Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Response from Lacy Clay, U.S. House Candidate

1. What do you view as the key role, and/or attributes needed for this position? What experience/attributes do you have that qualify you for this position?

I am the Senior Member of Congress for the St. Louis region and the Dean of Missouri’s U.S. House delegation with a 33-year record of championing the issues and values that matter most to my constituents.

My campaign mirrors my record in public service. 

I am totally focused on jobs, education, healthcare, housing, protecting your right to vote and keeping America safe.

No other candidate for Congress can combine both the track record of public service and the political leadership that is required to move our community, our state and our nation forward.

2. Why do you think you are the best person for this position? What differentiates you from your opponent(s)?

I am the only candidate for Congress in MO-1 who has actually saved or created good jobs for the St Louis Region:
  • 12,000 jobs at Boeing 
  • 800 federal jobs at the National Archives & Records Administration 
  • 3,100 federal jobs at the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency 
I am the only candidate for Congress in MO-1 who has worked closely with President Obama to double federal investment for community healthcare and to support our veterans. 

I am the only candidate for Congress in MO-1 who has cleaned up toxic environmental hazards: 
  • $5 million cleanup, St. Louis Army Ammunition Plant (Goodfellow & I-70) 
  • $30 million cleanup, Carter Carburetor (Grand & St. Louis Avenue) 
  • I have also introduced legislation to transfer the cleanup of the West Lake landfill (Bridgeton) from EPA to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers FUSRAP program. 

I am the only candidate for Congress in MO-1 who has worked with President Obama to win a coveted federal Promise Zone designation for portions of the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County, which provides preferential treatment for neighborhoods, nonprofits and municipalities to win federal funding from 35 different grant programs. 

I am also the only candidate for Congress in MO-1 who worked with the White House and former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to initiate a U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights investigation into the Ferguson Police Department and the Ferguson Municipal Court…resulting in a historic consent decree. 

Lastly, unlike my opponents, I have never dishonored my office or the public trust by engaging in vulgar, inappropriate behavior on social media. 

3. What do you feel are the most pressing issues currently facing this office and what plans do you have to address these issues? (please be specific)

As stated above, my top issues are jobs, education, healthcare, housing, protecting your right to vote and keeping America safe.

Among my top legislative priorities are raising the federal minimum wage to $15, reforming the tax code, protecting Social Security & Medicare, and increasing federal support for fighting opioid addiction.

4. Describe how you work with, or will work with, others to address your priorities.

I have always worked effectively across partisan divisions to get things done for St. Louis.

A prime example of that is my 3-year effort to unify the entire Missouri congressional delegation in support of my successful effort to win the competition for the new western headquarters of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, which will be built in North St. Louis. 

That $1.75 billion project is the largest federal investment in the St. Louis region in history.

I also was pleased to work with Republican colleagues to pass the National Bison Legacy Act, one of the very few pieces of legislation sponsored by a Democrat to pass the 114th Congress and be signed into law.

5. Who are your 3 largest campaign contributors? Are there donors from whom you will not accept campaign contributions?

I am blessed to have tremendous support from a variety of donors including organized labor, skilled manufacturers, educational associations and civil rights advocates.

I would not accept contributions from any donor who does not support worker’s rights, reproductive freedom for women, full equality for LGBT citizens, or environmental justice.

6. Since the shooting death of Michael Brown and the national rise of the Black Lives Matter Movement, criminal justice reform has become a national topic of conversation, yet few changes have been made on a national level. If elected, will you make criminal justice reform, and racial equity, a priority in Washington? If so, how?

Two days after Mike Brown’s tragic death, I made an urgent request to then U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to begin a civil rights investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice.

That investigation revealed 26 different constitutional violations within the Ferguson Police Department and the Ferguson Municipal Court.

At my urging, the City of Ferguson has signed a consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice that will forever change the Ferguson Police department and hopefully lead to a meaningful transformation of that community.

A few days after Mike Brown’s death, I met with then U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to convey my outrage over the over-militarization of local police with surplus military equipment which I saw with my own eyes on the streets of Ferguson.

That action initiated a complete review of the Pentagon’s 1033 surplus program and new, much stricter guidelines to limit police militarization and to require training for advanced surplus equipment.

I also worked with my colleagues in the Congressional Black Caucus to help elect three new Black members of the Ferguson City Council, which tripled minority representation in a city that is 67% African American.

In Congress, I have already introduced two pieces of legislation that would transform how local law enforcement interacts with minority communities and how the criminal justice system investigates police use of deadly force.

Clay-Cohen would require the appointment of an independent prosecutor in all cases when police use deadly force. My bill would also require extensive sensitivity training for all new and current officers to help them defuse tense situations before they become violence, and to help them interact more effectively with minorities, the disabled, the mentally ill and new immigrants.

Clay-McCaskill would provide preferential federal funding for all local law enforcement agencies who deploy body cameras for all officers. It would also further limit the over militarization of local police departments.

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