MCE engages in the political process when it is necessary to support our values, including the right to drink clean water, breathe clean air, eat healthy food, and enjoy public lands. That is why MCE endorses the following ballot measures for the general election on Tuesday, November 6, 2018.
- Constitutional Amendment 1 (statewide) Vote Yes
- Proposition B (statewide) Vote Yes
- Charter Amendment Proposition 2 (St. Louis County only) Vote Yes
“Let the welfare of the people be the supreme law” is the motto emblazoned on the Great Seal of the State of Missouri. This motto is rapidly shifting from the welfare of Missouri’s people to the welfare of corporations, near and far. That is why we encourage you, your friends, family, and network to vote yes on the following ballot measures.
Vote YES! – Constitutional Amendment 1 – CLEAN Initiative
The clearest indication of our government pivoting toward corporate interests over the welfare of Missourians is when the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) changed its mission statement in 2017.
Old DNR mission statement: “The mission of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources is to protect our air, land, and water; preserve our unique natural and historic places, and provide recreational and learning opportunities for everyone.”
New DNR mission statement: “The mission of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources is to protect Missouri’s natural resources while promoting the environmentally sound operations of businesses, agriculture, and industry in our interactions with the public.”
Supporting Amendment 1 will help address corporate influence in our state government by:
- Changing limits on campaign contributions that candidates for state legislature can accept from individuals or entities ($2,500 max for Senate, $2,000 max for House, tracks and counts funds from individuals funneled through state party campaign committees);
- Establishing a limit on gifts that state legislators, and their employees, can accept from paid lobbyists (only allows gifts under $5);
- Prohibiting state legislators, and their employees, from serving as paid lobbyists for a period of 2 years;
- Prohibiting fundraising for candidates or members of the legislature on state property;
- Requiring legislative records and proceedings to be open to the public; and
- Changing the process and criteria for redrawing state legislative districts during reapportionment (nonpartisan expert draws fair legislative districts reviewed by a citizen commission).
Our government needs to work for the welfare of the public. Supporting Constitutional Amendment 1 is a step in the right direction.
Vote YES! – Proposition B – Raise the Minimum Wage
MCE is committed to environmental justice. Low wages keep people from being able to access basic rights like clean water, healthy food, safe housing, and public lands. MCE’s work on local food systems revealed how important it is for people to have access to affordable, healthy food, not only for their benefit but also to promote local, organic, sustainable agriculture over industrial agriculture. One of the greatest barrier to a healthy lifestyle? Low wages.
If Proposition B is successful, Missouri businesses will incrementally increase the minimum wage to $12/hour by 2023. The current minimum wage is $7.85. If passed, the minimum wage will be increased to $8.60 in 2019 and increase by 85 cents/year until it reaches $12 in 2023.
When people earn higher wages, they can better address transportation barriers needed to purchase healthier food, afford better housing, and spend more time with their families, among many other societal benefits. The working poor sometimes has no other option but to rent homes from slumlords, exposing them to mold and lead hazards. The National Low-Income Housing Coalition provides information on how low wages put stable housing out of reach for thousands of Missourians. Transportation to open spaces, such as parks, are often accessible only by car or long-distance travel, which is not always available to someone making minimum wage.
Increasing the minimum wage will help low-wage workers increase their purchasing power for healthy food, access to safe housing, and increase the amount of time they can spend with their families enjoying public lands and supporting their communities.
Vote YES! – St. Louis County Charter Amendment Proposition 2 – Yes for our Parks!
YES on Proposition 2 means that land designated and used as a St. Louis County Park shall not be sold, leased, given away or otherwise disposed of without a vote of residents in St. Louis County. YES on Prop. 2 supports the unanimous decision by the St. Louis County Council and signature from Executive Stenger to put this on the ballot. Prop 2 is not a tax. It will not cost taxpayers a cent. Similar laws are already working well in the municipalities of Kirkwood, University City, and Olivette.