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HD 96: Leslie Derrington

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Who is Leslie?

Leslie Derrington is a proud stay-at-home mother and progressive advocate whose real-life experience informs her perspective on how our state government should be serving Missouri families.

Leslie was born and raised in St. Louis County, the seventh of eight kids in a Catholic family. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from Missouri State University. While bartending and planning for graduate school, Leslie became pregnant with her first child in 2006. This incredible news changed her life and plans forever. As a single, working mom waiting tables and taking classes, she experienced firsthand the need for a strong social safety net, including affordable childcare and universal healthcare.

She married her husband Glen, an immigrant from Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 2009. In 2012 their baby girl was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy, a rare genetic disease. She decided then to become a stay-at-home mom to care for her daughter and became an advocate for funding scientific research into rare diseases.

Leslie testified before the Missouri Legislature in 2017 to successfully advocate for adding spinal muscular atrophy to statewide newborn screenings. Thanks to her work, hundreds of Missouri families will receive early diagnoses and early, lifesaving and life-changing treatments for children with this devastating disease.

Knowing that protections for pre-existing conditions make the difference between life or death, financial security or poverty for families like hers, Leslie traveled to Washington, DC, in 2017 to advocate for the Affordable Care Act when Republicans came within one vote of repeal. In 2018 she went back to Washington to advocate for spinal muscular atrophy newborn screening nationwide. These experiences taught her the power of advocacy to make real change through the democratic process.

Since then Leslie has volunteered for progressive causes including expanding Medicaid and environmental action. She is a fierce believer in the power of a world class education and a proud Lindbergh School District parent. As the mother of a child with a disability and seven-figure annual medical bills, she will advocate for a Medicaid buy-in option for disabled workers so they will never have to choose between financial security or critical medical needs.

Leslie's family believes that the best way to impact your community is through service. Her daughter is an ambassador for the Children’s Miracle Network and the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Her husband has been involved with the Disabled Athletes Sports Association for the past seven years as a coach, as well as Lindbergh's Athletic Association.

It’s time to bring Leslie’s values and Democratic voice to Jefferson City and to put a stop to the apathy that has left too many Missouri House seats unchallenged, virtually handing them to Republicans. We need leaders focused on the people they represent, not their own ambitions. We need leaders who understand that legislating is about improving lives, not generating soundbites. We need to create a future for our kids here in District 96.

Leslie is excited to represent the Crestwood community, her home and extended family for the past eight years. When she’s not running for office, she enjoys spending time with her children, attempting to garden, and cheering on the St. Louis Cardinals and St. Louis Blues.

Ready to make calls? Click HERE. Want to know more? Scroll down to see where Leslie stands on the issues.

Healthcare

I believe every Missourian has a right to quality healthcare that is both local and affordable.

As the parent of a medically fragile child, I know how difficult it can be for families to keep up with soaring healthcare costs. That's why I volunteered with the effort to expand Medicaid. Our Republican-led legislature rejected billions of federal dollars meant to provide healthcare for Missourians. Because of their actions, we all suffered from higher premiums and fewer options until Missourians voted to expand Medicaid in 2020 - a bold action that Republicans are trying to roll back, against voters wishes, right now.

Missourians are further suffering from critical shortages of doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, and personal care attendants. We have to create incentives for these essential workers and provide them with the support they need.

As your state representative, I will fight for quality healthcare for your family regardless of your income or zip code.

Education

I believe in the power of a world class public education.

I earned my degree in Elementary Education from Missouri State University and am a proud Lindbergh School District parent. Republicans have underfunded our public schools leaving local communities to make the difficult choice between raising taxes or leaving schools shorthanded. State funding for public four-year colleges has dropped nearly 50 per cent, per student, since 2000, passing those rising costs onto families and saddling graduates with out of control student loans.

Missouri's kids deserve so much more.

Priorities:

  • Expand funding for Pre-K education
  • Invest in our public universities and colleges
  • Support workforce training programs
  • Keep public money in public schools

Gun Laws

We need common-sense gun laws. Now.

As a mother of three school-aged children I am devastated by recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York and Uvalde, Texas, and devastated by the knowledge that this list will grow before the November election. We cannot become numb and accept this as our status quo. We need leaders to take bold action to protect Missouri families from gun violence.

Republicans in Jefferson City have recklessly loosened gun laws and made Missourians less safe, bill by bill. In St. Louis City, nearly 90 percent of 2020 homicides were committed with a gun, and the homicide rate was 16 times higher than the national average. We have to put a stop to the gun epidemic with common-sense laws now. We don't need to wait for the next tragedy to act.

Priorities:

  • End permitless carry
  • Mandatory background checks
  • Prohibit domestic abusers from possessing guns

Reproductive Rights

I believe in a woman's right to choose.

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 care even in cases of rape, incest, or medical need.

Missouri ranks 42nd for maternal mortality, meaning that more mothers die here while pregnant, during delivery, or up to a year after pregnancy than in almost any state in the nation. Instead of promoting healthcare and supporting women, Missouri legislators have placed burdensome restrictions on them. This is shameful.

As your state rep, I will stand for women's right to choose, and for quality healthcare no matter what their choice.

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