We’ve lived under McNutt’s persistent surveillance. Here’s why St. Louis should say ‘no’

BY: - January 5, 2021

Ross McNutt wants to help the St. Louis Police Department spy on you. I’m familiar with his promises about how his company — Persistent Surveillance Systems (yeah, really) — can save your city by flying airplanes over your heads at all waking hours. For years, I’ve heard him say the same thing about our city, […]

Exterior Missouri State Capitol building

Capitol Perspectives: A time for setting legislative priorities

BY: - January 4, 2021

The start of Missouri’s legislature during the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic raises questions about how lawmakers will adjust to the realities of this rampant virus. Just visualize a state Capitol during a normal legislative session with legislators, legislative staffers, lobbyists, agency officials, visitors and reporters crowded into committee rooms and narrow hallways. Because […]

Can Joe Biden ‘heal’ the United States? Political experts disagree

BY: and - December 25, 2020

Editor’s note: When Joe Biden becomes president on Jan. 20, 2021, he will lead a fractured nation whose political factions are separated by a chasm. In his victory speech, Biden asked Americans to “come together” and “stop treating opponents as enemies.” Is healing possible between red America and blue America? We asked experts on political […]

There are good reasons Black people don’t trust health institutions. I still got the COVID vaccine

BY: - December 24, 2020

“To make people trust, you need to become trustworthy…. I think if…communities were engaged in conversation… people would know: ‘You are hearing me, you are respecting my right to ask questions and get a legitimate answer. So now let me make up my own mind’…. If we approach it trying to convince other people, we […]

Five calls from Missouri politicos after Election Day

BY: - December 21, 2020

When I address state legislatures about ethical dilemmas in public life – and how to avoid making a mistake like the one I made in the days immediately following my first campaign  – I always say that smart people learn from their mistakes, but wise people learn from other people’s mistakes. It’s in that spirit […]

Capitol Perspectives: Teach your children well

BY: - December 17, 2020

This column is inspired by a 1970 song by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young for parents to “teach your children well.” I’ve been thinking about that song often as I’ve wondered how my relatives who were stuck at home during World War II dealt with restrictions similar to what we’re encountering with COVID-19. They tried […]

With the the state’s bicentennial approaching, what does it mean to be a Missourian?

BY: - December 14, 2020

The year 2021 marks the 200th anniversary of statehood for Missouri — Aug. 10, to be exact. Almost seven years ago, the 97th Missouri General Assembly put the State Historical Society of Missouri in charge of planning statewide commemorations of the bicentennial. Since that time, we have visited Missourians in each county in the state, listening to how […]

Missouri can do more to safely keep schools open during COVID surge

BY: , , and - December 8, 2020

When Gov. Mike Parson announced changes to COVID-19 quarantine guidelines for Missouri schools, he argued, “transmission within our schools appears to be low.” Given the rising numbers of new cases and the potential consequences of school closures for Missouri families, we appreciate how apprehensive many families may be. The science we have so far suggests […]

If it can save a life, why won’t you just wear a mask?

BY: - December 7, 2020

I volunteered to work on Election Day in Cole County, and took training as an election judge. At 54, I’m younger than most volunteers who might not feel safe working, I reasoned, and I had a ton of vacation days to use, so why not? I was worried about COVID but decided I just needed […]

The Missouri House floor for the 2019 State of the State address.

Capitol Perspectives: I live in my district

BY: - December 4, 2020

When Missouri’s House begins its 2021 session, it may face a fascinating issue of residency which has a long history. The issue arises from a St. Louis Post Dispatch report that Rep. Nick Schroer, R-St. Charles County, purchased a home for his family outside of his House district — while claiming residency in his district […]

Census survey reveals COVID-19’s devastating impact in Missouri

BY: - December 4, 2020

Hundreds of thousands of Missourians are struggling to get by during our coronavirus public health emergency, including children, according to the recently released U.S. Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey. While 40.8 percent of Missouri households report losing income since March, families with children under 18 have been especially impacted, with 51.4 percent reporting income loss. […]

As they navigate a pandemic, grant public school officials some grace

BY: - December 1, 2020

COVID-19 has turned public education on its head. State Sen. Cindy O’Laughlin, who doesn’t blame the parents who want to pull their kids out of public schools, believes they deserve other options. “The virtual education schools provide is a failure… private schools soldier on, doing the job they’ve chosen and are paid to do,” she […]