Missouri State Capitol Each year, Missouri Appleseed selects 4-5 pieces of criminal justice legislation to support in the Missouri Legislature. These priorities are often represented in multiple pre-filed bills that, over the five months of session, will consolidate into a single House or Senate bill.

This year, Missouri Appleseed is advocating for:

  1. Banning shackling of pregnant women in jail
  2. Ensuring adequate nutrition for incarcerated pregnant women
  3. Eliminating the SNAP ban for individuals with drug felonies
  4. Eliminating Missouri’s regressive luxury tax on diapers and menstrual products
  5. Lowering jail phone rates to keep families connected

 

Banning Shackling of Pregnant Women in Jails

Sponsors: Sen. Mary Elizabeth Coleman (R), SENATE BILL NO. 905 § 221.520, Sen. Lauren Arthur (D) SENATE BILL NO. 1012 § 221.520, Rep. Chad Perkins (R), HOUSE BILL NO. 1777 § 221.520

Shackling pregnant women inflicts substantial pain and restriction of movement. These women are already uniquely likely to suffer health risks—not only to themselves, but to their children. Risks that may be appropriate for non-pregnant incarcerated women, like the risk of a trip and fall, can become substantially more dangerous for pregnant incarcerated women.

The American Medical Association, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Public Health Association, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons (among others) all oppose shackling women during labor, delivery, and postpartum recovery; and dozens of states have implemented bans on the practice.

Recognizing these dangers, in 2018, Governor Parson signed an act preventing the shackling of pregnant women in prisons run by the Department of Corrections (R.S. Mo. § 217.151). Since this policy does not protect pregnant women in jails, we are supporting this new legislation to extend the shackling ban to women in all criminal justice facilities across the state.

Ensuring Adequate Nutrition for Incarcerated Pregnant Women

Sponsors: Sen. Mary Elizabeth Coleman (R), SENATE BILL NO. 905 § 221.523, Sen. Lauren Arthur (D) SENATE BILL NO. 1012 § 221.523, Rep. Chad Perkins (R), HOUSE BILL NO. 1777 § 221.523

Growing a healthy baby is hard work, and pregnant moms require extra calories to feed their little ones’ growing brains and bodies. Inadequate nutrition during pregnancy increases the risk for preterm birth, low birth weight, birth defects, and delayed childhood development.

The national Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends 340 extra calories in the second trimester and up to 450 extra calories in the third. Yet, for pregnant moms in Missouri jails and prisons, the state guarantees no extra food for these moms.

Incarcerated moms are more likely to suffer poor perinatal outcomes than non-incarcerated moms, including having preterm babies and babies at low birthweight. Making sure these moms get enough extra calories to support healthy pregnancies reduces their risk of poor birth outcomes. The pre-filed bills we support would require Missouri jails to provide prenatal vitamins; a minimum of thirty-two ounces of milk or a calcium supplement if lactose intolerant, two cups of fresh fruit, and two cups of fresh vegetables daily.

Eliminating the SNAP Ban

Sponsors: Sen. Mary Elizabeth Coleman (R), SENATE BILL NO. 905 § 208.247, Sen. Lauren Arthur (D), SENATE BILL NO. 1012 § 208.247, Rep. Chad Perkins (R), HOUSE BILL NO. 1777 § 208.247

Federal law bans people with felony drug convictions from receiving food assistance through SNAP (the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, formerly the Food Stamps Program). The same law allows individual states to modify or lift the ban, however, and a number of states have chosen to do so.

Missouri is not one of those states – yet. Senators Mary Elizabeth Coleman and Lauren Arthur, along with Representative Chad Perkins, have introduced legislation to lift the SNAP ban on Missourians with felony drug convictions. Why? Access to food is an important component of successful reentry into society after incarceration.

Eliminating the Pink Tax

Sponsors: Sen. Mary Elizabeth Coleman (R), SB 1119, Sen. Lauren Arthur (D), SB 842, Sen. Barbara Washington (D), SB 793, Sen. Curtis Trent (R), SB 1231 (diapers only), Sen. Karla May (D), SB 585, Rep. Justin Hicks (R), HB 1762, Rep. Maggie Nurrenbern (D), HB 1579, Rep. Wendy Hausman (R), HB 2112, Rep. Mark Sharp (D), HB 1474

Missouri taxes feminine hygiene products and diapers at 4.225% — but it taxes other important items at lower rates, like groceries at 1.225%. Many healthcare-related items are taxed at 0%!

Missouri’s tax on feminine hygiene products and diapers burdens poor people, because sales taxes on staple items are a larger economic hurdle the less money you have. Parents who can’t afford enough diapers report changing their babies’ diapers less frequently and even skimping on food purchases in order to afford diapers. Less frequent diaper changes put babies at risk for urinary tract infections, skin infections, and diaper dermatitis.

In a survey of low-income women seeking services from St. Louis community organizations, 64% couldn’t afford enough feminine hygiene products to manage their period at least once a year. 21% couldn’t afford enough every month. And 33.6% of girls in low-income St. Louis high schools report skipping schools because they didn’t have the period products they needed.

Missouri Appleseed believes feminine hygiene products and diapers should be exempt from sales taxes, making it easier for all women in Missouri to access necessary items for themselves and their babies. Read more here.

Lowering Jail Phone Rates

Sponsor: Rep. Aaron McMullen (R), HOUSE BILL NO. 2169

Due to the poverty of many people in jail and their families, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has capped interstate phone call rates from jails. Yet the FCC does not have the authority to regulate in-state jail phone calls, which means correctional communications companies can still charge people in Missouri jails and their Missourian families a lot to talk to one another.

Missouri Appleseed surveyed county and city jails in Missouri to determine what correctional communications company each jail uses, then contacted those companies to learn what they charge individuals to call home.

The results were astonishing: 30% of Missouri jails contracting with correctional communications companies had rates greater than the FCC’s cap of 21 cents per minute. One in five jails charged 35 cents per minute. If a person in one of those jails phoned their family for just 15 minutes per day while in jail for a year, it would cost them $1,916.25 just to stay in contact with their family. Missouri Appleseed believes that phone calls to families should not cost thousands of dollars. Plus, staying in contact with family improves health and reduces recidivism, leading to safer and happier Missouri communities.

 

150 150 Missouri Appleseed

Wilford Pinkney Jr.

St. Louis Mayor’s Office

City of St. Louis, Office of Violence Prevention

Wilford Pinkney Jr. currently serves as the Director of the Office of Violence Prevention for the City of St. Louis. The Office of Violence Prevention provides strategic direction and oversight for the City of St. Louis’ efforts to create safe and healthy neighborhoods free of violence.

Mr. Pinkney previously served as the Director of the Mayor’s Office of Children, Youth, and Families for the City of St. Louis. He has overseen the development of a Crisis Management System focused on building healthy and vibrant communities by addressing trauma and increasing access to care. Prior to joining the administration, Pinkney was a FUSE Executive Fellow leading a cross-sector group of stakeholders in the development of a comprehensive pretrial reform plan in the City of St. Louis.

Wilford holds a B.S. in Organizational Management from Mercy College, a Masters in Public Administration from New York University, and a Master of Arts in Political Science from the CUNY Graduate Center. He is currently a doctoral candidate in Political Science at the CUNY Graduate Center, where he specializes in public policy and American politics.

Wilford Pinkney Jr.

St. Louis Mayor’s Office

City of St. Louis, Office of Violence Prevention

Wilford Pinkney Jr. currently serves as the Director of the Office of Violence Prevention for the City of St. Louis. The Office of Violence Prevention provides strategic direction and oversight for the City of St. Louis’ efforts to create safe and healthy neighborhoods free of violence.

Mr. Pinkney previously served as the Director of the Mayor’s Office of Children, Youth, and Families for the City of St. Louis. He has overseen the development of a Crisis Management System focused on building healthy and vibrant communities by addressing trauma and increasing access to care. Prior to joining the administration, Pinkney was a FUSE Executive Fellow leading a cross-sector group of stakeholders in the development of a comprehensive pretrial reform plan in the City of St. Louis.

Wilford holds a B.S. in Organizational Management from Mercy College, a Masters in Public Administration from New York University, and a Master of Arts in Political Science from the CUNY Graduate Center. He is currently a doctoral candidate in Political Science at the CUNY Graduate Center, where he specializes in public policy and American politics.

Sign up for our mailing list

Todd Kaye

Board President

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP

A partner at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, where he focuses on mergers and acquisitions, securities law, and general corporate matters, Mr. Kaye holds a J.D. and an M.B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis. He also serves on the Board of Directors of College Bound. Mr. Kaye has been a member of Missouri Appleseed’s Board of Directors since November 2017.

Anisha Moorhead

Board Vice President

Lindenwood University

Ms. Moorhead received her B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Missouri – Columbia. She holds an M.B.A. in Marketing and an M.A. in Corporate Communication in Promotions from Lindenwood University. She is the former Director of Communications and Annual Programs for SSM Health Care – St. Louis, a former Lambert St. Louis Airport Commissioner and Forest Park Advisory Board Member, and a member of the 2011-2012 class of Leadership St. Louis. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis with an emphasis in Critical Race Theory at University of Missouri – St. Louis and an Adjunct Professor of Communications at Lindenwood University. Ms. Moorhead has been a member of Missouri Appleseed’s Board of Directors since November 2017.

Hugh A. Eastwood

Board Secretary

Attorney at Law

Mr. Eastwood is a litigator, mostly in civil rights, who has won significant verdicts and settlements for victims of government misconduct, for whistleblowers, and for those harmed by breach of trust and contract. He received his B.A. and J.D. from Yale, where he has also taught. Before law school, he managed the site design competition for the rebuilding of the World Trade Center at Ground Zero. Mr. Eastwood serves on the boards of several St. Louis nonprofits and has been a director of Missouri Appleseed since November 2017.

Molly Carney

Board Treasurer

Staff Attorney, ACLU of Missouri

Ms. Carney is a staff attorney at ACLU of Missouri. Before that, she served as in-house counsel at Wells Fargo Advisors, where she supported the brokerage business with a variety of legal matters. Previously, Ms. Carney clerked for Chief Judge Rodney Sippel of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri and spent several years practicing trusts and estates law. She is a graduate of Northwestern University and Washington University in St. Louis School of Law. She has been a member of Missouri Appleseed’s Board of Directors since April 2019.

Andrew Schlichter

Board Nominations and Governance

Schlichter Bogard & Denton

Mr. Schlichter is a trial attorney at Schlichter Bogard & Denton, where he focuses on class actions and complex civil litigation. He received his B.A. from Georgetown University and J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School and has been a member of Missouri Appleseed’s Board of Directors since November 2017.

Brandon Hall

Armstrong Teasdale, LLP

Mr. Hall is an associate attorney at Armstrong Teasdale, LLP, where he practices corporate and health care law. He obtained his B.A. in Political Science and Public Policy from the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy at SUNY Albany and his J.D. with concentrations in both health and employment law from St. Louis University School of Law. Prior to and during law school, Mr. Hall worked extensively in government relations, including on state and federal health policy issues.

Cindy Finney Henry

Attorney at Law

Ms. Henry earned her B.A. in Justice Systems from Truman State University and her J.D. from St. Louis University. She spent nearly two years as an Assistant Circuit Attorney in St. Louis City, where she prosecuted cases ranging from misdemeanors to sex crimes and child abuse. Ms. Henry then spent several years representing juveniles in delinquency and criminal proceedings as part of the Missouri Public Defender’s Juvenile Defense Unit. Most recently Ms. Henry taught several courses as an adjunct professor in the Criminal Justice Program at St. Louis Community College. Ms. Henry has been a member of Missouri Appleseed’s Board of Directors since November 2017.

Tali Katz

Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C.

Mrs. Katz is an attorney at Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C. She practices litigation with a focus on corporate defense work. She previously worked for the Office of the District Attorney General in Nashville, Tennessee, where she led the domestic violence prosecution team. In 2014, Mrs. Katz received the Outstanding State Government Official award for her work as a prosecutor. Mrs. Katz served as a director of The Mary Parrish Center for victims of domestic and sexual violence in Nashville and has been a director of Missouri Appleseed since January 2018.

Ray Lin

Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment

Mr. Lin received his B.A. from Harvard University and his J.D. from Columbia University. He is Chief Legal Officer for Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment. He is a retired partner at Latham & Watkins LLP, where his practice focused on the representation of private equity firms in mergers and acquisitions and capital market transactions. He serves on the Board of Visitors of Columbia Law School. Mr. Lin is Chairman of National Appleseed’s Board of Directors and has been a member of Missouri Appleseed’s Board of Directors since November 2017.

Jessica Moore

Head of Enterprise Strategy

Arianna Muckerman

The Centene Corporation

Arianna Muckerman is the for the Centene Corporation. She received her B.A. from Boston College and her M.P.H. from Washington University in St. Louis. She has been a member of Missouri Appleseed’s Board of Directors since July 2021.

Wilford Pinkney Jr.

St. Louis Mayor’s Office

City of St. Louis, Office of Violence Prevention

Wilford Pinkney Jr. currently serves as the Director of the Office of Violence Prevention for the City of St. Louis. The Office of Violence Prevention provides strategic direction and oversight for the City of St. Louis’ efforts to create safe and healthy neighborhoods free of violence.

Mr. Pinkney previously served as the Director of the Mayor’s Office of Children, Youth, and Families for the City of St. Louis. He has overseen the development of a Crisis Management System focused on building healthy and vibrant communities by addressing trauma and increasing access to care. Prior to joining the administration, Pinkney was a FUSE Executive Fellow leading a cross-sector group of stakeholders in the development of a comprehensive pretrial reform plan in the City of St. Louis.

Wilford holds a B.S. in Organizational Management from Mercy College, a Masters in Public Administration from New York University, and a Master of Arts in Political Science from the CUNY Graduate Center. He is currently a doctoral candidate in Political Science at the CUNY Graduate Center, where he specializes in public policy and American politics.

Alexandra Rankin

Upstream USA

Alex Rankin is the Associate Director of State Policy with Upstream USA and has worked to advance access to health care throughout her career. Prior to joining Upstream, Alex worked as the Director of Government Affairs for a large health foundation where she was responsible for engaging and educating policymakers on various health policy topics, including Medicaid and maternal and reproductive health. Alex graduated from Saint Louis University School of Law in 2015 with a concentration in health law and is a licensed attorney through the Missouri Bar. Alex lives in St. Louis with her husband, daughter, and dog and enjoys exploring new parks and the vibrant St. Louis foodie scene.

Missouri Appleseed green

Annie Beattie

St. Louis County Justice Services

Ms. Beattie is a staff attorney for the St. Louis County Justice Services Pre-Trial Release Program. She received her B.A. from the University of Virginia and her J.D. from Georgia State University College of Law. Ms. Beattie, who also serves on the founding Board of Directors of Gateway Children’s Charity, has been a member of Missouri Appleseed’s Board of Directors since November 2017.

Michelle Clardy Dobbs

Caleres, Inc.

Associate General Counsel

Missouri Appleseed - Liza Weiss

Liza Weiss

Founding Director

Liza Weiss is the Executive Director of Missouri Appleseed. Liza is a St. Louis native and former public interest attorney. She holds a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from George Washington University Law School. Liza’s professional background includes work with the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem, the Committee for Public Counsel Services, and the Children’s Law Center (DC).

Julie Alverson

US Account Director, Health and Beauty at Brand Addition

Emily Baron Bernstein

McCormack Baron Salazar

As Senior Vice President of Development at McCormack Baron Salazar, Ms. Bernstein is responsible for all aspects of the development process, including leveraging and securing project financing and coordinating a diverse team of specialists, consultants, investors, stakeholders, and public officials from project inception through project stabilization.

She has worked on multiple development projects, including North Sarah Apartments, Flance Early Learning Center, Covenant Place, and Preservation Square in St. Louis, Foote Park at South City in Memphis, Tenn., and the Cedars and Magnolia in Galveston, Texas.

Prior to joining McCormack Baron Salazar, Ms. Bernstein worked at the Nathalie P. Voorhees Center for Neighborhoods and Community Improvement and the Community Development Financial Institution, IFF, in their Real Estate Development Group. Ms. Bernstein’s experience extends beyond managing development and construction into financial structuring of both 9% and 4% low-income housing tax credit deals, as well as mixed finance transactions.

Ms. Bernstein holds a Master of Arts in Urban Planning from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies from the University of Pennsylvania.

Jake Rosenfeld

The Weidenbaum Center

Jake Rosenfeld is a professor of sociology at Washington University in St. Louis, and a resident fellow of the Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government, and Public Policy. He is primarily interested in the determinants of wages and salaries, and how these vary across time and place. His book What Unions No Longer Do (Harvard University Press 2014) examines the consequences of organized labor’s decline, and received wide attention in such outlets as the New Yorker and Harvard Business Review. His book You’re Paid What You’re Worth and Other Myths of the Modern Economy (Harvard University Press 2021) seeks to answer the basic question: who gets what and why? The book has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Harvard Business Review, among other outlets. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton University.

Mary Quandt

Mary Quandt

Director of Public Health Policy

Mary Quandt is the Director of Public Health Policy at Missouri Appleseed. Originally from rural Wisconsin, she has called Missouri home for almost a decade. Mary received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a Master of Public Health from Washington University in St. Louis, and a law degree from St. Louis University School of Law. Before Missouri Appleseed, Mary served in the Peace Corps as a health educator and worked with various public health nonprofits.

Start Typing