A lot of hard work went into transforming Missouri into a more progressive state. Here are the highlights of what Missourians won in 2018:
- Voter defeated right to work. In the August 8th primary election voters rejected and repealed the “Right to Work” law passed by the state legislature.
- St. Louis County voters said “Bye, Bob”. Wesley Bell unseated 27-year incumbent Bob McCulloch as St. Louis County Prosecutor. McCulloch was most infamously known as the prosecutor who refused to charge Mike Brown’s murderer.
- Family farmers and consumers won big against corporate agriculture. Howard County voters turned out in the primary election to pass an ordinance restricting big Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs)
- Record participation by communities of color and progressive voters. Voters across the state turned out at near Presidential Election levels for the Nov 6th Midterm election. There was a 69% increase in turnout from 2014 and only 382,000 fewer voters turned out this year than in 2016.
- Voters raised the minimum wage. 62% of voters turned out to raise the wage (Proposition B) for over 600,000 Missouri workers.
- Voters turned out to pass major reforms on money in politics and gerrymandering. 62% of voters turned out to overhaul redistricting & campaign finance (Amendment 1).
- Voters chose a Democrat to watch over state lawmakers.Voters also elected Nicole Galloway as State Auditor making her the only democrat to hold a statewide office and an important leader overseeing the new legislative re-districting process put in place by Amendment 1.
Shared Roots invested in six grassroots, independent political organizations in 2018 who moved a solid base of voters who support progressive policies and are willing to go to the polls and vote for them – but Missouri also saw a record turnout of conservative voters that tipped the US Senate Race and maintained conservative super-majorities in the state legislature. Like in many other midwest states, this paradox has set the stage for 2019 to be a showdown between the will of the voters and the commitment of conservative lawmakers. As we’ve already seen in lame duck sessions in Michigan and Wisconsin, Missouri Republicans are poised to propose legislation that repeals and replaces these ballot victories when they reconvene in January.
The work of 2019 is much like the work that leaders and organizations have been doing in Missouri over the past decade; groups like the ones funded by Shared Roots Donors will take the power they’ve built to hold elected leaders accountable to their communities and will continue to build the infrastructure needed to elect new representatives to state and local lawmaking bodies who believe in the values voters stand for at the ballot box.
Shared Roots Donors came together with the clear-eyed commitment that our investment is consistent, year-round and multi-year, and connected, invested through a consultation and shared decision-making with brilliant Missouri leaders who know just what needs doing, and WHEN.
Shared Roots will be ready and at the side of Missouri leaders when the conservative legislature gears up in January.