect consumers and families living in or near poverty from predatory financial products.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is being asked to limit the number of loans to six per year for each borrower, to establish guidelines for lenders to consider the borrower's ability to repay, and to deny lenders the right to use post-dated checks as collateral.
"I am encouraged by the number of bright, committed people who are working on this problem together," Paulus said. "Members of Women's Voices played an active role two years ago when we tried to get an initiative on the ballot that would limit payday lending interest rates in Missouri to 36 percent. Unfortunately, this initiative failed, but I'm sure we will be able to advocate for changes in the payday lending industry in the future."
November 21, 2013
Does Women's Voices Work Too Hard? by Barbara Finch
Several weeks ago one of the other co-founders of Women's Voices and I were at a meeting with a group of women we had never met before. As we were getting acquainted before the program started, we mentioned to a small group that we belonged to Women's Voices. One woman looked startled, and then said: "Oh, I'm on your email list. You people work too hard."
Two people who are seldom at a loss for words were pretty much dumbstruck by this comment. Was it a criticism, or a compliment? Unfortunately, we didn't have time to find out. The program started and we took our seats, unsure whether we should be exhausted or euphoric.
I'm the first to acknowledge that many, many members of Women's Voices work very hard. Officers and members of the Board, committee chairs, those who represent us with other groups, and those who maintain our website, send out our newsletters, produce our flyers, and do other tasks each month put in a lot of hours. Other members work hard, too, writing letters, making advocacy phone calls, planning monthly programs, balancing the books, contacting new members, depositing checks, taking donations to the food pantry, updating the WV Facebook page, and greeting visitors at our meetings. In my book, bringing cookies counts as hard work, and cleaning up after a meeting is a major contribution.
There are a lot of jobs to do if we want to make a difference in this world. But here's the thing, as our mothers may have said: "Many hands make light work." We are getting close to 200 dues-paying members in Women's Voices, with another 400 or so on our email list. That's a lot of hands to do the work, and when you are engaged with other like-minded women, many tasks are enjoyable and rewarding.
Within the next few months the Board will be appointing a nominating committee to choose those who will lead the work in 2014-15. The organization will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2015. If you would like to do a little work for Women's Voices, please let us know by
. Let us know what you would like to do or how you would like to be involved.
Do we work too hard? If what we are doing is worthwhile work, and if we are making even a slight difference in this world, my answer would have to be "no." What do you think?
As a follow-up to our September program titled "Enough Is Enough Stuff," members of Women's Voices are compiling a list of businesses, charities and institutions that can help us reduce our consumption of "stuff" and minimize waste.
Please help us discover and compile information about stores that sell used, antique or vintage merchandise, including clothing, toys, books, CDs, DVDs, video games, bicycles, furniture, housewares, computers, hardware, architectural ornaments, and building supplies. We'd also like to list organizations or charities that accept unused greeting cards, wrapping paper, pens, craft supplies, magazines and books. We need to know where to take our batteries, electronics, styrofoam, bottle caps, paint and cleaning supplies.
We're also interested in information about businesses that rent things we need on an occasional basis: power tools, lawn and construction equipment, trailers, bicycles, and party supplies. And, we'd like to include information about businesses and individuals who repair, alter, refinish, and reupholster things.
this information, including the name, address, phone number and web site (if available). When we get enough items to compile a meaningful list, we will post the information on our web site.
Membership Approves Paper
On Economic Justice
August 30, 2013
As fast-food employees and workers in the retail sector began to call for higher wages and better working conditions during the summer of 2013, members of Women's Voices paid attention. After a great deal of research on both issues, WV member Judy Arnold authored a position paper that was overwhelming approved by our membership. We believe that changes in government economic policies are needed to stop the erosion of the middle class and to provide all citizens the opportunity to work and to earn a living wage that allows them to meet basic needs for food, housing, education, and health care. For several decades government policies have disproportionately benefited the wealthy and powerful while reducing middle-class families' income.
The strikes and demonstrations that occurred this summer, plus President Obama's call for a raise in the federal minimum hourly wage from $7.25 to about $9.00, have highlighted the income disparity between the highest paid Americans and the rest of us. Two policy changes in particular can begin to correct this disparity and help all Americans: raising the minimum wage and protecting workers' right to organize and bargain collectively. Click here to read the rest of our position on economic justice.
Member Testifies About PayDay Lending Efforts
May 13, 2013
Barbara Paulus, a member of the Women's Voices board of directors, and the Rev. David Gerth, executive director of Metropolitan Congregations United (MCU) in St. Louis, recently traveled to Washington, D.C., to talk about payday lending at a meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops committee on domestic justice and human development.
Barbara testified about the work in Missouri last year to raise the minimum wage by $1 per hour and cap the interest rate on payday loans at 36 per cent.
The committee is gathering information about income inequality and predatory lending for possible use in its annual Labor Day statement. Several speakers discussed 'wage theft' and income inequality; other discussion centered on the "formal" vs. "informal" economy; economic social sins; and the need to determine "who are we as a nation" so that people understand why everyone should care about these issues.
Barbara told stories of three people she encountered in the campaign who were caught in the debt trap of payday lending. Statistics she shared with the group:
While the average APR for payday loans in Missouri is 455 per cent, Missouri law allows rates as high as 1,950 per cent on payday, car title and other consumer installment loans.
There are currently more than 975 licensed payday lenders in Missouri, not to mention the hundreds of car title lenders and pawnshops-more than McDonald's and Starbucks combined.
The predatory lending industry drains more than $317 million from Missouri's economy each year, since most of the establishments are owned by out-of-state businesses.
Hundreds of thousands of signatures from registered voters throughout the state were gathered in the 2012 effort to cap the payday lending rate at 36 percent. Even though enough signatures were obtained, the opposition's legal team challenged each and every move possible, and time ran out to quality for the ballot, Rev. Gerth explained.
"Even though we failed to qualify for the ballot, this campaign most assuredly promoted a revived sense of political responsibility and many St. Louis area residents answered the call to be informed and active citizens, participating in the debate over the values and vision that guide our communities and nation. Their voices were heard on behalf of those who suffer at the hands of predatory lenders," Barbara said.
We Speak Up For Access to Contraceptive Coverage
April 8, 2013
Women's Voices has a position on reproductive choice, and we believe that contraceptive coverage, as outlined in the Affordable Care Act, should be provided at no cost to every woman who wants it.
President Mary Clemons, with assistance from our member Ruth Ehresman, recently submitted comments to the Department of Health and Human Services, urging that no exemptions be given to for-profit organizations or individual employers which would enable them to deny coverage based on religious values. Read the text of the letter here.
Fight Against State-issued Voter Id Continues
February 3, 2013
Efforts to suppress the vote in Missouri got underway shortly after Women's Voices was organized in 2005, and we have been opposing these efforts every year since then. Following is a letter that Women's Voices President Mary Clemons sent to the chair and vice chair of the House Elections Committee, urging them to vote NO on HB216:
Dear Representatives Enticher and Neth,
Women's Voices Raised for Social Justice is an organization reaching over 550 women in Missouri. We were formally organized in 2005 and since that time have consistently opposed any attempts to restrict voting rights. We had an amicus brief in the case that went before the Missouri Supreme court which ruled in 2006 that a law requiring that Missouri citizens show government issued photo ID's when voting was a "heavy and substantial" burden on the right to vote. We are dismayed that every year we have to fight this battle again. We urge you to stop bringing these proposed bills before our legislature.
Voting fraud in Missouri is not a problem, but voter suppression would be. Requiring a government-issued photo ID would make it harder for many valid, eligible voters to vote. Suppressing the vote in this manner for political gain undermines our democracy.
Mary Clemons, president, Women's Voices Raised for Social Justice
Why Do We Oppose Current Voter Id Proposals?
February 3, 2013
Elections should be free, fair and accessible to all who are eligible. Voting brings us together as Americans and as Missourians. As the leading democracy in the world, we should work to make voting more accessible, not less. The photo ID bills make it harder for many valid, eligible voters to cast a ballot.
Voting is the one time we are all equal - young or old, rich or poor, educated or un-educated. But that doesn't work if some people are denied a voice. These photo ID proposals would relegate 250,000 Missouri voters to second-class citizens.
Missouri already requires all voters to show ID. All voters must show ID to vote - and it works. There has never been an instance of voter impersonation in Missouri.
Politicians shouldn't make it harder to vote in order to manipulate the system for political gain. Voters should take responsibility for understanding the rules and complying, but we shouldn't make voting harder than it needs to be.
These bills needlessly restrict ID. These proposals limit acceptable forms of ID only to current Missouri or Federal photo ID's with photos and expiration dates - typically a current Missouri driver's or non-driver's license. The bills would not allow a college ID, driver's license from another state, an expired ID, voter registration card, utility bill or other currently acceptable ID that can effectively verify a voter's identity.
250,000 Missouri voters lack a state ID. Seniors, African Americans, people with disabilities, the working poor and students are twice as likely to lack a non-expired Missouri-issued ID. These laws fall hardest on the elderly, veterans, young people and communities of color.
Photo ID laws are a modern-day poll tax. The barriers to getting IDs would effectively prevent many valid eligible voters from voting. It can be costly, difficult - even impossible - to get underlying documents (such as certified birth certificate or marriage license) required to get a state ID. (i.e., Joplin tornado victims, those born at home, those whose birth state can't locate their records - may not be able to get the documents.)
Photo ID laws are currently unconstitutional in Missouri. The Missouri Supreme Court ruled that a photo ID requirement is "a heavy and substantial burden on Missourian's free exercise of the right of suffrage." The proposals would weaken the constitutional protection for the right to vote.
Voter fraud is a serious crime, punishable by 5 years in prison, a $10,000 fine and loss of voting for life.
It is expensive - it could cost Missouri $7 - 20 million in the midst of a budget crisis - with no benefit to the integrity to elections. Photo ID doesn't address voter registration or absentee voting problems.
Many thanks to Denise Lieberman, senior attorney and Missouri Voter Protection Advocate with the Advancement Project, for supplying these talking points.
Want Some Radioactivity In Your Drinking Water?
January 22, 2013
Ruth Ann Cioci and Alice Serrano, two original members of the Women's Voices Environment Focus Group, attended a recent meeting called by the Environmental Protection Agency to discuss the West Lake Landfill superfund site. Purpose of the public hearing was to reconsider the 2008 EPA decision to leave radioactive wastes in the Missouri River floodplain. These wastes threaten the drinking water of more than 300,000 people in north St. Louis County, as well as people living downstream.
In the summer of 2012, groundwater samples were taken at the West Lake Landfill. The EPA meeting focused on the results of the groundwater testing, a timeline to move forward, and an overall site update.
According to Alice Serrano, the history of the site is complicated and is rooted in the early days of the Manhattan Project, when radioactive wastes generated by Mallinckrodt Chemical Co. were illegally dumped. Because the site is located near the Missouri River, the water source of much of our community, there will be a threat to our drinking water for many generations to come.
The Army Corps of Engineers has removed more than 1,000,000 cubic yards of radioactive material around the St. Louis area that was related to the development of nuclear weapons. However, none of the same type of radioactive materials have been removed from the West Lake Landfill by the EPA.
The WV Environment Focus Group encourages everyone to contact their elected officials to request the removal of radioactive material from the West Lake Landfill.
January 23 - 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Roe v Wade Celebration Missouri Freedom of Choice Council, 454 Whittier St.
April 9 - 8:30 a.m.
Safe and Sound: Smart Strategies to Protect Children from Gun Violence Location TBA
Quote of the Week
Ms. Sutherland strode over to her children and announced, cheerily: 'Pick up your trays, we're going to eat upstairs!' Quickly, 25 little children climbed the near-century old stairs, with Ms. Sutherland shepherding.
She locked the classroom door behind her, turned off the lights, and sat the children on the floor, away from the windows. 'My goal was that they not know what was happening.'
Was she worried? Scared? She nodded.
'All of the above,' she said. 'I thought about Newtown and whether I could hide all the children in a closet.'
Michael Powell, New York Times, 12.3.13
Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down Awards
to the Newtown Action Alliance and supporters, who are planning to honor victims of gun violence by performing acts of kindness and service in the days prior to the one-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook shootings.
to thousands of fast-food workers and their supporters across the country, who went on strike on Dec. 5 to call for fair wages for their work.
to the state of Vermont for approving a statewide single payer healthcare system.
to the U. S. Senate for changing its rules to allow nominations to go forward on a majority vote.
to St. Louis Public Radio and the St. Louis Beacon, who will be combining their newsrooms to improve the delivery of independent local news in the St. Louis area.
to Gov. Jay Nixon, who issued an executive order granting all legally married couples who live in Missouri the ability to file joint state taxes.
to the League of Women Voters, whose members are speaking out to protect the health and safety of citizens by limiting the availability and regulating the ownership of handguns and semi-automatic weapons.
to new Federal regulations that will require health insurance companies to cover mental illness and substance abuse just as they cover physical diseases.
to voters in Sunnyvale, CA, who approved four city ordinances related to gun safety and controls on ammunition sales.
to the Missouri Supreme Court, which has denied survivor benefits to the same-sex partner of a highway patrolman who was killed while on duty.
to Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, who is proposing to rescind the waiver Missouri currently receives that provides SNAP benefits to more than 58,000 low-income Missourians.
to Missouri Senator Roy Blunt, who has gone on record as saying that it was a mistake for House Republicans to have forced a government shutdown unless the health insurance program was repealed.
to everyone in Washington, DC, who is responsible for the government shutdown.
to Missouri State Representative Brian Nieves, who plans to raffle off an assault rifle at a fund-raising event.
to the Circuit Court judges, who voted to reject an innovative proposal that would establish a gun-crime court in St. Louis
to Moms Demand Action, whose members launched a successful campaign which forced Starbucks to announce that they will no longer allow guns in their stores or on their property.
to voters in Colorado, who recalled two state senators because of their votes on common-sense gun control measures in the state.
to members of the Missouri legislature, who sustained the Governor's veto of a tax bill which would have resulted in severe cuts to education and social services.
to members of the Missouri Senate, who refused to override the Governor's veto of a gun bill that was described as "the worst gun bill in the country".
President Barack Obama, who has removed a 17-year ban on funding for research on gun violence by instructing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to step up its support for research into the causes of gun violence and ways to prevent it.
to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who has ordered a new approach in the federal prosecution of many low-level drug offenders, which will greatly reduce the nation's prison population.
to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which has published a series of articles and editorials about the economic and political evils of the payday loan industry.
to Malala Yousafzai, the young Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot by the Taliban, who addressed the United Nations and called for peace, tolerance and compulsory education for all children.
to Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, who vetoed HB 436, which has been called "the worst gun bill in the country."
to the St. Louis American newspaper, which was recognized as the 2013 Publication of the Year for the largest newspaper class by the National Newspaper Publishers Assn.
to Gov. Jay Nixon for vetoing SB 29, which was seen as a precursor to making Missouri a "right-to-work" state by hindering public employees' efforts to organize and bargain collectively.
to the U.S. Supreme Court for striking down the Defense of Marriage Act and for dismissing California's Prop 8, which means gay marriage will continue to be legal in California.
to the U.S. Supreme Court for declaring unconstitutional Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, a provision that has been a key protection against racial discrimination in voting.
to Texas State Senator Wendy Davis, who filibustered for 13 hours to stop a bill that would have dramatically restricted women's access to abortion services in Texas.
to Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, who has vetoed HB 253, a massive tax cut scheme that would jeopardize funding for education and social services in the state.
to a new law in California, which requires all semi-automatic handguns to be equipped with technology that stamps its identifying information on bullet casings. Read more here.
to Kirkwood Mayor Art McDonnell, who, after prompting by members of Women's Voices, signed on to Mayors Against Illegal Guns.
to the state of Minnesota, which became the third state in the month of May to legalize same-sex marriage.
to the brave low-wage workers who went on strike in St. Louis May 9 to demand a living wage, and to the advocates for economic justice who supported them.
to the state of California, which enacted a law to speed up the confiscation of firearms from people who bought them legally but were later disqualified because of a conviction for a violent crime, a finding of mental illness, or a restraining order for domestic violence.
to the state of Maryland where lawmakers repealed the death penalty, making it the sixth state in six years to abolish capital punishment.
to Missouri Senator Roy Blunt, who collected $1.6 million from gun lobbying groups before he cast his vote against expanding criminal background checks in gun sales.
to GE Capital, which has stopped offering consumer financing programs to retailers whose main business is selling guns.
to the North County 24:1 initiative, spearheaded by Beyond Housing, whose members were invited to tell their story of working together for community development to the White House Office of Neighborhood Revitalization.
to members of the Rock Hill Board of Aldermen, who defeated a resolution in support of a national background check for all commercial gun sales in the U.S.
to the 2800 Missourians who rallied at the capitol on April 16 in support of Medicaid expansion.
to legislators who left the capitol building so they would not have to confront the expansion supporters.
to Senators Joe Manchin and Patrick Toomey, who crafted a bi-partisan amendment to the proposed gun control legislation dealing with background checks.
to a group of Republican senators, who are threatening to refuse to allow the legislation to come up for a vote
to legislators in Connecticut, who have agreed on the most far-reaching gun legislation in the country.
to some of the nation's biggest banks, which have entered the world of payday lending by offering short-term loans with interest rates up to 300 percent.
to the Governor of Colorado, who signed bills that put new restrictions on sales of firearms and ammunition in the state.
to U. S. District Judge Audrey Fleissig, who struck down a Missouri law exempting moral objectors from mandatory birth control coverage.
to members of the Clayton Board of Aldermen, who passed a resolution in support of several measures to reduce gun violence.
to members of the Missouri Senate, who voted 23-11 to institute massive tax cuts that would make it even more difficult to fund vital state services such as education and public safety
to members of the U.S. House of Representatives, who finally, after months of pressure, re-authorized the Violence Against Women Act.
to the Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University, for bringing activist and attorney Sandra Fluke to St. Louis for several events on Feb. 12.
to Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, who is setting up a commission to examine the pros and cons of early voting in Missouri
to the National Council of Jewish Women-St. Louis Section, which has received a Section Champion for Social Change award from the national organization.
to MIssouri Gov. Jay Nixon, for his initiatives to expand access to early childhood education throughout Missouri.
on proposed legislation which would make it easier for investor-owned utilities (like Ameren) to raise utility rates without proving the need to do so before the Public Service Commission. Ameren has been granted rate increases by the PSC in five of the past six years.
to Veolia Water, a company that has a global record of environmental problems, which is now trying to obtain a $250,000 contract with the City of St. Louis for analysis of the City Water Division.
to the state of Missouri, which has missed out on e-commerce taxes that could have raised $2.3 billion during the past nine years, according to researchers at the University of Missouri Truman School of Public Affairs
to three local charitable organizations: the OASIS Institute, the Wyman Center and College Bound, which, because of their demonstrated results, have been included in the new Social Impact 100 Index
to federal Judge Audry Fleissig, who issued a temporary restraining order to block a new Missouri law that requires insurers to offer policies excluding birth control coverage.
to the City of Kirkwood, which added sexual orientation and gender identity to its anti-discrimination ordinance, and to members of Women's Voices who supported the council members during their deliberations.
to St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and University City Mayor Shelley Welsch, the only local mayors to join the coalition Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Both signed on to a letter to President Barack Obama regarding the need to change gun legislation in the United States.
to Urban Strategies and McCormack Baron Salazar, who are partnering in an effort to construct an early childhood education center for 154 children in the 63106 zip code, which has the city's lowest average household income.
to Midwest Bank Centre, which recently became the first-ever full-service bank in the city of Pagedale, and to Chris Krehmeyer of Beyond Housing, who has worked tirelessly to bring services to this low-income minority community
to Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, who has announced that he supports expansion of the Medicaid program to cover more than 220,000 Missourians.
to Missouri legislators, who have announced that they will oppose any expansion of Medicaid despite the fact that much of the expansion will be covered by federal dollars.
to the St. Louis County Council, which approved a non-discrimination ordinance that includes strong protections for LGBT persons in the workplace.
to Kelly Garrett, one of the speakers at our Sept. 2012 program, who authored an op-ed titled "Help Great Schools Flourish in Missouri" in the Nov. 21 edition of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
to St. Louis-based Patriot Coal Corp., which has agreed to become the first U.S. coal operator to phase out and eventually stop all large-scale mountaintop removal mining in central Appalachia.
to the state of California, which has launched a wide-ranging "cap and trade" system designed to control emissions of heat-trapping gases and spur investment in clean technologies.
to the Missouri Department of Corrections, where a new program was launched this year to plant and harvest gardens and donate the produce.
to food pantries across the state. More than 100 tons of produce have been donated to food pantries through this program in 2012
to the St. Louis Public School District, which has received provisional accreditation from the State of Missouri.
to Darden Restaurants, owners of the Red Lobster and Olive Garden chains, for their plan to reduce many workers to part-time employment status so the company does not have to provide health insurance or an insurance stipend, as required by the Affordable Care Act.
to the city of Maplewood, where anti-discrimination protections have been expanded to residents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
to Walmart, whose Sept. 22 glossy advertising flyer in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch featured a variety of firearms, including rifles, shotguns, ammunition, scopes, machetes and night-vision cameras.
to former State Rep. Jeanette Mott Oxford, a champion for social justice, who has been named the new executive director of the Missouri Association of Social Welfare.
to members of the Missouri legislature, who overrode Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of a bill that would allow employers and insurers to refuse to cover birth control, abortion or sterilization for religious reasons.
to out-of-state payday lenders and corporations that have prevented Missourians from voting on initiative petitions to curb the rate of payday lending and increase the minimum wage in this state.
to many St. Louis area churches, who are participating in "Souls to the Polls,"a get-out-the-vote effort for the November election.
to the city of Ferguson, where members of the city council unanimously voted to pass basic protections for members of the lesbian gay, bixsexual transgender community.
to creditors, lawyers and the courts for the use of "body attachment," the practice of arresting persons who owe money to payday lenders and holding them in jail until a court hearing or the debtor is able to post bail.
to members of the Missouri Supreme Court, who refused to set execution dates for six death row inmates because the courts have not yet decided if Missouri's proposed new execution method (using one drug) is constitutional
to the Missouri Supreme Court, which has confirmed ballot titles and language for initiative petitions to cap the rate of payday lending and raise the minimum wage in Missouri.
to owners of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, who initiated another round of layoffs at the paper that included reporters, editors, and the award-winning editorial cartoonist.
to the City of Creve Coeur, where members of the City Council passed an ordinance that includes non-discrimination protections for LGBT individuals in employment, housing and public accommodations.
to Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, who has vetoed a bill that would have allowed employers to decline to provide insurance coverage for abortion, contraception or sterilization.
to all actively engaged citizens who are making phone calls, writing checks, putting up yard signs and in other ways supporting the candidates of their choice during this election cycle.
to WV member and health care expert Sidney Watson, who was interviewed by William Freivogel in the July 2 edition of the St. Louis Beacon. In a warning for Missouri residents, Watson said: "It is possible that some states will not voluntarily expand Medicaid and we will end up with the poorest left out."