“…Not only are these bills [in the General Assembly] oppressive, but a lot of them are absurd…”
Missouri Representative David Tyson Smith (D-45).
The Boone County Democratic Central Committee held a picnic fundraiser in Cosmo-Bethel Park yesterday afternoon in Columbia.
Missouri Representative David Tyson Smith (D-45).
State Representatives David Tyson Smith (D-45) addressed the crowd:
…The Republicans have realized that if everybody votes they can’t win. Okay. That’s a reality. They know that if everybody votes they can’t win elections. And so they’ve been using the Trump lie, about the stolen election, to justify these outrageous bills that they’re trying to move through the legislature…
As I complete my six years in the Missouri legislature, I have made the difficult decision to forego my final term in the Missouri House of Representatives. Instead, I will join Senator-elect Greg Razer (D-Kansas City) as his Chief of Staff. While this was a difficult decision to make, I am confident it is the right decision and I am excited about this opportunity. Allow me to explain my decision.
I have served six years in a super-minority party to which I remain committed. With my focus on the state’s budget, my attention to crafting policies that push our state forward, and my desire to forge relationships built on trust, I feel strongly that I have been an effective representative for the 45th District. I am very proud of my work expanding access to telehealth services, which has proven critical during the pandemic. I am proud of my six years’ work on the Budget Committee, and for the 3.5 years serving as the Ranking Minority Member, delving into the state’s budget and finding ways to appropriate funding for our shared priorities.
Mostly, I am proud of my work helping constituents navigate state government. As important as it is to affect state policy, working with the people of the District has been the most rewarding part of the job. The relationships I have developed across the District, the city of Columbia, and Boone County have made me a better person and a better representative.
Serving in a super-minority has been very challenging, but it has not prevented me from finding ways to be effective. I have focused my time and energy on opening new pathways for communication, while building trust inside the Capitol and across the three branches of government in order to have a seat at the table and impact public policy. In the age of term limits, the seat that I have worked hard to attain and honor to the very best of my ability is two short years from being pulled out from under me.
Term limits, especially when reduced to eight years in Missouri’s House and Senate, work against good governance and do nothing to improve it. Speaking from direct experience, it has taken me six years to earn the respect needed to be an effective member of a super-minority and to feel confident in my ability to serve in this important role. The state budget alone requires years of experience in order to fully understand its complexity. The six years that I have taken to study and dissect the budget, to understand its implications and ramifications, will have been lost because of term limits, forcing yet another newly elected representative to repeat the process, without ever having gained an in-depth understanding or achieved the necessary expertise and continuity to craft sound budgetary policy. The lack of institutional knowledge by elected officials in the House is obvious. We train up members of the General Assembly only to indiscriminately kick them out the door as they hit their stride. This is not good for democracy and it is not ideal for effective governing.
In order to continue to build on the foundation I have built over the last six years and ensure my continued ability to impact policy in Missouri, I am humbled to accept the offer made by Senator-elect Razer to serve as his Chief of Staff. Senator-elect Razer and I have worked together for the past four years in the Missouri House. We have shared interests in policy and priorities. Senator-elect Razer is a True Son of the University of Missouri and he was literally Truman the Tiger. It is important to me that he will continue to be a champion for higher education, especially for Mizzou. Undoubtedly, we will have policy disagreements from time to time, but rest assured that I will do my best to advise him in continuing to make decisions that are in the best interest of Missouri.
It has been my absolute honor to serve my constituents as representative of the 45th District. I know my decision will upset some, and I understand. But I ask that you please know my decision is made in good faith as a way to continue the work that I started six years ago. I am no less committed today than at the beginning of my first term to serving the people of Missouri. I hope to return to elected office in the future, if the voters agree. Now, I am ready to become Chief of Staff for Senator-elect Razer and work hard for Missourians in a new way.