Author

Rebecca Rivas

Rebecca Rivas

Rebecca Rivas covers civil rights, criminal justice and immigration. She has been reporting in Missouri since 2001, most recently as senior reporter and video producer at the St. Louis American, the nation's leading African-American newspaper.

Pair of Democrats vie for chance to challenge Ann Wagner in 2nd Congressional District

By: - July 27, 2022

State Rep. Trish Gunby and gun-control activist Ray Reed are vying for the Democratic nomination in the 2nd Congressional District primary on Tuesday. This spring’s redistricting process made the 2nd District more favorable to a Republican candidate, but Gunby and Reed both believe they still have a shot at beating the well-resourced GOP incumbent, Congresswoman […]

Cori Bush, Steve Roberts primary in 1st District more than simply moderate vs. liberal

By: - July 22, 2022

Sheets of rain wrapped around the playground shelter in North St. Louis’ Fairground Park on July 9, where canvassers for Congresswoman Cori Bush’s re-election campaign huddled together.  The event’s organizer, St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones, took advantage of the captive audience. “Even in the rain, we have the faithful few who are out here because […]

Trudy Busch Valentine was inspired to enter Missouri U.S. Senate race after family tragedies

By: - July 14, 2022

For 12 days, Trudy Busch Valentine never left her sister’s side as nurses and doctors did everything they could to save her.  Valentine was 17 when her 8-year-old sister was in a car accident and suffered a severe spinal cord injury. “That’s where I saw the nurses with the compassion and the competence and the […]

Former nurses at historic St. Louis hospital file trademark lawsuit against developer

By: - July 13, 2022

The name “Homer G. Phillips Hospital” is still spoken with reverence, not only in St. Louis’ Black community, but across the country.  Opened in 1937, it was the only public hospital for Black St. Louisans until 1955.  It was also a training facility, where Black doctors and nurses from around the world came to complete […]

Kansas City’s eviction legal service helps nearly 150 residents in first month

By: - July 11, 2022

April Shabbaz lives in a Kansas City apartment with her brother, son, daughter and 20-year-old grandson.  All of the adults have low-wage jobs. This past fall, one of them abruptly lost their job, and the household fell behind on rent.  “Once you get behind on something, it is extremely hard to catch up because… you […]

New Missouri law mandates removal of discriminatory covenants from property deeds

By: - June 30, 2022

Gov. Mike Parson signed a bill into law Thursday that requires antiquated housing restrictions based on race, national origin or religion to be removed in all newly-recorded deeds. Beginning in 1935, the federal government required housing developers to sign agreements, or racial deed covenants, that they would not sell these homes to “non-Caucasians,” in order […]

New Missouri law makes sleeping on state land a crime for people experiencing homelessness

By: - June 29, 2022

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signed sweeping legislation Wednesday making it a Class C misdemeanor for people experiencing homelessness to sleep on state-owned land. The law prevents some federal and state funds from being used to construct affordable housing, instead redirecting that money towards constructing temporary camps that provide substance abuse and mental health treatment.  It […]

Missouri’s parole revocation defense team among first in country

By: - June 28, 2022

For the first time in Missouri’s history, the state has a team of attorneys dedicated to defending people on the verge of having their parole revoked and facing more prison time.  Missouri is the third state in the country to establish a parole revocation defense team, following Connecticut and New York.  “We’re on the cutting […]

Gov. Parson signs bill requiring Kansas City to put more money toward police

By: - June 27, 2022

Gov. Mike Parson signed legislation Monday that would increase the amount of funding Kansas City is required to put towards its police department – if voters approve a proposed constitutional amendment in November.  The bill, sponsored by Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer, R-Parkville, raises the portion of Kansas City’s budget that must be devoted to the police […]

Reparations for Black Americans seeing unprecedented national support, advocates say

By: - June 17, 2022

Callie House walked out of the Missouri State Penitentiary in Jefferson City on August 1, 1918, and headed back to her five children and job as a “washerwoman” in Tennessee.  Her crime – mail fraud.  The federal government claimed that the organization she’d helped lead since 1894 – the National Ex-Slave Mutual Relief, Bounty, and […]

St. Louis mayor signs executive order banning no-knock search warrants

By: - June 14, 2022

St. Louis has become the first Missouri city to completely ban no-knock search warrants, or warrants that allow police officers to enter a property without announcing their presence. Surrounded by family members whose loved ones were killed during no-knock raids, St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones signed an executive order Tuesday banning the practice that has […]

As Juneteenth nears, St. Louis organizations call for reparations

By: - June 10, 2022

Residents living in some majority Black neighborhoods in St. Louis have a 18-year lower life expectancy than residents of majority white neighborhoods less than 10 miles away, a regional health study found. For over a century, Black St. Louis residents have experienced housing policies and development strategies that have trapped generations in segregated and disinvested neighborhoods, […]