Members of Missouri’s Black Caucus are taking the lead in protests around their communities, according to House Minority Leader Crystal Quade.
“There is no way that I can adequately express what members of the black community are feeling right now,” Quade said. “It’s an honor that I get to be the leader for a team of really diverse individuals but there’s definitely no way that I can convey it, so what I’ve been doing is letting the Black Caucus lead on this and listening to them the best that I can and standing beside them the best that I can.”
Quade appeared on “This Week in Missouri Politics” Sunday to discuss the ongoing protests that have stemmed from the death of George Floyd, caused by police officers in Minneapolis. She also responded to the annual vehicle stops report released by the Attorney General’s Office recently, as well as the policies surrounding the issue.
“In Missouri, we’ve been tracking the police pull-over rates and the checking of vehicles since 2000,” Quade said. “We’ve seen a rapid increase every year in African Americans getting disproportionately pulled over.”
Quade further discussed the use of social workers in police calls, Missouri’s COVID-19 response, the success of Planned Parenthood in its recent court case, and the bill signed last week by Gov. Mike Parson expanding access to absentee ballots due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 response and St. Louis County
St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page also appeared on the show to discuss recent events and the impact they had on his assuming that position.
“Any of the three historical events could stand on their own; taking over under a cloud of a federal investigation, the worldwide pandemic, and the civil rights unrest, discussions, and questions that we have seen in our country for 50 or 60 years,” Page said. “There’s a lot going on in St. Louis County right now.”
Page discussed the response to the pandemic in his county, as well as the comparison of St. Louis County to smaller areas of the state.
The final segment of the show featured Rick Stream, St. Louis County’s budget committee chairman. Stream discussed the new bill allowing voters to vote absentee in deference to COVID-19 and the future of the voting process now that remote voting is an option.
“It’s safe, it’s really safe,” said Stream. “If we do this bill properly, if we implement it properly, I think we’re going to see the people like what happens. Whether it goes past 2020 is up to the legislature.”
For more on the protests, COVID-19, and absentee voting, check out the full episode of “This Week in Missouri Politics” below.