WHAT DRIVES ME
Improving Our Economy
I love the State of Missouri, I love St. Louis, I love being back from California. Every day I wake up here and feel like I’ve died and gone to heaven but what I am very frustrated by is the terribly slow growth of Saint Louis City and the State of Missouri.
The Missouri tax bracket was set in 1931. We have 10 brackets – more than any other state. Very low income people pay an income tax and they pay a lot. Low income people do not have the opportunity to accumulate income because we are taxing them so quickly. We have never adjusted our rates for inflation so the low-income earners have been cast into the higher earning brackets. This current system is not working.
We have lost jobs. We have lost population. As of the last census we lost a Congressional seat. If we want to keep our children and our children’s children from moving out of the state and never returning, we need to create economic growth. That is why I am committed to working on issues that will attract new residents and businesses and put money back in Missourians’ paychecks, which means they can better provide for their families and give their children the opportunities they deserve.
My hope is that Missouri becomes a leader in the nation for new businesses and a great place for existing business to expand.
Helping Missouri’s Kids
There are six million people living in the state of Missouri – one million of them are children. Children who have no vote. Children who have no team of lobbyists. Children who have no voice.
Too many children in this state are being deprived of a quality education. In Missouri, if you are poor and you live in a low-income neighborhood with a lousy school you have very little choice but to send your child to your neighborhood school. I think this is terribly cruel. Parents should not be forced to send their children to bad schools. Children should not be limited on where they can go to school based on where they live.
All children in the state of Missouri, regardless of socioeconomic background, deserve access to high-quality educational options. Kids should not be stuck in failed school districts. This is why my wife and I work so hard to provide students and their parents with educational choices.
Building Better Neighborhoods
When I am not spending my time trying to improve our economy and create opportunities for all of Missouri’s children, I spend my time trying to improve the quality of life for all Missourians and build better neighborhoods. That is why I worked with former Saint Louis Mayor, Francis Slay, Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed, the St. Louis Police Officers Association and taxpayer advocates to return local control of the Police Department to the people and the city of St. Louis.
Under an old law originally passed during the Civil War, the state government controlled St. Louis City’s police operations and police budget. This antiquated law did not make sense from a safety perspective, nor did it make sense from a budgetary perspective. Local control was intended to save state and local taxpayers millions of dollars and increase the efficiency, accountability, and effectiveness of the St. Louis Police Department.
In November 2012, after years of work by activists and forward-thinking legislators, Missouri voters passed Proposition A, which returned control of the St. Louis Police Department to the people and the city of St. Louis, with an overwhelming 63.9% of the vote. Then on August 31, 2013, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay signed the executive order that finally brought local control back home to St. Louis after more than 150 years.
I remain committed to working with the City of St. Louis to improve the quality of life for its residents by building better neighborhoods.
I can’t think of a better way to do this than working to end the fragmentation of our region and bringing our region together. After all, we are better together.