The November 6 election was exciting and discouraging. We were all thrilled that Democrats won the U.S. House of Representatives bringing with them diversity, of age, sex, ethnic and religious backgrounds. The good news in Missouri is that Nicole Galloway was elected Missouri State Auditor and Lauren Arthur won the June 5th Special Election to become a new State Senator. We are excited that our Clay County State Representatives Jon Carpenter and Mark Ellebract won re-election and that Wes Rogers won the seat vacated by Lauren and Matt Sain will provide Platte County with a Democratic State Representative.
We are also thrilled that Constitutional Amendment 1. The Clean Missouri Initiative, Amendment 2. Legalizing Marijuana for medical purposes and Proposition B gradually increasing the Minimum Wage to $12 passed. Also good news - the voter initiative Proposition A repealed the Right-to-Work law that was passed in the last year's Legislative Session.
The bad news was Senator McCaskill's disappointing loss and that Platte County's extraordinary slate of candidates for the State Senate, State House of Representative and Platte County Presiding Commissioner did not win.
With all the drama and trauma taking place at the national level, it is sometimes hard to pay attention to what is happening locally; but the adage" All Politics is Local" still rings true. As this year's Missouri Legislative Session begins we need to pay attention to the new legislature's attempts to overturn the will of the people by trying to modify the Clean Missouri Amendment and new efforts to make Missouri an anti-union Right-to-Work state; this in spite of voters overwhelming NO vote in August. It is worthwhile to call the Governor, your Senator and State Representative to let them know that these efforts are not acceptable. Letters to the editor would also be an appropriate response.
On the positive side Senator Lauren Arthur has introduced Senate Bill 29 which would authorize early voting and make this a no excuse absentee ballot state. This effort to make voting easier for more people is one that deserves support.
In the meantime, pay attention to news about upcoming municipal and school board elections. Remember to celebrate victories large and small, take the long view when thinking about the world as it should be. And as a wonderful community organizer once said "don't forget to have fun! A sense of humor will help get you through the tough times." Creating a community of reformers has value in itself.