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Freshmen to Watch: Michael Person

  

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — State Rep. Michael Person has expanded his career in public service to the state legislature. 

Person has extensive experience with local politics in his hometown of St. Louis, having worked on multiple campaigns as well as having served as the Ferguson Township Democratic committeeman. He was elected to the General Assembly in a special election for HD 74 last year. 

And Person said the jump to the state legislature seemed like the natural thing to do. 

“I’ve always been involved in public service, so it was not a question of if I should do this. I’ve always been involved in public service in one way or another, and the occupation of helping people has always been on my radar,” Person told The Missouri Times. 

State Rep. Michael Person

Aside from his legislative duties, Person has worked with Ameren for 14 years, working on diversity and inclusion issues. He also served on the Riverview Gardens School Board from 2004 to 2007 and has worked as an algebra tutor. 

“If you’re trying to grow a flower, if you’re trying to grow a tree, if you’re trying to grow a community, it always has to grow from something. I’m very concerned with the kids and the undereducation of our youth,” Person said. “Many are not being given the tools they need to succeed in society, particularly from the public school system. There are a lot of opportunities out there, but the question is what we need to do to get these kids the fundamental skills they need to be successful.”

Person’s proposed legislation this session includes two public safety bills — and many of his co-sponsored legislation relates to safety and criminal justice issues as well. HB 2739 would add instruction on victim statements to the Department of Public Safety’s required training on human trafficking. Another bill, HB 2740, would require local law enforcement to provide current photos of missing people within 10 days of a filed report. 

“A major focus is career readiness and making sure our kids are prepared to be successful. Criminal justice and public safety are issues that go right back to the kids, making sure they have something to do besides being idle minds involved in activities that don’t have futures and becoming involved in things that endanger them and the public in general,” Person said.

Person serves on three House committees this session, including Crime Prevention and Public Safety and the Special Committee on Career Readiness. He says he is committed to his constituents and proud to continue his career in public service in a new capacity. 

“In this position, you have to listen, hold true to your values, and be prepared to make a difference because you are informed of what and where the issues are, and how you can make a difference.”