Missouri should be a place where everyone has the opportunity to succeed. Regardless of your background, you should have the right to make your own decisions about your own body, you should be protected from discrimination, and you should have the right to quality education. These are all basic human rights that Missourians need to succeed and I intend to fight for those in Jefferson City.
I have supported abortion rights, the right to privacy, and the right for people to make safe, informed, medical decisions about their own bodies since I was 14 years old. I started my journey as a volunteer Teen Advocate for Sexual Health with Planned Parenthood where I learned how to make my own decisions about my own sexual health and also saw how incredibly vital it is for individuals to have access to research-based and medically-accurate information about sexual health. As 12th Ward Alderman for the City of St. Louis, I continue fighting for this critical right with my introduction of Resolution 141 declaring the City of St. Louis a sexual and reproductive healthcare safe zone ensuring people’s rights to reproductive freedom.
As a gay man who has experienced his share of discrimination in public and within former workplaces, Missouri is long overdue in creating equality for the LGBTQ+ community. Our state is still one where it is legal to fire, evict, or deny services to someone based solely on who they love or how they identify. We’ve seen how anti-LGBTQ+ legistlation hurts a state’s ability to attract businesses, which is why I stand with the LGBTQ+ community and its advocates in fighting for the passage of the Missouri Non-Discrimination Act (MONA). No one should be singled out or fear being discriminated against based solely on who they chose to love or how they identify themselves.
My career started out in public libraries of both St. Louis County and St. Louis City. Before I was an elected official, I was a Youth Services Provider specializing in Early Childhood Education visiting early childhood education centers and providing educational programming for those kids. It was here I learned of the dramatic gaps in the system where some schools could fund multiple language programs while others struggled to afford paper plates to serve snacks on. It is time we realized that education and economic development are tied together. We need to ensure our children have a future and one where they can achieve lifelong employment, stable income, and good health.