Who is Luke Barber?
Luke Barber is challenging the current incumbent Dean Plocher in the 2020 general election.
Luke is running to bring greater accessibility and inclusion for the disabled, to force government accountability and remove dark money from politics, and to correct the lack of response to COVID-19 as a public health concern that is costing us lost wages, poor healthcare, and the death of loved ones.
Luke Barber graduated from Kirkwood High School in 2014 and earned an Associate Degree from Saint Louis Community College in 2018. He is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work & Public Policy from the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL). He was one of the founders of the Able-Disable Partnership at UMSL which is a student club focused on advocating for students with disabilities, especially for needed building modifications. Luke Barber is a disability self-advocate, who has a diagnosis of autism. He is very familiar with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. While not a lawyer, he has won several discrimination cases as a plaintiff. He also has presented several sessions at multiple national conferences about disability and self-advocacy.
Luke is currently employed by Easterseals Midwest as a Self-Determination Instructor , teaching others with disabilities about their rights and responsibilities . He also is employed by Schnucks Markets Inc. and works on the front line of the Des Peres Store, serving those who are sheltering at home. He is proud to be a member of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union local 655, and an Eagle Scout of Troop 313; his Eagle Project was building a training course for the Puppies for Parole, a rehabilitative program in which prisoners train dogs for adoption in coordination with the Missouri Department of Corrections and Local Animal Shelters.
Luke said, “I have come to understand the struggles workers face every day from slave wages, eroding collective bargaining rights, and most recently, the challenges that come with providing a safe working environment and customer experience while we navigate through this pandemic. I know the importance and invaluable benefits unions bring to the workplace. I am also a member of a vast community of individuals with mental and developmental disabilities whose contributions to our communities and the region often are ignored and marginalized. Being autistic, I understand the marginalization of my disabled brothers and sisters in our community and, with your help, can organize a district-wide coalition of community members to make sure our voices are not only heard but are respected and valued.My opponent has raised massive amounts of donations from special interest groups who are fighting to further marginalize members of our district and allow our workplace to be less safe. My opponent has also failed our district with an abysmal record for not voting on crucial legislation due to his poor attendance. Where is Dean Plocher? We must stand together to fix our failing healthcare system and to provide safety in our communities and workplaces. I will fight to expand social safety nets like Medicare and Medicaid. I will work to ensure that members of our district with disabilities are treated with respect and value in the workplace, and fight for a living wage.”
The lines have been drawn. We must act to ensure that our communities and the 89th district are protected, and our voices are heard at the State Capital. Let’s stand together to make our votes count in Jefferson City. Click HERE to begin making calls for Luke.
Ready to make calls? Click HERE. Want to know more? Scroll on down to see where Luke 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.
There was a Purge of 100,000 individuals on Medicaid , Which involved outdated computer systems(Fortran) which did not reference the foodstamp, and Social Security lists meaning those with automatic eligibility under federal law were improperly removed .
Also in order to recieve Targeted Case management , and other services for those with disabilities it requires medicaid , and we are prohibited from using the healthcare exchange to get private insurance .
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.
K-12 Education is the first step to workforce development ; Without basic math , the ability to read and write , it becomes next to impossible to gain even an entry level job .
We must also make sure Education is accessible and the academic accommodations are given so that those with disabilities can learn in a manner that allows them to achieve their full potential .
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.
It also would tell us if certain doctors are over prescribing , and thus could ask for the peer reviewed evidence that says it would be an effective treatment and if safer alternatives exist .
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.
Also with the invention of Narcan, Many people can step in and intervene to prevent a death from an overdose.
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.
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 their 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 2, Medical Marijuana .
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.