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2014  
to Gov. Jay Nixon for vetoing legislation allowing specially trained teachers to carry concealed guns in public schools saying the legislation would have jeopardized student safety.
to Gov. Jay Nixon for vetoing legislation re-writing Missouri's payday loan laws describing the newly proposed limits as an industry-backed "sham" that fell short of "true reform."
to St. Louis Public Schools and KIPP charter schools for partnering to open KIPP Victory, an elementary school. It will open August 7 in the district-owned Mitchell School that closed in 2008.
to Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, who vetoed the proposed 72-hour waiting period for abortions in Missouri.
to the U.S. Supreme Court, whose members ruled, in a 5-4 decision, that certain private, for-profit businesses can use religious objections to opt out of a requirement in the Affordable Care Act to provide contraceptive coverage for their employees.
to the Francis Howell School District for deciding to not let Normandy students who transferred last year stay in the district.
to the University of Missouri Board of Curators which voted in favor of including gender identity and gender expression in their nondiscrimination policy. This policy change impacts employees and students at University of Missouri, Missouri University of Science and Technology, University of Missouri-Kansas City, and University of Missouri-St. Louis.
to the Post-Dispatch for dropping George Will after his offensive column suggesting that sexual assault victims on college campuses enjoy a privileged status.
to the U.S. Supreme Court, where the majority ruled that the federal government can strictly enforce laws that ban a "straw" purchaser from buying a gun for someone else.
to Mo. Representative Ann Wagner, who voted to support a bipartisan proposal to bolster the background check system for gun sales and provide additional grant money to help states submit records to a national FBI database designed to block gun sales to certain criminals and the severely mentally ill.
to Missouri legislators, who granted future state funding for public school districts to provide early childhood education to children in poverty; appropriated $48 million in federal and state funds to reinstate dental care for 300,000 low-income adults on Medicaid, and lifted a ban on receiving food stamps by individuals with drug felonies.
to Missouri legislators, who refused to expand Medicaid to low-income adults making up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, increased the waiting period before an abortion to 72 hours, and enacted a tax cut that reduces the state personal income tax of 5.5 percent from 6 percent and phases in a 25 percent deduction for business income beginning in 2017
to members of the Missouri legislature, who have overridden Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of SB 509, which will strip nearly $800 million each year from critical state services such as education, mental health and social services.
to the Governor of Georgia, who signed the "guns everywhere" legislation that enables guns to be carried into bars, restaurants and churches in the state.
to Thomas Harvey, executive director of Arch City Defenders who spoke to Women's Voices in January. Harvey and his two co-workers were featured in an April 24 cover story in the Riverfront Times.
to the Rev. James Morris and Lane Tabernacle CME Church, where a moving prayer vigil against gun violence was held on April 16.
to Christopher Chen, a fourth-year medical student at Washington University, who wrote a commentary asking for US Senators to support the nomination of Dr. Vivek Murthy for surgeon general.
to the NRA, which is attempting to derail the nomination of Dr. Murthy simply because he believes that gun violence is a public health problem.
to St. Louis University law school students working in the new Missouri Capital-Sentencing Research Program, who are analyzing Missouri's administration of the death penalty during the past 25 years.
to Missouri Congresswoman Ann Wagner, who has proposed a bill to curb advertising that promotes human trafficking.
to the state of Texas, where overly-strict new regulations on abortion clinics have made legal abortion unavailable in the poorest part of the state.
to Facebook, which has agreed to delete posts from users who are seeking to buy or sell guns illegally or without a background check.
to Kwame Mensah, who teaches life skills and GED classes in the Bridges to Success program in the St. Louis County jail. Mensah was profiled in an article in the Feb. 26 issue of the St. Louis American.
to the Missouri Catholic Conference, whose members have endorsed Medicaid expansion in Missouri.
to the Governor of Washington state, who has suspended the use of the death penalty in the state in an effort to "join a growing national conversation about capital punishment."
to municipal and state officials throughout the country who are attempting to enact progressive reforms as a way to bypass the gridlocked Congress.
on Missouri HB 1099, which, if passed, would make Missouri a "right to work" state and result in stripping workers of their rights.
to Missourians to End Poverty, a new statewide coalition of more than 20 organizations that are working to reduce poverty in the Show-Me state.
to hundreds of gun owners in Connecticut, who registered their assault rifles and high-capacity magazines with state authorities before the Jan. 1 deadline.
to Federal Judge William M. Skretny, who ruled that New York's strict new gun laws, including an expanded ban on assault weapons, were constitutional.
to Kirkwood resident Dick Reeves, who saluted Women's Voices as a group of "brave and good women who speak out for decency, kindness and wisdom" in the Readers' edition of Fair or Foul in the Jan. 1 edition of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
2013  
to the Newtown Action Alliance and supporters, who are planning to honor victims of gun violence by performing acts of kindness and service in the days prior to the one-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook shootings.
to thousands of fast-food workers and their supporters across the country, who went on strike on Dec. 5 to call for fair wages for their work.
to the state of Vermont for approving a statewide single payer healthcare system.
to the U. S. Senate for changing its rules to allow nominations to go forward on a majority vote.
to St. Louis Public Radio and the St. Louis Beacon, who will be combining their newsrooms to improve the delivery of independent local news in the St. Louis area.
to Gov. Jay Nixon, who issued an executive order granting all legally married couples who live in Missouri the ability to file joint state taxes.
to the League of Women Voters, whose members are speaking out to protect the health and safety of citizens by limiting the availability and regulating the ownership of handguns and semi-automatic weapons.
to new Federal regulations that will require health insurance companies to cover mental illness and substance abuse just as they cover physical diseases.
to voters in Sunnyvale, CA, who approved four city ordinances related to gun safety and controls on ammunition sales.
to the Missouri Supreme Court, which has denied survivor benefits to the same-sex partner of a highway patrolman who was killed while on duty.
to Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, who is proposing to rescind the waiver Missouri currently receives that provides SNAP benefits to more than 58,000 low-income Missourians.
to Missouri Senator Roy Blunt, who has gone on record as saying that it was a mistake for House Republicans to have forced a government shutdown unless the health insurance program was repealed.
to everyone in Washington, DC, who is responsible for the government shutdown.
to Missouri State Representative Brian Nieves, who plans to raffle off an assault rifle at a fund-raising event.
to the Circuit Court judges, who voted to reject an innovative proposal that would establish a gun-crime court in St. Louis
to Moms Demand Action, whose members launched a successful campaign which forced Starbucks to announce that they will no longer allow guns in their stores or on their property.
to voters in Colorado, who recalled two state senators because of their votes on common-sense gun control measures in the state.
to members of the Missouri legislature, who sustained the Governor's veto of a tax bill which would have resulted in severe cuts to education and social services.
to members of the Missouri Senate, who refused to override the Governor's veto of a gun bill that was described as "the worst gun bill in the country".
President Barack Obama, who has removed a 17-year ban on funding for research on gun violence by instructing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to step up its support for research into the causes of gun violence and ways to prevent it.
to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who has ordered a new approach in the federal prosecution of many low-level drug offenders, which will greatly reduce the nation's prison population.
to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which has published a series of articles and editorials about the economic and political evils of the payday loan industry.
to Malala Yousafzai, the young Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot by the Taliban, who addressed the United Nations and called for peace, tolerance and compulsory education for all children.
to Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, who vetoed HB 436, which has been called "the worst gun bill in the country."
to the St. Louis American newspaper, which was recognized as the 2013 Publication of the Year for the largest newspaper class by the National Newspaper Publishers Assn.
to Gov. Jay Nixon for vetoing SB 29, which was seen as a precursor to making Missouri a "right-to-work" state by hindering public employees' efforts to organize and bargain collectively.
to the U.S. Supreme Court for striking down the Defense of Marriage Act and for dismissing California's Prop 8, which means gay marriage will continue to be legal in California.
to the U.S. Supreme Court for declaring unconstitutional Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, a provision that has been a key protection against racial discrimination in voting.
to Texas State Senator Wendy Davis, who filibustered for 13 hours to stop a bill that would have dramatically restricted women's access to abortion services in Texas.
to Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, who has vetoed HB 253, a massive tax cut scheme that would jeopardize funding for education and social services in the state.
to a new law in California, which requires all semi-automatic handguns to be equipped with technology that stamps its identifying information on bullet casings. Read more here.
to Kirkwood Mayor Art McDonnell, who, after prompting by members of Women's Voices, signed on to Mayors Against Illegal Guns.
to the state of Minnesota, which became the third state in the month of May to legalize same-sex marriage.
to the brave low-wage workers who went on strike in St. Louis May 9 to demand a living wage, and to the advocates for economic justice who supported them.
to the state of California, which enacted a law to speed up the confiscation of firearms from people who bought them legally but were later disqualified because of a conviction for a violent crime, a finding of mental illness, or a restraining order for domestic violence.
to the state of Maryland where lawmakers repealed the death penalty, making it the sixth state in six years to abolish capital punishment.
to Missouri Senator Roy Blunt, who collected $1.6 million from gun lobbying groups before he cast his vote against expanding criminal background checks in gun sales.
to GE Capital, which has stopped offering consumer financing programs to retailers whose main business is selling guns.
to the North County 24:1 initiative, spearheaded by Beyond Housing, whose members were invited to tell their story of working together for community development to the White House Office of Neighborhood Revitalization.
to members of the Rock Hill Board of Aldermen, who defeated a resolution in support of a national background check for all commercial gun sales in the U.S.
to the 2800 Missourians who rallied at the capitol on April 16 in support of Medicaid expansion.
to legislators who left the capitol building so they would not have to confront the expansion supporters.
to Senators Joe Manchin and Patrick Toomey, who crafted a bi-partisan amendment to the proposed gun control legislation dealing with background checks.
to a group of Republican senators, who are threatening to refuse to allow the legislation to come up for a vote
to legislators in Connecticut, who have agreed on the most far-reaching gun legislation in the country.
to some of the nation's biggest banks, which have entered the world of payday lending by offering short-term loans with interest rates up to 300 percent.
to the Governor of Colorado, who signed bills that put new restrictions on sales of firearms and ammunition in the state.
to U. S. District Judge Audrey Fleissig, who struck down a Missouri law exempting moral objectors from mandatory birth control coverage.
to members of the Clayton Board of Aldermen, who passed a resolution in support of several measures to reduce gun violence.
to members of the Missouri Senate, who voted 23-11 to institute massive tax cuts that would make it even more difficult to fund vital state services such as education and public safety
to members of the U.S. House of Representatives, who finally, after months of pressure, re-authorized the Violence Against Women Act.
to the Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University, for bringing activist and attorney Sandra Fluke to St. Louis for several events on Feb. 12.
to Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, who is setting up a commission to examine the pros and cons of early voting in Missouri
to the National Council of Jewish Women-St. Louis Section, which has received a Section Champion for Social Change award from the national organization.
to MIssouri Gov. Jay Nixon, for his initiatives to expand access to early childhood education throughout Missouri.
on proposed legislation which would make it easier for investor-owned utilities (like Ameren) to raise utility rates without proving the need to do so before the Public Service Commission. Ameren has been granted rate increases by the PSC in five of the past six years.
2012  
to Veolia Water, a company that has a global record of environmental problems, which is now trying to obtain a $250,000 contract with the City of St. Louis for analysis of the City Water Division.
to the state of Missouri, which has missed out on e-commerce taxes that could have raised $2.3 billion during the past nine years, according to researchers at the University of Missouri Truman School of Public Affairs
to three local charitable organizations: the OASIS Institute, the Wyman Center and College Bound, which, because of their demonstrated results, have been included in the new Social Impact 100 Index
to federal Judge Audry Fleissig, who issued a temporary restraining order to block a new Missouri law that requires insurers to offer policies excluding birth control coverage.
to the City of Kirkwood, which added sexual orientation and gender identity to its anti-discrimination ordinance, and to members of Women's Voices who supported the council members during their deliberations.
to St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and University City Mayor Shelley Welsch, the only local mayors to join the coalition Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Both signed on to a letter to President Barack Obama regarding the need to change gun legislation in the United States.
to Urban Strategies and McCormack Baron Salazar, who are partnering in an effort to construct an early childhood education center for 154 children in the 63106 zip code, which has the city's lowest average household income.
to Midwest Bank Centre, which recently became the first-ever full-service bank in the city of Pagedale, and to Chris Krehmeyer of Beyond Housing, who has worked tirelessly to bring services to this low-income minority community
to Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, who has announced that he supports expansion of the Medicaid program to cover more than 220,000 Missourians.
to Missouri legislators, who have announced that they will oppose any expansion of Medicaid despite the fact that much of the expansion will be covered by federal dollars.
to the St. Louis County Council, which approved a non-discrimination ordinance that includes strong protections for LGBT persons in the workplace.
to Kelly Garrett, one of the speakers at our Sept. 2012 program, who authored an op-ed titled "Help Great Schools Flourish in Missouri" in the Nov. 21 edition of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
to St. Louis-based Patriot Coal Corp., which has agreed to become the first U.S. coal operator to phase out and eventually stop all large-scale mountaintop removal mining in central Appalachia.
to the state of California, which has launched a wide-ranging "cap and trade" system designed to control emissions of heat-trapping gases and spur investment in clean technologies.
to the Missouri Department of Corrections, where a new program was launched this year to plant and harvest gardens and donate the produce.
to food pantries across the state. More than 100 tons of produce have been donated to food pantries through this program in 2012
to the St. Louis Public School District, which has received provisional accreditation from the State of Missouri.
to Darden Restaurants, owners of the Red Lobster and Olive Garden chains, for their plan to reduce many workers to part-time employment status so the company does not have to provide health insurance or an insurance stipend, as required by the Affordable Care Act.
to the city of Maplewood, where anti-discrimination protections have been expanded to residents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
to Walmart, whose Sept. 22 glossy advertising flyer in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch featured a variety of firearms, including rifles, shotguns, ammunition, scopes, machetes and night-vision cameras.
to former State Rep. Jeanette Mott Oxford, a champion for social justice, who has been named the new executive director of the Missouri Association of Social Welfare.
to members of the Missouri legislature, who overrode Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of a bill that would allow employers and insurers to refuse to cover birth control, abortion or sterilization for religious reasons.
to out-of-state payday lenders and corporations that have prevented Missourians from voting on initiative petitions to curb the rate of payday lending and increase the minimum wage in this state.
to many St. Louis area churches, who are participating in "Souls to the Polls,"a get-out-the-vote effort for the November election.
to the city of Ferguson, where members of the city council unanimously voted to pass basic protections for members of the lesbian gay, bixsexual transgender community.
to creditors, lawyers and the courts for the use of "body attachment," the practice of arresting persons who owe money to payday lenders and holding them in jail until a court hearing or the debtor is able to post bail.
to members of the Missouri Supreme Court, who refused to set execution dates for six death row inmates because the courts have not yet decided if Missouri's proposed new execution method (using one drug) is constitutional
to the Missouri Supreme Court, which has confirmed ballot titles and language for initiative petitions to cap the rate of payday lending and raise the minimum wage in Missouri.
to owners of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, who initiated another round of layoffs at the paper that included reporters, editors, and the award-winning editorial cartoonist.
to the City of Creve Coeur, where members of the City Council passed an ordinance that includes non-discrimination protections for LGBT individuals in employment, housing and public accommodations.
to Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, who has vetoed a bill that would have allowed employers to decline to provide insurance coverage for abortion, contraception or sterilization.
to all actively engaged citizens who are making phone calls, writing checks, putting up yard signs and in other ways supporting the candidates of their choice during this election cycle.
to WV member and health care expert Sidney Watson, who was interviewed by William Freivogel in the July 2 edition of the St. Louis Beacon. In a warning for Missouri residents, Watson said: "It is possible that some states will not voluntarily expand Medicaid and we will end up with the poorest left out."
to Carrollton Bank and the St. Louis Community Credit Union, who announced a collaborative agreement to increase lending, provide greater access to affordable services, and expand financial education programs to underserved and low income St. Louis communities.
to the local organization Meds & Food for Kids, which has entered into a long-term agreement with UNICEF that will allow it to distribute its "peanut butter paste" to thousands of malnourished children in Haiti.
to the new Affordable Care Act, which is forcing health insurance companies to rebate millions of dollars in overpayments to Missouri consumers.
to members of the Missouri Legislature, who refused to consider any anti-immigrant legislation during the 2012 session.
to the Missouri General Assembly, whose members voted to bar "the establishment, creation or operation of a state-based health insurance exchange."
to members of the Missouri legislature, who slashed nearly $10 million in child care funding from the budget that will be submitted to the Governor. The cuts will affect numerous programs, including Head Start and other early childhood initiatives.
to the Missouri House of Representatives, whose members have squandered most of the session debating frivolous topics and have failed to deal with the major issues of concern in Missouri, such as job creation and funding for education, health and social services.
to those who have harassed, threatened and bullied volunteers who have been collecting signatures on petitions to cap the rate on payday lending and raise the cigarette tax in Missouri. In Springfield, thousands of signatures were stolen from the car of one of the leaders in the fight against predatory lenders.
to State Rep. Stacey Newman of Richmond Heights, who continues to work for women's reproductive health and freedom in the state legislature
to Cole County Circuit Court Judge Patricia Joyce, who tossed out a voter initiative petition that, if approved, would abolish Missouri's income tax in favor of "the everything tax"
to Cole County Circuit Judge Patricia Joyce, who struck down ballot language on a proposed constitutional amendment to allow voter photo ID in Missouri.
to state lawmakers who have filed two new photo ID resolutions.
to Missouri state legislators, who have spent time debating a "birther" bill.
to members of the state House of Representatives, who approved a "conscience bill that would enable any medical professional or anyone employed by a medical entity to refuse treatment based on their religious views or conscience.
to Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, which has initiated a program to provide legal advice to low-income entrepreneurs who are starting or expanding businesses and for non-for-profit organizations that serve low-income individuals.
to Harris-Stowe University, which hosted a program dealing with the current assault on voting rights.
to Missouri Speaker of the House Steven Tilley, who intends to honor Rush Limbaugh with a statue in the Hall of Famous Missourians in the State Capitol.
to talk show host Rush Limbaugh, whose diatribes against women and heated rhetoric against many issues are escalating uncivil discourse throughout the country.
to the seven companies who have pulled their advertisements from the Rush Limbaugh show.
to the 150 women who stood on a street corner in Clayton on Feb. 22 to protest the proposed "conscience" laws recently introduced at the state and federal levels (photos here)
to leaders in the Missouri House of Representatives, who refused to let seven female House members testify about proposed legislation even though the women stood in line at a mic for more than two hours
to Congressional panels that have prohibited women from testifying about access to contraceptives
to people all over Missouri who are collecting signatures to get an initiative on the November ballot that would cap the allowable rate of payday lending at 36 percent
to the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Foundation, which reversed its decision to withhold funding from Planned Parenthood (see item below)
to The Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation, which has announced that it will stop supporting lifesaving breast cancer screening for low-income and underserved women at Planned Parenthood health centers.
to the Missouri House of Representatives, whose members passed a proposal to cap state spending that would damage Missouri's economy and its ability to create jobs and fund critical services.
to the three dozen Missouri House Democrats who joined state lawmakers from around the country in a brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
to editorial writers at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, who have been diligent about exposing the excesses of the payday loan industry in Missouri.
to WV member Deanna Jent, director of the Mustard Seed Theater, who was named St. Louis "Director of the Year" by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch theater critic
to the U. S. Department of Justice, for blocking a law in South Carolina that would require voters to present photo identification in order to cast a ballot.
to officials in the Department of Health and Human Services, who have overruled a scientific decision by the Food and Drug Administration that would make Plan B, an emergency contraceptive, available to all females of child-bearing age without a prescription.
2011  
to St. Louis' Old North community, which has received the 2011 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement for its efforts to strengthen the economy and protect human health and the environment in the north St. Louis neighborhood
to the St. Louis Equal Housing Opportunity Council, whose members continue to press local banks to expand their financial services and products for low-and-moderate income individuals and businesses.
to attorney and WV member Jo Anne Morrow, whose work with Legal Services of Eastern Missouri to secure Medicaid coverage for children who need braces for their teeth was profiled in the Nov. 28 edition of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
to Missouri Senator Roy Blunt, one of the senators backing the Marketplace Fairness Act, a bill that would create a system where local and state governments could have the option to force online retailers to collect taxes due on internet purchases.
to St. Louisian Angela Haas, founder of WITS Inc., a not-for-profit organization that refurbishes used electronics equipment and employs many homeless people to do the work. Refurbished items are sold in an electronics thrift store or donated to local charities.
to St. Louis activist Jamala Rogers, one of six individuals to receive the national Alston Bannerman Fellowship in recognition of her years of leadership in the Organization for Black Struggle. Rogers was recognized for working and organizing for "human dignity, economic justice and political empowerment."
to the Beyond Housing organization, which has broken ground for a senior housing and retail development center in Pagedale. This is a continuation of the organization's commitment to help revitalize the community.
to Women's Voices members and other progressive, caring St. Louisans who joined the Occupy St. Louis rally and march on Oct. 14.
to the Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing Opportunity Council, whose analysis of local banks' lending history has resulted in agreements with three banks to provide increased financial services in low income neighborhoods.
to WV member Deanna Jent, whose original play, "Falling," has been optioned for an off-Broadway production in 2012.
to the 17 members of the Missouri Senate who voted to preserve the circuit breaker tax credit for low-income renters.
to Central Reform Congregation in St. Louis, which has received Missouri Interfaith IMPACT's first annual Amos 5:24 Justice Advocate Award.
to Rebecca McClanahan of Kirksville, who has been named executive director of Missouri Health Care For All
to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, for thoughtlessly running a major story on the front page headlined "Downtown Fights Image of Danger" the same weekend that 5,000 members of the American Society of Association Executives are in town and the city is trying to make a good impression.
to the St. Louis Beacon and reporter Robert Joiner, who interviewed several members of Women's Voices for an informative article about health insurance rate review and medical loss ratios, for inclusion in the August 2 online publication.
to St. Louis author and activist Jamala Rogers, whose columns in the St. Louis American newspaper have recently been compiled into a book, "The Best of The Way I See It".
to the Fifth Third Bank, which has launched a "Financial Empowerment E-Bus" to bring information about financial resources, credit reports and home ownership to communities throughout the St. Louis metro area.
to organizers of Pruitt-Igoe Now, who are planning to sponsor a competition for ideas for redevelopment of the old Pruitt-Igoe site in north St. Louis.
to Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, who has signed legislation authorizing several positive changes relating to rights for the disabled in the state.
to photographer J. B. Forbes, whose spread in the July 10 edition of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch captured the essence of the Urban Expressions photography program in the Hyde Park neighborhood.
to Amazon.com, which is defying a new law in California by refusing to collect sales taxes on internet purchases.
to the U. S. Court of Appeals for the 6th circuit, which declared the individual mandate provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act a valid exercise of congressional authority under the commerce clause.
to civic leaders who have formed the new St. Louis Regional Psychiatric Stabilization Center, which will re-open emergency room and short-term inpatient services to help meet the mental health needs of St. Louis area residents.
to Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, who has vetoed a bill that could have eventually required voters to provide a government-issued photo ID to cast a ballot in MIssouri.
to the Midwest BankCentre, which has come to an agreement with the U. S. Department of Justice that will result in the bank opening a full-service branch in Pagedale and investing $1.45 million in St. Louis neighborhoods that are predominantly African-American.
to the state of Vermont, where progressive legislators, recognizing that health care is a right and not a privilege, have launched the first single-payer health care system in America.
to Lisa Orden Zarin, long-time friend of Women's Voices, who was featured in a "Close Up" column in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on May 8. Lisa is the founder of College Bound, a non-profit group that helps prepare high school students from low-income backgrounds with the academic enrichment, social supports and life skills needed for success in four-year colleges.
to Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, who vetoed a bill that would have altered the state's Human Rights Act and made it more difficult to prove workplace discrimination.
to Joel Ferber, who was honored with the Clarence Darrow award from the Public Interest Law Group at St. Louis University. The award recognizes individuals who help better society through their work in the field of public interest law.
to Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, who filed an amicus brief in the Florida case opposing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Koster's brief challenges the mandate in the federal health-care law that will require most Americans to purchase health insurance by 2014.
to Missouri State Senator Jim Lembke and other conservative state legislators who have blocked a vote to accept federal money to extend unemployment benefits. This effectively cuts financial assistance for more than 10,000 out-of-work Missourians.
to editorial boards at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Columbia Tribune and the Kansas City Star. All of them have weighed in against the payday lending bill that recently came out of a House committee that would allow an APR of more than 1500% on a payday loan in Missouri.
to members of the Vermont House of Representatives, who passed a bill calling for a single-payer health system. This puts the state on a path to become the first in the nation to adopt universal access to health care.
to Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, who signed legislation that will end the death penalty in Illinois.
to Missouri lawmakers, who are trying to eliminate the cost-of-living escalator from the state's minimum wage law
to President Barack Obama, who has decided that the Defense Of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.
to WV members Mary Clemons, Mary Ann Tipton, Susan Hayman, Nancy Cooksey, Rea Kleeman, Bunnie Gronborg, Stacey Sickler and Amy Smoucha, who attended an "Obamacare Hearing" sponsored by senate candidate Ed Martin. Our members spoke in favor of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and were able to address many misconceptions raised by speakers at the meeting.
to the hundreds of thousands of women in Rome and other cities throughout Italy, who took to the streets to protest the prostitution scandal that has engulfed Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
to members of the selection committee for the St. Louis Citizen of the Year award, who gave the top honor to a man who recently vowed "not to hire anybody in the United States."
to members of the Missouri House of Representatives, who recently passed a bill to require drug testing for applicants and recipients of benefits from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. (An amendment to drug test all elected officials was ruled out of order.)
to continuing efforts in the Missouri legislature to require all voters to present photo IDs. In 2006 Women's Voices filed a friend-of-the-court brief against this effort, which the Missouri Supreme Court subsequently ruled unconstitutional. More than 250,000 Missouri voters might be disenfranchised if photo IDs are required to vote.
to long-time Women's Voices member Lois Bliss, who was honored with an award from the West County Journal for her activities designed to enrich the Kirkwood community. Lois was a member of the first Women's Voices board of directors.
to WV member Deanna Jent, who has been nominated for a Kevin Kline award for her work directing "The Chosen" for the Mustard Seed Theater.
to Cynthia Kramer, one of our earliest speakers and founder of SCOPE (Science and Citizens Organized for Purpose and Exploration), who was profiled in the Community section of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Jan. 23, 2011.
to Midwest BankCentre and First National Bank of St. Louis. Both have announced that, after complaints were filed against them by the St. Louis Equal Housing Opportunity Council, they will open new branches in low-income areas.
to the new YOURS Market in Baden, which is providing fresh produce and other needed grocery items to residents of north St. Louis
to John Carlton, editorial writer at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, who has penned hundreds of editorials on health care in the past few years in an effort to inform the public and explain the benefits of the new Affordable Care Act.
to members of the U.S. Senate, who finally voted to abolish the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" act.
to St. Louis Children's Hospital, which is taking steps to become a leader in the prevention of youth street and gun violence.
2010  
to the Missouri Gaming Commission, whose members acknowledged incredible pressure from St. Louisans and awarded the state's last gaming license to Cape Girardeau. This action will preserve the Missouri/Mississippi Confluence area just north of downtown St. Louis.
to Women's Voices members Barbara Fraser, Deb Lavender and Jeanne Kirkton! All three ran issues-based campaigns of integrity in their quest for seats in the Missouri Legislature in November 2010.
to Better Life Green Cleaning Products. Officials of this company have donated two dozen bottles of their all-purpose cleaner for the welcome baskets that WV members are making for clients of the Beyond Housing organization.
to the Environmental Protection Agency for recommending withdrawal of the Arch Coal Company's permit for the largest mountaintop removal coal mine in Appalachia ever authorized. Mountaintop removal seriously and adversely affects the people and waterways of the region.
to St. Louis-based Faith Aloud (formerly the Missouri Religious Coalition for Reproductive Rights), which maintains the only national toll-free faith-based pro-choice crisis line for women to talk about their religious concerns about abortion.
to economic conditions which have forced the Interfaith Partnership/Faith Beyond Walls organization to cut services and staff members.
to Panera Bread Co., for attempting to find creative solutions to help people in need at the St. Louis Bread Co. Cares in Clayton.
to all the activists who showed up to voice their health and environmental concerns relating to the former Carter Carburetor plant in north St. Louis.
for the seven new provisions of the new health care law, which went into effect on Sept. 23, 2010! Among other things, these provisions will mean that insurers can no longer deny coverage for sick kids, cancel policies when people get sick, or impose lifetime limits on coverage.
to members of the U.S. Senate who voted against repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that would allow gay Americans to serve openly in the armed forces.
to the University of Missouri-St. Louis, which has launched the Opportunity Scholars Program which will enable 10 high school graduates to get full scholarships to study at UMSL. The University has received a $1.65 million gift from Emerson to begin the program.
on all of the policies that have forced the poverty rate in Missouri to nearly double during the past 10 years.
to all the university-sponsored law clinics, attorneys who do pro bono work, and all those who work long hours for low pay to provide legal representation to low-income Missourians. They truly exemplify "justice" for the poor.
to the Missouri Foundation for Health, which continues to provide meaningful grants to improve the lives and health of Missouri residents. In 2007 the organization provided $11 million to underwrite a vaccination program, which immunized 31,000 young women against the most common cause of cervical cancer.
to Missouri Treasurer Clint Zweifil for proposing that $127 million, about 33% of Missouri's housing budget be used for 400 affordable housing units for the poor and mentally ill.
to St. Louis law firm Bryan Cave. The firm is scheduled to receive the ABA's (American Bar Association) prestigious Pro Bono Publico Award for 47,000 hours of free legal services in 2009.
to those non-profit Blue Cross/Blue Shield health insurance plans that have amassed billions of dollars in extra cash in the last decade, even while they hit their individual customers with significant premium increases.
to the new Old North Grocery Co-op in the Old North St. Louis neighborhood. The co-op is the first grocery store in the community in recent memory, and will enable residents to purchase fresh produce and a variety of healthy foods.
to the hundreds of volunteers who are spending one day each month in the city's 21st Ward, where they are rehabbing dozens of homes under the sponsorship of Rebuilding Together St. Louis, Boeing, and Alderman Antonio French.
and congratulations to documentary film maker Sandra Pfeifer, whose film about East St. Louis, "Against All The Odds," received the best documentary feature award at the 9th annual Route 66 International Film Festival.
to ll states that have this year passed additional laws regulating or restricting abortion services. Women who reside in these states are finding it increasingly difficult to make decisions regarding their reproductive health.
to the Environmental Protection Agency, which set a new health standard that coal-fired power plants and other industries will have to meet on sulfur dioxide, a pollutant that triggers asthma attacks and causes other respiratory problems.
to BP.
to the city of Clayton, which is partnering with the Environmental Protection Agency in an effort to become a "Green Power Community." City government, residents and businesses will attempt to purchase renewable power in amounts that meet or exceed the EPA's requirements.
to members of the 2010 Missouri Legislature, who refused to consider any revenue enhancement measures for the state while slashing budget expenditures in the areas of health care, mental health, education and social services.
to voters in St. Louis County who voted in favor of a half-cent sales tax increase to fund bus, metro and call-a-ride services.
to members of the U.S. House of Representatives, who passed the much-needed health care legislation by a three-vote majority on March 21! And a concurrent ...
hearty congratulations and much thanks to so many members of Women's Voices, who worked so long and so hard for this bill.
to State Rep. Cynthia Davis, R-O'Fallon, who has come out in favor of feeding people who don't want to be fed. House Bill 1235, sponsored by Ms. Davis, would require mandatory feeding tubes for terminally ill patients - but only for those patients who have said they don't want them. The feeding tubes would have to remain in place for at least 60 days before they could be withdrawn.
to efforts in the Missouri legislature to eliminate the minimum wage increases approved by voters in 2006.
to more than 90 nursing homes in Missouri that have payday loan operations in their facilities. This arrangement lets lenders deduct the loan, interest and fees directly from the paychecks of nursing home workers. And a concurrent ...
to the state of Missouri's weak laws that regulate payday loans. Missouri allows interest rates of up to 1,980 percent on these transactions.
to proposals under consideration in the Missouri legislature that would replace the state income tax with a wide-ranging and greatly increased state sales tax. If any of these proposals were enacted, sales taxes would have to increase dramatically, which would pose additional hardships on low and middle-income families. In addition, sales taxes would be imposed on practically every purchase, from doctor visits to funerals.
to Rep. Bill Deekin (R-Jefferson City), who has once again proposed the creation of a death penalty study commission. If passed, the legislation would force a two-year moratorium on executions in the state while the study takes place.
to Rep. Michael Frame (D-Eureka), who has pre-filed a bill that, if passed, would enable early voting in Missouri. More than 30 states offer early voting options, making it easier and more convenient for citizens to cast their ballots in general elections.
on an initiative petition that, if passed, would eliminate the St. Louis city earnings tax. While taxes are generally unpopular and it's easy to be against many of them, elimination of this tax would have a disastrous effect on the city's ability to function and to protect its citizens.
2009  
to the U. S. Senate for passing historic health care reform legislation on Christmas Eve. When reconciled with the bill previously passed by the House, and signed by President Obama, this legislation will bring us closer to making access to quality, affordable health care a reality for all Americans.
to Governor Jay Nixon who campaigned to insure every Missouri child but now has decided not to participate in the new federal program that would provide health care to 27,500 of Missouri's 108,000 uninsured children. The federal law would use programs such as food stamps to identify eligible children. Although the federal government pays the majority of the cost Nixon feels it is an expensive option. Children's advocates say the state would save money by providing children with routine care who now go to emergency rooms where care is expensive.
to Emerson CEO David Farr, who said in a recent speech that "cap and trade, medical reform and labor rules" were hurting his business and vowed "not to shrink and roll over for the U.S. government." Farr reportedly said, "I'm not going to hire anybody in the United States. I'm moving." In addition to a variety of electrical equipment, Emerson manufactures garbage disposals.
to anti-stem cell activists in Missouri, who recently filed their 30th ballot proposal aimed at undermining the lifesaving efforts of doctors and researchers on behalf of Missouri patients
to the Indiana Court of Appeals and the League of Women Voters. The court ruled 3-0 that the Indiana Voter ID law must be declared void because it regulates voters in a way that is not "uniform and impartial." The judges say the ID law treats in-person voters and mail-in voters differently. The League of Women Voters challenged the law on state constitutional grounds after the U.S. Supreme Court had upheld it. The Indiana law required voters to show government-issued photo identification.
to former President Jimmy Carter for his article Losing My Religion for Equality, in which he expands on this statement issued by The Elders, an independent group of eminent global leaders: "The justification of discrimination against women and girls on grounds of religion or tradition, as if it were prescribed by a Higher Authority, is unacceptable."
to Ameren UE for its planned methane-to-electricity project, which will use gas produced by decomposing garbage to generate enough electricity to power 10,000 homes.
to Washington University for planning to close the Center for the Study of Ethics and Human Values. (Read article) One objective of the Center's interdisciplinary program has been to enable faculty from different schools to work together and focus on understanding complex ethical issues. Dr. Ira Kodner, Director and Founder, has spoken on embryonic stem cell research and the need for quality affordable healthcare at meetings many of our members have attended.
to residents of the north St. Louis area, who have joined together to form the Northside Community Benefits Alliance. The new organization is designed to engage residents in grassroots community planning and development.
to Kaldi's Coffee in Kirkwood for installing recycling bins for customers to deposit paper, plastic, and glass.
to Mike Prosperi of Imo's Pizza for speaking out in favor of a smoking ban for public places, including restaurants, in Kirkwood. Prosperi told the Kirkwood City Council at a recent meeting that his business has not been harmed since his restaurant went nonsmoking.
to the St. Louis Preservation Board, which approved the demolition of the San Luis Apartments (formerly the DeVille Motor Hotel) on Lindell Blvd. in the Central West End to make way for a parking lot. Although opinions on the San Luis were mixed, there are many questions about the wisdom of tearing down a city's heritage in order to build one more parking lot.
to developer Paul J. McKee Jr., chairman/CEO of McEagle Properties, owner of the historic James Clemens House on Cass Ave., who has let the property deterioriate to dangerous conditions. The property, a rare antebellum mansion, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. And a concurrent ...

to the Landmarks Association of St. Louis, which has named hundreds of McKee-owned properties in north city on the list of endangered sites in St. Louis.
to drugstore giant Walgreens, which is offering free clinic visits to the unemployed and uninsured for the rest of 2009.
to more than two dozen religious leaders in the St. Louis area, who have formed a coalition to protest planned cuts in Missouri's 2010 budget.
to Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, which has received a three year grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health to establish the St. Louis Children's Health Advocacy Project (SCHAP).
to a new on-line publication, Pro Publica, an independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest. Their work focuses exclusively on truly important stories, stories with “moral force.” They do this by producing journalism that shines a light on exploitation of the weak by the strong and on the failures of those with power to vindicate the trust placed in them.
to Washington University, which is phasing out sales of bottled water on its campus.
to the "Missouri Roundtable," a coalition of anti-choice groups throughout the state, which is attempting to get an initiative petition on the ballot that would prohibit state funding "for abortion services, human cloning, or other prohibited human research." Human cloning was outlawed in Missouri in 2006, when voters approved Amendment 2 and said they wanted stem cell research.
to  Judy Arnold, a member of the Health Care Focus Group, and Cathy Blair, a member of the Environment Focus Group. Both had letters to the editor printed in the St. Louis Post Dispatch in January. Judy's letter, titled "In 2009, Let Reason Prevail," addressed the insanity of the Medicare prescription drug plan. Cathy's letter, "Show Them The Faucets," focused on efforts to stop using city money to purchase bottled water.
2008  
to election officials in the state of Missouri, who are still trying to determine which presidential candidate carried the state a week after the 2008 election.
to politicans and political campaigns that have launched attacks on community organizers. Community organizers work hard for the benefit of the most disadvantaged in our society. They deserve blessings, not brickbats.
to the St. Louis American newspaper, which has been named runner-up in the Newspaper of the Year competition sponsored by Suburban Newspapers of America! The American was recognized in the category of papers with more than 37,500 circulation. The paper, which has served the African-American community in St. Louis for more than 80 years, contains a wealth of information about the St. Louis metro area that cannot be found in any other publication. Kudos to the staff!
to the Missouri Drug Card plan, which will give state residents discounts of up to 75 percent on hundreds of brand name and generic medications. Cards can be printed out at www.missouridrugcard.com.
to Home Depot for being the first major nation retail outlet to recycle compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). Individuals can bring in any expired, unbroken CFLs, and give them to a Home Depot store associate behind the returns desk free-of-charge. This is a national program. See the website, spread the news.
to the City of St. Louis Refuse Department Recycling Division for being ahead of the rest. We first got the CFL recycling news from their website, then in their July newsletter.
to Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., which is now offering a three-month supply of certain prescription drugs for $10. In 2006 Wal-Mart launched a program to sell generic drugs for $4.
to Jennifer's Pharmacy in Clayton, which is discontinuing the use of plastic bags throughout the store. Alternate bags, which have no environmental impact, are available for a small fee. Customers who insist on a plastic bag will be charged for each bag they use. Women's Voices commends Jennifer's Pharmacy for its leadership on this issue.
to the smart and compassionate Missouri voters who declined to sign the so-called "Missouri Civil Rights Initiative," which would have put an anti-affirmative action measure on the ballot in November 2008.
to the North St. Louis YouthBuild program, which will receive an award from Focus St. Louis in May in the area of "providing quality educational opportunities." Ironically, this program, which provides educational opportunities as well as job training skills, will likely be discontinued next year because government funding has been withdrawn. For information about this innovative program, go to: www.friedensforever.org.
to both Democrats and Republicans in the Missouri legislature, who killed Phase I of Governor Matt Blunt's Insure Missouri program. While this proposal was not perfect, it would have enabled 54,000 low-income working parents to obtain health care coverage beginning in the middle of March.
To Ward Connerly, chair of the so-called "American Civil Rights Institute," who is backing and bankrolling an effort to get signatures on the Missouri Civil Rights Initiative, a proposed amendment to the Missouri Constitution. The proposal, under the guise of "civil rights," would actually end most affirmative-action programs in the state.
To all those who have exposed Connerly's intent to wage a racist campaign to strike down an important justice-making tool, and to all those who will decline to sign the petitions to get this issue on the 2008 ballot in Missouri.