Commentary

Missouri is failing our children. The solution is right there in our communities

BY: - October 5, 2022

Every child deserves to live safely in a home in their community. Too many Missouri children enter the child welfare system and leave their families and communities for reasons unrelated to harm or neglect, but due to misdirected responses to family and community hardship. This flawed approach not only harms children, families and communities, but […]

Missouri election law has changed. Here’s what voters need to know to cast a ballot

BY: and - October 4, 2022

Election Day is just over a month away and a lot has changed for voters since the last time they cast a ballot. A new elections law went into effect after the August primary election and, as local election authorities, we have an obligation to educate voters about what to expect when they vote this […]

Did you ever think you would see book bans in 21st century America?

BY: - October 3, 2022

If you have ignored or had doubts about whether the concern that democracy is in danger in America, just look at the growing movement to ban books in our schools and libraries. There is a history of books being banned in the United States for their subject matter and content. Most notably during the colonial […]

Electing better leaders can start with requiring greater financial transparency

BY: - September 29, 2022

Eighteenth-century French diplomat Joseph de Maistre famously articulated, “In a democracy, people get the leaders they deserve.” In light of The New York Times’ recent coverage and Business Insider’s ongoing “Conflicted Congress” investigation into violations of 2012’s STOCK Act, electing better leaders can start with requiring greater financial transparency to quickly reveal potential conflicts of […]

Foreign investors are snapping up U.S. land. But exactly how much, who knows?

BY: - September 27, 2022

This commentary was originally published by Investigate Midwest. Anybody who has kept an eye on agricultural doings knows that consolidation is occurring at an alarming rate. In the past couple of decades, competition between agricultural giants has become a fading memory. Even this short list is staggering: China’s WH Group purchased Smithfield Foods – the largest producer […]

Fixing Missouri child welfare: Darrell Missey has it backwards

BY: - September 26, 2022

In his masterful biography The Power Broker, Robert Caro describes how New York City’s “master builder” Robert Moses, became a master destroyer of communities because of a fundamental misunderstanding. Moses thought that if he just blasted enough highways through enough neighborhoods it would end the city’s chronic traffic congestion.  But each time he opened a new […]

We all have power within us to do good with our words

BY: - September 19, 2022

Editor’s note: The following is a condensed excerpt from “Using My Word Power” by columnist Janice Ellis. The book is now available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books and other major online booksellers. It’s also available at the author’s website, Real Advocacy Journalism. I have been an advocate journalist for nearly four decades, which is nothing […]

What white people get wrong about Black dads

BY: - September 16, 2022

When my dad, Lawrence, had cataract surgery in 1994, my sister and I took the day off work. The white supervisor at the bank where I toiled frowned at my request for time off. It was a routine surgery for older people and not worthy of my level of concern, she explained. I pushed back […]

The five silliest things candidates told me during Missouri’s primary season

BY: - September 12, 2022

The American polity is dangerously divided, and people are deadly serious about politics (which isn’t irrational, since policy outcomes are indeed life or death for many). But it helps occasionally to pause and laugh at some of the dumb things candidates of both parties do. Indeed, it is one of our only common threads these […]

Talking trash: We don’t have to treat our farms like landfills

BY: - September 7, 2022

Here’s something I think about all the time while working on our farm: Trash. Not “trash” as in how much manure is generated by animals (there is a lot, but we move our cattle and goats many times a week and they are on pasture 365 days a year, so there is no one spot […]

Ten years after DACA, undocumented youths in Missouri and across the nation need further change

BY: - September 6, 2022

Last week, President Joe Biden moved to codify Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals by finalizing a rule to transform DACA into a federal regulation, a move that would help strengthen the legality of the program and benefit many undocumented youths. As a formerly undocumented person, I know just how much DACA can change lives. My life was changed 10 […]

Elected officials work for us. What criteria should we use to hire them?

BY: - September 5, 2022

As we pause this Labor Day, we should reflect on what the holiday means and remember that elected officials in our city, county, state, the U.S. Senate, and House of Representatives work for us, the people. We are the employer. What guide or criteria should we use to determine who we should hire or rehire […]