JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — As lawmakers in the lower chamber assemble in full for the first time since May, many legislators wore face masks to combat the spread of COVID-19. Here’s a look at some of the best masks worn by state lawmakers during session.
Rep. Raychel Proudie, a St. Louis representative, wore a print mask from St. John Knits, a fashion house that has begun designing masks. She told The Missouri Times it was fun to look stylish while also keeping people safe.
“It’s a necessary thing. It’s uncomfortable, but … it’s a small sacrifice for the wellbeing of everybody so I’m happy to do it.”
Rep. Kerri Ingle said she has a large collection of masks but chose one for Monday with the phrase “Ew, David,” splayed across it. The phrase on the mask is a reference from the hit comedy “Schitt’s Creek.”
“This is one of my favorites because it’s simple. Everyone laughs when they see it,” Ingle said. “I chose something nonpolitical to make everyone smile and make the most out of the situation.”Rep. Peggy McGaugh wore a unique mask that serves two functions.
“I bought it in my hometown of Carrollton, and I thought it was stylish but also functional because when you take the loops off your ears, it doubles as a scarf.”
“Mine is the city flag of St. Louis. I wanted to show my support while we were discussing the residency requirement and maybe the prosecutor down the line,” she said, referring to the anti-crime legislation at the heart of the special session.
“You know how people say when you’re wearing camo they can’t see you? Well, my mask is camo so you can’t see it,” Hicks said. “And you can’t see a smile under a mask, and I’m a guy who likes to smile, so I have this one too.”
Several representatives wore “Good Trouble” masks on the floor. Reps. Ashley Bland Manlove, Rasheen Aldridge, LaKeySha Bosley, Matt Sain, and Ian Mackey explained to The Missouri Times what the term coined by the late U.S. Congressman John Lewis meant to them.
“It’s about your First Amendment right to be able to hold your elected officials accountable but in a peaceful way,” Manlove said.
“All of us with these Good Trouble masks on are standing on the shoulders of great individuals like John Lewis, who was an activist as well as a legislator,” Aldridge said. “We’re here to address violence in St. Louis but not the root cause, and it’s important for us that we cause good trouble.”Speaker Elijah Haahr also represented the Show-Me State with his mask as he presided over the House.
There is no mask mandate in the Capitol, despite a Democratic representative filing a resolution to change that in the lower chamber. While most wore masks during the special session — in committee hearings and on the floor — several have not.