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.

Missourians fight to keep their homes with end of eviction moratorium looming

By: - October 28, 2020

Phone calls from families on the verge of losing their homes have jumped 300 percent at Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri. “And we’re getting more and more phone calls every day across the whole southern Missouri in our offices — not just Springfield, but it’s Poplar Bluff, over in Cape Girardeau and in Joplin,” said […]

Want to vote by mail in Missouri? The deadline to apply is today

By: - October 21, 2020

Election Day is only 13 days away. But if Missourians want to vote from home, they have until 5 p.m. today (Oct. 21) to request an absentee or mail-in ballot.  To help answer voters’ questions, The Missouri Independent held a Q&A on Twitter with three local election officials: Greene County Clerk Shane Schoeller, Boone County […]

Nonprofit law firm hosting free educational session on sealing criminal records

By: - October 21, 2020

Criminal records often create barriers for employment, education and housing. So how do people get their criminal records sealed, including records of conviction, arrests and even arrest where charges were not filed? That legal process is called expungement. And the ArchCity Defenders, a nonprofit law firm, is hosting a free virtual education session tonight to […]

Missouri Attorney General candidates divided on key criminal justice reform

By: - October 21, 2020

St. Louis-native Lamar Johnson has spent 26 years in prison praying that someone would hear his case. In August 2019, that day almost came. “I finally got taken back to St. Louis, and freedom is just right there,” Johnson said in a phone call with The Independent from Jefferson City Correctional Center. “And it was […]

Rev. Michelle Higgins speaks to canvassers

Groups work to energize Missouri’s Black voters in election’s final weeks

By: - October 20, 2020

All summer and into the fall, the Rev. Michelle Higgins has set aside any thought of leisurely weekends with her family. Instead, she and her two children have been out knocking on doors. “My children’s weekend outings are canvassing and getting to know neighbors around our church building for a specific purpose — and that […]