Who is Barbara Phifer?
Barbara Phifer passionately believes in serving others and building strong communities, She believes every person needs access to health care, every child should have access to quality education, and that people should have meaningful productive jobs that pay a living wage. She asks your support to put these beliefs in action through sound policies and laws.
After graduating from Hickman High School, Columbia, Missouri, Cornell College in Iowa, and St. Paul School of Theology, Barbara served as a pastor in the United Methodist Church. She served congregations for 41 years throughout Missouri, except for five years in Montevideo, Uruguay. She retired from pastoral ministry in 2019.
She is married, and the mother of five and grandmother of seven. While her work required to move around, she considered Kirkwood home, and has lived there for 17 of the last 30 years, and now makes her permanent home there.
She served many years as a board member and president of Accion Social Communitaria, a non profit providing health care to medically underserved families in St. Louis. Through the Carter Center, an international NGO, she served as an election observer in Nicaragua in 1990. In 2019, she worked with her local church, the Pattonville School District and Youth In Need to create a counseling center for children and youth who have been affected by the landfill in the Bridgeton area.
For many years, Barbara has served as an interpreter for short-term medical teams in Central and South America.
Ready to make calls? Click HERE. Want to know more? Scroll down to see where Barbara Phifer stands on the issues.
Quality, accessible, and affordable healthcare is every Missourian’s right. But every year Missouri families must make increasingly difficult decisions for how they prioritize spending on prescription drugs and medical bills over the basic costs of living.
At the same time, the Republican-led House has left millions of federal dollars on the table meant for expanding healthcare access to Missourians. Their inaction means less healthy communities, higher premiums for those with coverage, and the loss of hospitals, especially in rural areas.
As your state representative, I’ll support common sense measures like expanding Medicaid, so no Missourian is forced to choose between a decent job and keeping their healthcare.
Every Missouri child should have access to free, quality public education regardless of their zip code. As your representative, I will work to strengthen our public schools and fully fund our commitment to our kids.
I will support universal early childhood education, because investing in our kids from an early age is the best way for us to invest in our future. I will also support investment in higher education and workforce training, to ensure all Missourians have the opportunity to gain the skills to compete in our economy.
A strong economy is one that works for everyone. As your state rep, I’ll fight for those who truly build up our economy—our workers—for the wages, benefits, and protections they deserve. I’ll support investments in educational opportunities to support a 21st century workforce.
I’ll work for policies that support local businesses who provide good jobs in our state and keep our economy growing. And I’ll work to bring new businesses here that want to capitalize on our skilled Missouri workforce and quality of life. But I’ll always put workers’ interests before the special interests of large corporations.
Central to the role of government is to fairly enforce the law, and to provide protection for its people. I will support our law enforcement officers in their difficult jobs, while also demanding accountability when they overreach.
I will support tough sentences for violent criminals, while also seeking ways to reduce our prison population and reintegrate folks into society after they have served their time. I’ll also support drug treatment courts and diversion programs that find alternative ways to punish and rehabilitate non-violent criminals without simply throwing them in prison.
No matter where you live in Missouri, the root causes of crime are the same: a lack of educational and work opportunities, along with drug addiction and poverty. Addressing these basic issues must always be central in any conversation about crime.
Our prescription drug epidemic tragically touches too many families in every community across Missouri. Tracking the frequency of prescriptions filled for these addictive drugs would allow for a chance to intervene with high risk users and save lives.
One critical tool our state can deploy to combat the misuse of opioids is the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP). Missouri remains the only state in the entire country without a statewide PDMP, and I will support efforts to finally pass this legislation for our citizens.
Agriculture is the backbone of Missouri, and at the heart of it are our family farms—where many of us call home and why generations before us settled here. But passing down our way of life to future generations is becoming increasingly challenging.
Our local communities used to have a say in how farming was done in our backyards, but the Republican-led state legislature has passed bills favoring large corporate farms and pushing out family farms.
Last year, state Republicans passed a bill taking control from local communities to regulate certain large feeding operations known as CAFOs. This allows large scale operations to buy up local farms, push the production limits of the land, and pollute our communities’ treasured landscape without local oversight.
As your state rep, I’ll advocate for the state of Missouri to protect local control, giving ordinary citizens easier access to have their say on how farming operates in their community.
Government works best when it is closer to the people it serves. I respect the fabric of our local communities and trust them to know best when it comes to overcoming the challenges they face.
In Missouri, we have seen many decisions influenced by special interests, circumventing the will of local communities on local issues by preempting local ordinances with state law or by diluting local opposition to matters by including state-wide votes.
I believe in the saying “show me your budget, and I’ll show you your values.” Our state’s budget serves as a moral contract with our citizens. Every year, it is up to the state government to allocate the tax dollars you pay to maintain and improve our quality of living.
But while our schools are underfunded, our healthcare costs are on the rise while our taxes increase, and we’re borrowing money to pay for our crumbling roads and bridges, corporations in Missouri are receiving tax cuts and incentive packages.
We simply should not be handing out money to corporations hoping that prosperity will trickle down. As your state rep, I will be a careful steward of your tax dollars in Jefferson City.
I believe you and your family are the economic drivers of our state. Our budget should reflect that by investing in the things that will improve you and your family’s life, rather than lining the pockets of big businesses.
Every person should have the autonomy to make decisions about their body and their life. Republicans have passed extreme abortion bans in recent years, limiting access to abortion even in cases of rape, incest, or medical need.
Mothers die from childbirth in Missouri in numbers far greater than the rest of the industrialized world, and instead of promoting healthcare, Missouri legislators have placed burdensome restrictions on it.
Republicans have gone so far as to pass legislation that costs hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to defend against Constitutional challenges, while at the same time blaming budget shortfalls for lack of funding for essential items like school transportation.
As your state rep, I will stand with women for the right to make the best decisions about their healthcare for their own lives.
Transparency and Ethics
Faith in government and the political process is the cornerstone of a functioning democracy. As your state rep, I’ll fight to shine a light on those who conceal their donors and influence our politics with dark money.
Over the years, Republicans have eroded the barrier between special interests and politics. In 2018, Missourians overwhelmingly voted in favor of Amendment 1, known as CLEAN MO. It capped contributions and limited the way money could move in and out of campaign coffers.
Special interests have continued to find loopholes around these laws, pushing ‘dark money’ further into the political process. At the same time, Republicans are advocating for the repeal of Amendment 1.
Ultimately, this campaign isn’t about me. This is your campaign and I want you to be proud of it and the coalition we build along the way. That’s why I’ll provide you easy access to the sources of our campaign money.
Every year for the past two decades, the Missouri Non-Discrimination Act (MONA) has been filed, only to be blocked by Republicans. MONA would allow basic protections to our LGBTQ community by adding sexual orientation and gender identity to Missouri’s Human Rights Act.
Missourians should not have to fear losing their jobs or being denied housing for who they love—discrimination that is currently completely legal in our state.
Meanwhile, Republicans in recent years have also passed legislation that makes it easier for employers, landlords or businesses to discriminate based on race, age, religion or gender—more so than in any other state.
As your state rep, I will work for a Missouri that welcomes people regardless of race, religion, gender, age or sexual orientation, and protects all people from discrimination.