This article is one of a three-part series exploring the day-to-day lives of state representatives, from floor debates to committee hearings and more.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Democratic Rep. Raychel Proudie spends the majority of her day reading bills and amendments as well as meeting with other legislators.
At the beginning of the session, Proudie spends a lot of time asking for her bills to be heard or sent to a committee. But now, as the session winds down, Proudie’s main focus is reading Senate bills that are coming to the House floor. Proudie pays extra attention to the amendments added to each bill to ensure that she knows what she is voting for.
“This is the time where you can vote on what you thought was a good bill, they slap an amendment on it, [and] it’s something that is going to be adverse to your district,” Proudie said.
She also spends time meeting with other legislators to discuss and tweak bills instead of spending time enquiring of them from the floor. Her reasoning: “The less time we spend on lengthy floor inquiries, if we can help it, the more we can get done.”
Proudie does the majority of her work outside of her Jefferson City office, noting that being a representative is not a part-time job as she is always on call.
“When people need help with stuff, they will call me and be like ‘I need some bread,’ and I’ll get it if I’m home,” Proudie said.
Last year, Proudie worked with Republican Attorney General Eric Schmitt to raise money and clean up a municipality in her district. The money raised also went to purchasing food for people who needed it during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic with Proudie herself often packaging and delivering the supplies to her constituents.
As part of the superminority, Proudie said she is even more thinly spread than her Republican counterparts.
Proudie leads the Special Committee on Urban Issues but also serves on the Children and Families, Elementary and Secondary Education, and Higher Education committees as well as the Joint Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect.
In her Special Committee on Urban Issues, Proudie does not limit the testimonies.
“If you drove all the way here to have your voice heard, I’m not going to cut you off. I’m going to let you get that off,” Proudie said. “When people drive down here to say their piece we’re going to listen to them.”
Proudie feels as though her biggest accomplishment in the legislature is being able to serve an underserved community.
While there is no part of her day that she dislikes, Proudie particularly enjoys the drive to the Capitol. Proudie said she plays her music at full blast and always listens to “hood rap music.”
“I am known to be very shrewd, [but] in the car I am just loose,” Proudie said.
Elise Eaker studies journalism at Lincoln University. Prior to Lincoln, Elise graduated from Fulton High School. She is a native of Fulton.