Loud & Clear
March 2023
Women’s Voices Trans Youth Health Care Bans Statement
Women’s Voices Raised for Social Justice strongly opposes the Missouri legislature’s dangerous threats to children’s access to health care through bills SB49 (Moon), SB 164 (Carter), and SB 236 (Hoskins). These bills would ban lifesaving, medically necessary healthcare for transgender youth. They also represent egregious attacks on health care professionals providing medically necessary care and on the independent decision-making rights of parents and families to choose the best care for their children.

The American Academy of Pediatricians, The American Academy of Nursing, the American Psychological Association, and The National Association of Social Workers along with 20 other professional medical associations recognize the medical necessity of gender dysphoria treatments and endorse such treatments.

Please call Missouri legislators and remind them of the necessity of access to health care for ALL youth, especially gender-affirming care for transgender youth. Let them know the government should stay out of the personal health care decisions families make for their children’s physical and emotional wellbeing.
Election Protection Volunteers Needed 
St. Louis City Primary - Tuesday, March 7
Can you help? The City of St. Louis is having a transformative primary on March 7th! We are seeking volunteers for polling places and vote centers in wards with hotly contested primaries (3 or more candidates--meaning not all of them will advance to the April ballot). 
Information about training & supply pickup as well as links to important information about this primary will be sent to the email address you use for the signup.

Sign up here: bit.ly/protectstlvoters
Reading, Writing and Racism: Working for Equity Education
Thursday, March 9, 7 p.m.
Virtual Program

Public education is under attack in MO. Legislation from national groups that would negatively impact our schools is being fed to lawmakers. At the same time, disparities in funding, curriculum, discipline policies, teacher training and support services continue to plague area districts and reinforce inequity for students.

Speakers will address the ways in which we can connect with community members, elected school board officials, and administrators to address racial disparities in schools. They will also share how we can support laws and policies that will enable all students to have an equitable educational experience.

Christina Brimm, MSW, senior social worker, Education Justice Program (EJP) at Legal Services of Eastern MO (LSEM)

Tamar Brown, director of education advocacy, A Red Circle

Heather Fleming, founder and director, In Purpose Educational Services, founder of MO Equity Education Partnership (MoEEP)

Joy Weese Moll, community activist

Lunch & Learn: MO Clean Slate Initiative
Friday, March 24, noon
Virtual Program
One in three Missourians has a criminal record. Any criminal record – even an arrest that never led to conviction – restricts access to jobs, housing, education and other basics. While many Missourians with criminal records are eligible to have certain non-violent records cleared, few know they qualify or are able to navigate the state’s current petition process due to expense and complexity.

MO Rep. Phil Christofanelli and former MO Senator Jeff Smith will describe efforts to implement a Clean Slate initiative in Missouri and help us gain an understanding about the impact it would have on lives and communities. Similar efforts in other states have demonstrated the benefits of such programs, including safer communities, stronger families, and a healthier economy.

Rep. Christofanelli has sponsored MO HB 352, a bill that would automate the expungement process and would create the “Missouri Expungement Fund,” a fund dedicated to the creation, operation, and maintenance of the program. The National Clean Slate initiative estimates that 518,000 Missourians would benefit from the legislation within the first couple of years.

Phil Christofanelli, MO State Representative, District 104
Jeff Smith, executive director, Missouri Workforce Housing Association
March is Women’s History Month
March is Women’s History Month. Its roots date back to March 8, 1857 when women from various New York City factories staged a protest over poor working conditions. In 1981, Congress established National Women's History Week and later expanded the week to a month.
Equal Pay Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness of the gender pay gap, also falls in March (March 14). The pay gap for women working full-time is 83 cents, but for all women, including part-time and seasonal work it is 77 cents. According to the American Association of University Women (AAUW) women have only 32% of the wealth men have accumulated, impacting women for their lifetime. At the current rate of progress, the gender pay gap will not close until 2111. Read more in the AAUW’s, "The Simple Truth About the Gender Pay Gap," report.

In 2021, 36.1% of women and 33.9% of men 25 and older had earned a bachelor’s degree or higher. Despite the similarity in educational achievement, women held two-thirds of the nation's student debt ($929 billion).

Issues to follow: legislation regarding equity in education, pay equity, the pink tax, violence against women, reproductive rights, health care funding, and passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. Take advantage of additional ways to engage and support women’s issues by attending candidate forums and working to get more women elected to office (who currently make up only 32% of elected officials).

Women’s Voices Collaborates to Address Housing Opportunities in St. Louis County
In the United States and in the St. Louis region specifically, historical policies have led to segregated housing by design. To address the issue, Molly Metzger, a senior lecturer at the Brown School and faculty director for the Center for Social Development, worked with masters of social work students enrolled in her social-policy course to develop a policy briefing book titled, “Welcome Home: A Policy Briefing Book for Housing Opportunity in St. Louis County.” The briefing book highlights historical and current housing trends and offers solutions for creating new housing opportunities in St. Louis County.

In partnership with Mayor Laura Arnold of Webster Groves, Missouri, Webster Groves’ Alliance for Interracial Dignity, and Women’s Voices, Metzger’s students presented their ideas to a group of community leaders, mayors and city council members at an event held at Washington University in December 2022.
Women’s Voices Board Approves Statement of Land Acknowledgement
At the January board meeting, Women’s Voices board members approved a land acknowledgement statement to be read at gatherings. Land acknowledgements honor a place’s Indigenous people – past and present – and recognize the history that brought us to where we are today. They are typically offered at the beginning of public events or meetings and presented by local Indigenous people, but more commonly by event or meeting organizers.

We acknowledge that we are on the ancestral, traditional, and contemporary lands of the Osage Nation, Missouria, Illinois Confederacy and many other tribes who were and are custodians of the land where we reside, occupy, and call home. We recognize their sovereignty was never ceded after unjust removal. We give appreciation to these indigenous people for use of their stolen lands. In offering this land acknowledgement, we affirm and support Tribal sovereignty, history and experiences by elders past, present, and generations yet to come through their connection to this land. Today, there are over 183,400 Native Americans living in the state of Missouri.
February Program Recording Available
Racism and Reparative Justice: Acknowledging Our Past, Reshaping Our Future

Speaker: Geoff Ward, PhD, professor of African and African American Studies at Washington University in St. Louis

Author Vivian Gibson Shares Stories of Growing Up in Mill Creek Valley
Vivian Gibson, author of The Last Children of Mill Creek, joined us February 15 at Kirkwood Public Library. Gibson shared what is was like to grow up in Mill Creek Valley, a working-class neighborhood in St. Louis that was razed in 1959 to build a highway, an act of racism disguised under urban renewal as “progress.” She spoke about the people, history, and culture of Mill Creek and opened a long-needed conversation about universal experiences and shared humanity.

Book Raffle Winners Selected
Congratulations to the winners of our book raffle, Becky Clausen and Nicki Stonich!
Women's Voices Members Respond to Injustice!
Mary Clemons, in her letter to the Webster-Kirkwood Times, urges Des Peres to consider allowing apartments and condos.

Barbara Finch, in her letter to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, writes that there will be no diversity in Clayton until there is affordable housing.

Cathy Gilbert, in her letter to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, writes that legislation to restrict minors from having guns without an adult present would have been a small common sense step to reduce gun violence involving children.

Deborah Gilula, in her letter to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, urges us not to let Missouri lawmakers restrict ballot measures.

Ann Mandelstamm, in her letter to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, writes that we need to use all possible resources to help our children. 

Mary Schuman, in her letter to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, writes that proposed "clean slate" bills will help 500,000 Missourians navigate the system to have their records of nonviolent offenses expunged 

Mary Schuman, in her letter to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, writes that firearms should be kept out of the hands of children.

Ellen Wentz, in her letter to the Webster-Kirkwood Times, writes that we need to contact the media and our state and federal legislators about working with us for a country free of mass murders. Ellen's letter was also published in the Columbia Missourian.  
Have something to submit for Loud & Clear?

Loud & Clear is the official monthly e-newsletter of Women's Voices Raised for Social Justice and is usually distributed on the first Monday or Tuesday of the month. The general deadline for article submission is the Wednesday prior to publication. Click here to contact editor Laura Rose.
Membership Info
Even if you can’t come to meetings or become personally involved, your membership is important…and greatly appreciated.

Benefits of Membership
When you join Women’s Voices you:
  • Make our voice stronger when we advocate with elected officials.
  • Provide support to the organization by adding your name to our advocacy efforts.
  • Provide ideas and suggestions to help determine how to define our positions and choose our causes.
  • Participate in advocacy activities in any way that you want or is possible for you.
  • Take pride in your affiliation with a strong, progressive group of women working for social justice.
  • Help cover our administrative and outreach costs through your dues.
Annual Dues:

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$20 (Student Membership)
Send a check (payable to Women's Voices) to: 

Women's Voices
7401 Delmar Blvd. 
University City, MO 63130