Help support the work of our organization with a tax-deductible donation: Use this button to target your donation to the Common Sense Gun Solutions Fund:
Use this button to target your donation to the Melanie Shouse Memorial Advocacy Fund:
or send a check (made out to Women's Voices) marked "Common Sense Fund" or "Advocacy Fund" (on the memo line) to:
Women's Voices 444 Clemens Ave Kirkwood MO 63122
The Melanie Shouse Memorial Advocacy Fund has been established to honor the memory of one of our most effective members. Melanie was an active participant in Women's Voices' health care and environment focus groups, as well as in many other local, state and national initiatives. Contributions to this fund, which are tax-deductible, will be used to support Women's Voices' advocacy work for social justice.
Who We Are
We are a group of ardent, progressive St. Louis area women who finally got fed up.
We became so concerned about the direction of this country and where its priorities seem to be that we decided we must do something. From our frustration and determination, Women's Voices Raised for Social Justice was born.
We are the only multi-issue social justice organization in St. Louis that is not affiliated with a religious tradition. We partner with many other groups in our work, and we try not to re-invent the wheel. We study many different issues and take action for a variety of causes.
Our members are curious, creative, competent and caring.
We believe in doing something meaningful in support of our values, and we have great fun and camaraderie in doing so. If you would like to add your voice to ours, we welcome you to join us.
Next Meeting: Thursday, March 12, 2015
Stolen Childhoods: The Emotional Toll of Gun Violence
Valerie Carter-Thomas Principal Northwest Academy of Law
Duru L Sakhrani, MD Child/Adolescent Psychiatrist Mercy Hospital
6:30 for coffee, 7:00 program
Ethical Society of St. Louis - 9001 Clayton Rd, 63117 (Directions)
White Privilege: Have We Learned Not To Look?
February 20, 2015
Amy Hunter and Joanne Kelly, WV Director of Education
Speakers: Amy Hunter, Director of Racial Justice, YWCA
Robert Good, Ph.D., Social Studies teacher, Ladue Horton Watkins High School
A record audience turned out for this especially timely program at our February monthly meeting. Attendees lingered long after the meeting was adjourned to continue the discussion of the speakers' personal experiences with racial injustice and their approaches for addressing it.
Rob Good said white privilege has opened doors for him that remain closed to nonwhites. Being white, he said, has provided him with numerous benefits such as access to job opportunities, medical care, and the ability to afford to live in a good neighborhood. Racial disparities are often not readily apparent to whites. Read more ...
Hitting the Streets!
February 10, 2015
A number of Women's Voices members recently walked the streets as well as the halls of the Capitol in Jefferson City to let Missouri legislators know that expanding Medicaid is essential. Hundreds of thousands of Missourians earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but they are too poor to receive a subsidy on the insurance marketplace.
Closing this coverage gap is the key message for legislators, according to Mary Clemons, chair of the Women's Voices Health Advocacy efforts.
On Jan. 31 members left flyers at homes in the neighborhoods of key legislators. The flyers summarized stories of several residents who fall into the gap and urged residents to call their legislators. (Mary Clemons and Bunnie Gronborg letters to the editor regarding the gap - read here.)
More than 150 volunteers walked the halls of the Capitol on Feb. 4. They displayed posters, carried signs and went to the House chamber where several Missourians who fall in the coverage gap were introduced. Team members distributed a booklet featuring stories of 52 people who, through no fault of their own, have no health insurance. Most of them are working, responsible parents. As one said, "To be denied health care when I need it most is like getting kicked down when I am most vulnerable." Members of Women's Voices will continue to advocate for expanded Medicaid coverage for needy Missourians.
Members who participated in these recent activities include: Judith Parker, Mary Clemons, Ginger Adkins, Joyce Borgmeyer, Ruth Ehresman, Bunnie Gronborg, Rea Kleeman, Nelda Carlisle-Gray and Barbara Paulus. They were happy to run into our member Mary Ann McGivern at the Capitol, who was there advocating for prison reform.
Bill offers true reform of payday lending practices
February 10, 2015
This letter by Women's Voices Director of Advocacy Barbara Paulus was published February 10 in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
In response to the February 3 Editorial: Dismantling financial reform piece by piece, I offer the following regarding Sen. Curls' and Rep. Gosen's so called "reform" of payday lending practices in Missouri. Analysis of HB 91 (Gosen's) shows that the typical 444% APR would still be allowed, the amount of a payday loan would be increased from $500 to $750, and the following false reforms would be made: allowing two renewals instead of six; limit of one outstanding loan at a time (protecting the lender, not the borrower); and allowing a new loan as soon as one day after the previous loan is paid in full.Read more ...
Working for Medicaid Expansion in 2015
December 15, 2014
Medicaid expansion is a matter of fairness, economic growth and community well-being. In this period of unrest we need stability - the stability provided by having insured, healthy individuals who can work and be productive members of their communities.
You can help! Missouri Health Care for All and the Missouri Medicaid Coalition have made plans for lobby days and days of action in Jefferson City. No experience is necessary; all are welcome and invited to join in these group activities.
Dates for upcoming lobby days: Tuesday, January 13; Tuesday February 10 and Wednesday February 25 from 10:00 am-2:30 pm. In-Capitol days of action: Wednesday January 7 and Wednesday February 4. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you, your partner and your friends can join us in any of these group events. Even if you are a "maybe" let us know. We will send further details when available.
"There are many issues-the overwhelming majority-on which we need an ongoing public "conversation." On a few, we don't. Gun control stops gun violence. Gun possession does not deter crime; it merely makes it more lethal. Making these inarguable truths into necessary law takes the work of persuasion and legislation and litigation. The mental work finished, the moral work goes on, often in modest invisibility. Every day, something good happens at the state or community level that makes getting guns a little harder-and keeps families a little safer.
Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, 1.1.15
Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down Awards
to the Obama administration's proposal to ban the manufacture and sale of one of the most popular bullets used in AR-15 semi-automatic rifles. The bullets, made of a combination of steel and lead, can easily pierce bullet-proof vests and pose great risk to law enforcement officers.
to St. Louis individuals and organizations that have filed federal class-action lawsuits against two suburban cities, alleging that the jails in these communities operate as modern-day debtors' prisons
to the Archdiocese of St. Louis, which has established a new Peace and Justice Commission to address societal issues such as poverty, racial tension and the lack of educational opportunities.
to the Franciscan Sisters of Mary, whose members have put their money toward environmental responsibility by divesting from businesses that rely on fossil fuels and investing in companies that are on the cutting edge of sustainability. The Sisters in St. Louis also conduct regular vigils at the West Lake Landfill in Bridgeton, where radioactive waste from nuclear weapons production was dumped years ago.
to the organizations below, for their contributions to the Ferguson commission. They believe strongly in being a partner in finding solutions to various community concerns and ongoing problems. The focus is now on shaping our future and being a resource, while moving toward strengthening the region and healing communities:
Missouri Foundation for Health, Deaconess Foundation, Greater Saint Louis Community Foundation, Incarnate Word Foundation, Daughters of Charity Foundation of St. Louis and Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis
to State Representative Rick Bratton who has proposed a bill that would require a woman seeking an abortion to obtain notarized consent from the father. He said the bill would require a woman to be able to prove that a "legitimate rape" happened in order to avoid having to ask for a man's consent for the abortion.
to the US Senate for approving the nomination of Dr. Vivek Murthy as surgeon general. Dr. Vivek has stated that gun violence is a public health issue.
to members of the Kirkwood city council, who formally declared that they are "outraged" at the state legislature's enactment of a law permitting the open carry of firearms throughout Missouri. Kirkwood was forced to repeal its ordinance prohibiting open carry of weapons because local law cannot contradict state law. The city council members said the legislators were forcing them to enact a "dangerous and irresponsible" law that benefits no one in Missouri.
to Emerson, the latest corporation to confirm it has ended funding for the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), joining a notable wave of recent corporate defectors (i.e. Microsoft, Google, Facebook). ALEC has been plagued by controversy regarding its role in promoting Voter ID laws, NRA-sponsored lax gun laws, and legislation designed to increase corporate profits by privatizing services and eliminating regulations. Most recently, ALEC has been exposed for teaching state legislators climate change denial at its conferences.
to ArchCity Defenders for receiving the New Leaders in Advocacy Award from the National Legal Aid & Defense Association which honors the accomplishments of rising attorneys who exhibit extraordinary leadership early in their careers as civil legal aid or indigent defense
to St. Louis Judge Rex Burlison who ruled Missouri's marriage ban unconstitutional. St. Louis City is now issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
to voters in Washington state, who overwhelming passed a referendum to require common-sense background checks on those who purchase firearms in the state.