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, February 12, 2015
White Privilege: Have We Learned Not To Look?
Speakers: Amy Hunter, Director of Racial Justice, YWCA
Robert Good, Ph.D., Social Studies teacher, Ladue Horton Watkins High School
6:30 for coffee, 7:00 program
Ethical Society of St. Louis - 9001 Clayton Rd, 63117 (Directions)
Voter ID Law = Voter Suppression
January 21, 2015
This will be the 10th straight year that a Voter ID proposal will be considered, even though the Missouri Supreme Court has ruled voter ID proposals unconstitutional. Women's Voices Advocacy Director Barbara Paulus submitted the following written testimony to a House Committee hearing originally scheduled for January 21. She will resubmit the testimony when the hearing is rescheduled for a later date.
One of the most popular, and potentially effective, ways to discourage voters is to pass voter photo ID laws. On the surface, such laws sound perfectly reasonable. After all, you need to show ID to start work at a new job, get on an airplane, or sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act. The reality, however, is that many Americans don't have the kind of government-issued photo ID they'd need to vote under these laws. Among the folks who often don't have the correct IDs are college students, the elderly, anyone who has moved recently, and women who've changed their marital status and changed their names but haven't updated their ID. ... Read more ...
Investing for Good: Changing Corporations through Shareholder Engagement
January 12, 2015
Shareholders, even small investors, can successfully voice their social justice concerns to corporations, said Brian Reavey at the January 8 Women's Voices meeting. The Midwest Coalition for Responsible Investment (MCRI)-a group of organizations committed to social justice-has brought about changes by building relationships with companies it wants to influence, he explained. MCRI convenes dialogues with company representatives on a range of social, environmental, and governance issues.
Read more ...
Women's Voices Signs Letter to Legislators Urging Medicaid Expansion
January 7, 2015
Women's Voices joined a broad range of groups signing a letter to all members of the legislature reminding them of the overwhelming support for Medicaid expansion. The letter reads in part:
"Currently, four states that border Missouri have gained health care coverage for their citizens through Medicaid and a fifth has the issue under consideration. Several of our neighboring states accomplished their goal of better care and health for their citizens by creatively designing new options for their state specific programs. There are many news reports that are outlining what additional states across the country are developing for their new state-based options as well.
Over the past two years, Missouri legislators have worked hard to identify important policy initiatives for a "best fit" plan for Missouri. As the 2015 session begins, the General Assembly has the opportunity to build on the work of the two previous sessions by careful review and ultimate adoption of a "Missouri Plan" for Medicaid this year."
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.
Women's Voices Supports Call for Police and Court Reform
December 5, 2014
Women's Voices signed a petition to County Executive Steve Stenger to "hold a summit for St. Louis County mayors, police chiefs and other law enforcement officials to: reform the debtor prison system trapping low-income people and people of color in prison for traffic violations, court fees and other minor violations; and institute or increase community policing procedures throughout their jurisdiction. Read more ...
Adding Our Voice on Several Social Justice Issues
November 18, 2014
Working in coalition with other organizations strengthens the voice of advocates. Women's Voices is often asked to join in calling for change or to take action. "Like" our Facebook page to get timely updates. Here are the recent examples:
We joined with Missouri Health Care for All to advocate for support of subsidies under the Affordable Care Act. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments which challenge access to health insurance subsidies in 36 states, including Missouri. If upheld, as many as 129,000 Missourians could lose the subsidy that allows them to have affordable health insurance.
We signed on to a letter from the Missouri Children's Leadership Council asking our US Senators and Representatives to extend federal funds for the Children's Health Insurance Program. Without the extension, an estimated 37,000 children will likely be uninsured.
We signed on to the Missouri Community Leaders statement Supporting Respectful and Just Work Places and a statement opposing "right to work and paycheck deception" legislation in Missouri
We signed on to a letter supporting the "Protection from Abuse in Jail Act" to be introduced to the St Louis Board of Aldermen. Drafted by the St Louis Committee for Prisoner's Rights the bill's aim is to guarantee that appropriate health care, safety, and good governance exist in Saint Louis city jails. In Missouri's state prisons, staff are required by law to report illegal activity and abuse they see take place. The "Protection from Abuse in Jail Act" would require that the St Louis City jail also meet this standard of reporting.
January 22 - 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Missouri Freedom of Choice Council
Reception in celebration of choice
ACLU-MO office, 454 Whittier St.
February 10 - 7:00 p.m. Ethical Society - 9001 Clayton Road
Mother 2 Mother: A Conversation with Black Mothers to White about "the Talk" with their Black Sons
Free and open to the public.
Sponsored by the Ethical Society of St. Louis
"By our readiness to allow arms to be purchased at will and fired at whim, we have created an atmosphere in which violence and hatred have become popular pastimes.
The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down Awards
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.