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Priorities that Matter in the Northland

For more than a decade our Missouri legislature has been controlled by a Republican supermajority. In that time, we have seen annual cuts to our public education, thousands have lost their health insurance, restrictions on reproductive rights, and our state has some of the weakest gun laws in the country. Republican control of our state has moved us in the wrong direction, and now it’s time to move Missouri forward by ending the GOP supermajority.

District 16 is one of eight Republican-held House districts across Missouri where Democrats have won before. Nicole Galloway, Lauren Arthur, Claire McCaskill, and Jason Kander have carried our district in past elections. This district needs a Democrat who will represent us in the State House as well.

If we can flip those eight districts—ours included—we will end the supermajority in the House and will be one step closer to having a fair and balanced government in Jefferson City once again. To have a better chance at passing our people-first policies, we must have a legislature where all voices can be heard, and all stories can be shared.

I want all Missourians to have a government that really works for them—not a political party. We can achieve this in 2020 by flipping the 16th blue and sending a message, loud and clear, that we Missourians want a legislature that is fair, transparent, and puts people first.

Common Sense Gun Policy

As of 2018, Missouri ranked fourth in the nation for gun-related deaths by the Violence Policy Center. According to Giffords Law Center, “the state has allowed people to carry concealed, loaded firearms in public without a background check or permit.” The Giffords Law Center has also given Missouri an “F” grade for having some of the weakest gun laws in the country.

Enough is enough, my fellow Missourians. I fully believe that it is possible to pass common-sense gun legislation that also respects the Second Amendment and responsible gun ownership. We must do everything we can to make our state and our communities as safe as possible. This includes universal background checks, waiting periods before every sale, firearm registration, and many more.

I am honored to receive the Moms Demand Action distinction as a 2020 Gun Sense Candidate. I am proud to be a Missourian because our great state has one of the most active Moms Demand Action chapters in the country. I stand with every Moms member in Missouri in wanting safer schools, safer neighborhoods, and a greater peace of mind. The time is now for the Show-Me State to also be a safe state.

Public Education

I was born and raised in the Northland and am a proud product of Liberty Public Schools—go Jays! I fully believe in Missouri Public Education and everything it has to offer. Unfortunately, the Republican supermajority does not share that belief. Under their control, we have seen cuts to education, efforts to expand charter schools, and our teachers being paid at one of the lowest rates in the nation. This is unacceptable.

In the Missouri House, I will be a dedicated advocate for Missouri public education, our students, and our teachers. I will fight to reinvest in our students, to fully fund our public schools, and to pay our teachers what they deserve. And, I will oppose the expansion of charter schools, which robs our school districts of much-needed funding and opportunities.

Between the Liberty and North Kansas City public school districts, district 16 is home to some of the best public education in all of Missouri. I benefited from the endless opportunities that our public schools had to offer, and I am running to make sure all Northland children have those same opportunities—now and in the future.

Health Care

Every human being needs health care—plain and simple. This is why I believe health care is a human right for all Missourians. As your State Representative, I will work in a bipartisan manner to make health care more affordable and accessible for all.

In recent years, we have seen countless hospital closings in our rural communities, severe restrictions to Missourians’ reproductive rights, and over 100,000 citizens who have lost their health coverage. Again, this is unacceptable.

Once elected, I’ll work to pass Medicaid expansion, which will provide health care to those who need it most and will help keep our rural hospitals open. I’ll advocate for a statewide prescription drug monitoring program to further combat the opioid epidemic. Lastly, I will stand with Planned Parenthood and all supporters in protecting reproductive rights for all Missourians.


District 16 is home to countless firefighters, teachers, autoworkers, members of the police force, and more. All of these workers rely on their respective unions to provide benefits to them and their families. After WWII, unions helped build a strong middle class and contributed to making America the country it is today. It’s time to strengthen our Missouri unions so we can begin to rebuild a strong middle class in our state.

Being a union employee runs in my family. My great-grandfather was a union worker who worked for the first KCMO Ford plant. For the past seven years, I worked for the Actors' Equity Association as a member of the actors union. I’ve experienced the benefits of working for a union and have seen how those benefits can positively affect the surrounding community.

To all the men and women in Missouri who are union strong, as your State Representative, I will always stand in solidarity with you and will tirelessly work to strengthen our union workforce long into the future.

Paid for by The Committee to Elect James Shackelford, Bety Le Treasurer.
© 2020 The Committee to Elect James Shackelford