The Jackson County Legislature selected new leadership for the 2024 legislative session. These selections underscore the power of unity and collaboration over partisan divisions.
My role as Vice Chair of the Legislature was reaffirmed, and I stand alongside our newly selected Chairwoman, Jeanie Lauer, in a bipartisan leadership endeavor, during a time of entrenched political polarization in Jackson County and across the country.
While Jeanie and I come from different political backgrounds—she a Republican and myself a Democrat—we are united by a shared commitment to the people of Jackson County and a profound understanding of the urgent challenges we face.
The gravity of these challenges cannot be overstated. Our community is grappling with rising property taxes that burden hardworking families, an alarming surge in violent crime that threatens our neighborhoods, a devastating opioid epidemic that continues to claim lives, and a persistent homelessness crisis that demands compassionate and effective solutions.
Addressing these pressing issues requires more than partisan rhetoric; it demands bipartisan action, innovative strategies, and a relentless focus on delivering tangible results for our constituents.
The recent leadership selection process was not without its partisan threats and pressures. I commend the courage of my colleagues who chose to maintain their integrity in the face of gutter politics from some of the highest officeholders across our state. I thank you, and the people of Jackson County thank you. Your courage under fire is exactly what is needed to fix a broken political system that continues to pump out new forms of injustice and inequity every day.
The divisive nature of contemporary politics often tempts us to retreat into our respective party affiliations, viewing compromise as a sign of weakness rather than a pathway to progress. However, I firmly believe that choosing partisanship over progress is a disservice to the people we are sworn to serve.
Reflecting on the past year, it is evident that a one-party approach to leadership has proven insufficient in addressing the multifaceted challenges confronting our county. The lack of collaboration and dialogue across party lines has stymied our efforts to enact meaningful reforms and deliver relief to our constituents.
As we usher in 2024, we must adopt a more inclusive and collaborative approach to governance—one that transcends partisan divisions and prioritizes the well-being of our community.
As a 20-year Marine veteran, I have had the honor of serving alongside individuals from diverse backgrounds and political persuasions. During my tenure in the Marine Corps, I learned the invaluable lesson that unity is essential to achieving our shared objectives.
As a Democrat and a Black woman living in Missouri, I am acutely aware of the importance of working with individuals who may not share my beliefs on every issue. However, such differences should not hinder our ability to work together for the people of Jackson County.
Our challenges are too great to be addressed through partisan bickering and ideological rigidity. Bipartisanship is not merely a political practical; it is a moral imperative. The people of Jackson County deserve leaders who are willing to set aside their differences, engage in constructive dialogue, and work diligently to improve the lives of our constituents.
I want to reaffirm my unwavering commitment to serving the people of Jackson County with integrity, compassion, and dedication. Jeanie Lauer and I are united in our resolve to forge a new path forward—a path defined by collaboration, innovation, and a relentless pursuit of progress. I know my legislative colleagues, in their heart of hearts, feel the same. Together, we will work to address the pressing challenges facing our community and build a brighter, more prosperous future for all residents.
Jackson County Legislature