Rebecca Rivas

Rebecca Rivas

Rebecca Rivas is a multimedia reporter who covers Missouri's cannabis industry. A graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, she has been reporting in Missouri since 2001, including more than a decade as senior reporter and video producer at the St. Louis American, the nation’s leading African-American newspaper.

St. Louis once again set to debate surveillance accountability bill

By: - June 3, 2021

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department is one of about a dozen departments nationwide that have a “real time crime center,” or a high-tech surveillance hub. There, police officers can access about 1,100 cameras located throughout the city — some of which have the power to zoom in and identify people’s faces from more than […]

Pending law to correct wrongful convictions could depend on Missouri attorney general

By: - June 1, 2021

If Missouri’s elected prosecutors have evidence that a person has languished in prison for decades wrongfully, they don’t have the power to ask for a new trial. That’s what the Missouri Supreme Court ruled in March, after St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner filed a motion for a new trial for Lamar Johnson.  Johnson has […]

Missouri law firm offers guide for representing yourself in an eviction lawsuit

By: - May 27, 2021

The pandemic has put many families in an unstable housing situation for the first time. Thousands across Missouri are currently facing eviction. And the vast majority of them do not have legal counsel to help them through an often difficult process. Nationwide, as few as 1 percent of tenants have access to an attorney during […]

Advocates fear homeless crisis with federal eviction moratorium on shaky legal ground

By: - May 17, 2021

At least once a day, housing advocate Melissa Pashia speaks to someone who is living in a car.  Once the situation gets to this point, it’s hard to get people back into stable housing, said Pashia, a housing resource specialist for the Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity Council.  “Landlords don’t want to rent […]

Missouri Republicans pass bill to counter calls to ‘defund the police’

By: - May 14, 2021

Missouri Republicans have pushed through a bill that would penalize cities that cut police budgets and bolster protections for officers under investigation for misconduct. The House took a final vote on Friday afternoon, sending the bill to the governor’s desk. The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Bill Eigel, R-Weldon Spring, said the budget piece was a way […]

Missouri Senate approves bill seeking to nullify federal gun laws

By: - May 13, 2021

State and local law enforcement would be prohibited from enforcing certain federal gun laws under legislation approved Thursday night by the Missouri Senate. For more than six hours, Democratic Senators tried to add an amendment to the bill aimed at keeping people convicted of domestic abuse from buying and keeping firearms — but ultimately failed.  […]

Missouri lawmakers close to passing bill targeting protesters, cities that cut police budget

By: - May 13, 2021

This story has been updated since it first published.  A push to crackdown on protesters that block roadways, penalize cities that cut police budgets and bolster protections for officers under investigation for misconduct is on the precipice of clearing the Missouri Legislature — though Senate Democrats vow to fight to kill it.  Sen. Bill Eigel, […]

The Ferguson movement is on the cusp of revolutionizing political power in St. Louis

By: - May 6, 2021

This is part two of a collaboration between The Missouri Independent and Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting. Read part one. Hear the audio version of this story here. The race was too close. Kayla Reed, co-founder and executive director of Action St. Louis, curled over her desk. Her long, dark locs created curtains […]

‘The fight has to change’: Why Ferguson activists ditched police reform

By: - May 3, 2021

This is part one of a collaboration between The Missouri Independent and Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting. Read part two. Hear the audio version of this story here.  Ten days after Michael Brown, it was 25-year-old Kajieme Powell. Two months later, it was 18-year-old VonDerrit Myers Jr. All in the St. Louis region. […]

‘It’s a new day’: Tishaura Jones’ victory an historic moment for St. Louis

By: - April 7, 2021

St. Louis Mayor-elect Tishaura Jones was about to step off the podium at her victory party Tuesday night when a young Black journalist called out, “What do you have to say to those Black girls on the north side?” An hour before, Jones had learned that she will become the first Black woman to lead […]

As evictions loom, federal moratorium extends and Missouri rental assistance expands

By: - April 3, 2021

About 7,000 households in St. Louis County will receive an urgent postcard this weekend. In big, bold letters, it states: “Do you need help paying the rent or utilities?” These families are at risk of eviction, according to the St. Louis COVID-19 Regional Response Team, which sent the cards. And, 600 of them have eviction […]

St. Louis church helps Missourians navigate system to obtain state-issued IDs

By: - March 17, 2021

Edna Scott and Juan Chambers arrived early at St. Francis Xavier College Church on Tuesday morning. But the line was already out the door.  Just like them, about 20 people were waiting at 9 a.m. to get into the church’s identification outreach program. They needed birth certificates or state IDs in order to get jobs, […]