Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Response from Jamilah Nasheed, State Senate Candidate (Dist. 5)

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?

As a member of the minority party in the heavily Republican Missouri Senate, I have learned the importance of accomplishing policy objectives by unconventional means. Working with the Governor’s office to sign the “Ban the Box” executive order is an example. An understanding of when to work across the aisle and when to fight the extreme conservative agenda is another skill I believe I have demonstrated in my 4-year tenure in the upper chamber.

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

I have the experience, the progressive track record, and the institutional knowledge to represent the economic and social policy objectives of the diverse community I represent. My highest priorities have consistently been issues that have high salience across the district: minimum wage, public safety and vacant/abandoned buildings are three examples of issues with which I have great familiarity and a demonstrable track record of advocacy.

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)
  • Education: End social promotions. Fully fund the formula. Recruit and maintain high-quality teachers. STEM tutoring funding.
  • Public Safety/Criminal Justice: Re-entry resources. The Fair and Impartial Policing Act.
  • Economic Justice: A living wage. Parental leave.
  • Economic Development: Tax credits to incentivize new jobs and affordable housing.

4. What three issues are your main priorities and how will you guide them?
  • K-12 Education: Promote stability and accountability at the top. End social promotions. Continue funding for STEM tutoring and wrap-around service
  • Public Safety/Criminal Justice: Re-entry funding. Fair and Impartial Policing Act.
  • Economic Development: Incentives to repurpose vacant/abandoned and historical properties. Task force on LRA reform.

5. How do you plan to address the schism between Republicans and Democrats in Jefferson City? How will you accomplish things as a member of the minority party?

I am proud of my track record working across the aisle and with the executive departments to accomplish my policy objectives. Just this year, I worked with the Governor to Ban the Box for state jobs, and with the heavily Republican MO Senate and MO House to pass the Missouri Savings Promotion Act (SB 833).

6. How do you plan to increase available jobs in the area and state?
  • Tax credits to promote new development on vacant/abandoned properties.
  • A better K-12 and higher education system that emphasizes job skills and academic programs in cutting-edge fields.

7. How do you plan to address the tension between rural and urban areas of the state?

Personal relationships and diverse coalitions have always been at the heart of my leadership style. Every issue we debate can be framed in terms of regional economic development (SJR 39, for example). I believe that angle is always persuasive with my out-state colleagues.

8. What broad-based, stable source of revenue would you recommend to fund quality, public services if both individual and corporate taxes were cut?

I fully support the St. Louis City Earnings Tax, and I believe it is currently the best mechanism for funding city services.

9. How can the legislators from the St. Louis metropolitan area work together despite party differences to support and protect the interests of the entire area? (please be specific)

  • Coordinated policies on K-12 and higher education.
  • Coordinated efforts to rebuild the community-police relationship.
  • Region-wide transportation strategies (including possible Metrolink expansion).

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

I plan on continuing to benefit from my relationships with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle. Along with my personal relationships, my experience on the Appropriations Committee has also allowed me to affect policy priorities.

11. Who are your 3 largest campaign contributors? Do you have a policy on accepting lobbyist gifts? Are there donors from whom you will not accept campaign contributions?

  1. I am unsure of exactly who my top 3 donors are, but I do receive many contributions from labor groups and individual donors.
  2. I do not accept sport/event tickets or out-of-state travel.
  3. I consider contributions on an individual basis, but I believe my track record indicates that my policy positions are entirely independent from my donor’s objectives.

12. The Ferguson Commission has over 100 calls to action as a result of its year long community engagement process. Many of its recommendations fall on the Missouri General Assembly to implement. Your election will be a couple of days before the two year anniversary of the shooting of Michael Brown, yet very few of the Commission’s recommendations have been taken up by the General Assembly. If elected, what will you do to ensure that racial justice receives the attention needed at a state level?

I have advocated, and sponsored, many legislative proposals targeted at implementing the Commission’s recommendations:
  • Municipal Court Reform (SB 5)
  • The Fair and Impartial Policing Act (2016)
  • Deadly Force Fix (2016)

13. Increasingly, women’s reproductive rights, workers’ rights, and LGBTQ rights have been under attack in Jefferson City. If elected, what will you do to protect and advocate for these classes?

  • I will continue to zealously oppose TRAP laws designed to reduce access to abortion providers. 
  • I am proud to say I stood up for more than 11 hours during the historic filibuster of SJR 39.
  • I also contributed several hours during the (ultimately successful) filibuster in opposition to the Right to Work (2015) and Paycheck Deception bills (2016).
  • I will continue to introduce legislation to raise the state minimum wage.

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