JEFFERSON CITY, Mo — Rep. Courtney Curtis and his legislative assistant, Travis Gregory, have known one another since they were children.
Gregory met Curtis when he was six, Curtis was just three years older. They both attended the Kossuth Church of Christ. Quickly a long lasting friendship developed fostered in a family atmosphere.
“You know the relationship Superman and Batman have in the Justice League?” Gregory said. “It’s almost like a big brother, little brother mentality.”
Gregory grew up in St. Louis city just 5 minutes from the Arch, but his parents moved to North County and he went to Hazelwood East High School, near Curtis’
current legislative district.
They both went to the University of Missouri and were leaders in the Legion of Black Collegians, with Gregory serving as Vice President. One of their accomplishments at Mizzou was leading the charge to rename the General Classroom Building Strickland Hall, after the university’s first black faculty member Arvah E. Strickland.
During this time, the duo established a policy of identifying a problem and finding a solution. The problems they face now are a little more daunting. Curtis prime objective is working for the schools in his district, which include Normandy and Riverview that face bankruptcy. School transfers are a key concern.
Curtis is also looking at economics specifically encouraging startup businesses. This may mean supporting tax credit programs that were intended for the chopping block.
“There are so many variables involved,” Gregory said. “We know we’re not in a position to create a silver bullet but we want to help create jobs.”
Although Gregory and Curtis have often been equals, Gregory has no illusions about his current position as Curtis’ legislative assistant. He currently does not have designs about going any further in politics.
“I have to do this job first and worry about everything else later,” he said.
When he’s not at the capitol, Gregory enjoys writing – screenplays and short stories for example. He would not divulge what type of movie he was writing.
“I feel like that’s the most cliché thing right now,” he said. “Like when you tell a girl you’re in a band. That’s not that big a turn on.”
Art may imitate life if Gregory’s favorite shows are window to his inspiration: “West Wing” and “House of Cards.” But, he’s also a fan of comedies his favorite being “Coming to America.”
“If I ever met Eddie Murphy, I would freak out,” he said.