District 6 Representative
Mitch Wrenn, Democrat
District 6 needs someone who will stand in Jefferson City for all classes of people for more jobs, economic growth, and a fair wage. No one who works 40 hours a week should live in poverty. Healthcare is a right for every man, woman and child in this country and must be provided at a reasonable cost so it does not bankrupt people who find it a hardship to pay their medical bills. I am not in this race to make it a career, I have already had one life long career. I am in it to make our state better and more progressive. We now have people in power in Jefferson City who only represent their big donors and special interest and they are told and instructed on how to vote on issues with a rubber stamp, or else. Who speaks for the common middle class or those less fortunate? We must do the harder right instead of the easy wrong. Our capitol needs a good bath. Now is not the time to just sit back and do nothing. If we do not stand for what is right, how will history judge us? It will be our grandchildren who will eventually write the history of what we do now. After all, this job I seek to fulfill is that of a public servant. Government of the people, by the people and for the people.
I attended four years at Military Academy, four years U.S. Navy, finance officer for American Legion Post No. 57 Bucklin, two years volunteer worker VA hospital Columbia, Mo., Employed by BNSF for 36 years, Marceline Rotary Club member, Marceline Chamber of Commerce member, YMCA board member, Linn County Democrat Club member, United Transportation Union member, Indivisible North Central Missouri Chapter member.
Why should Linn County citizens choose you over your opponent?
I think I’m more in-touch with the general population. People of all classes and backgrounds can believe in me. I know how people who are less fortunate than me are struggling right now. Those are the people we need to be looking out for. We need to at least try to end poverty in District 6. In my life, I’ve always tried to do the harder right, rather than the easier wrong. I don’t think the other side is drawing attention to everyone that needs assistance, so they may all become productive members of society. We have to bring our people up, bring them to the level others are at. I can address all different classes of people. Politicians are not voted on to serve special interests, they’re elected support all of their constituents. If we’re serving special interests, we’re not serving the people we need to. I was brought up to have strong feelings and empathy for everyone and I carry that to this day and into the future.
What legislation, if any, will you sponsor to help the citizens of Linn County?
There are several things I‘d like to see done. Number one, we need to expand Medicaid for Missouri. We need to do that sooner, rather than later. The next legislation after that is to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. I would like to establish the veterans home in Marceline. It was started many years ago, but fell on its face. I think we need the home because our veterans are getting older, there are many of them in District 6, they need to be taken care of and it will establish more jobs for our citizens. It would benefit Marceline and the whole district. We need to make our state colleges and state trade school tuition free. We could make them free tuition with a payback plan established. Once a student graduates, they would be required to reside in Missouri and they would be required to do volunteer, or social work to repay for the education they received. That way we could keep our graduates and highly skilled workers in Missouri. We have to do something about the massive student debt that is hanging over our students heads. A student that is graduating now is going to be strapped with student loan debt for the better part of their adult life. I think we need to build on an infrastructure plan for the future. Another piece of legislation I’m concerned with is global warming. I feel it is present and we need to deal with it for our future generations. If we don’t take care of it now, we’re going to be in very big trouble. We need to be more green and introduce more bills for Missouri making the state more energy independent.
What is your stance on Amendment 1?
My feeling is that this amendment is the most important ballot initiative that is going to be voted on. Amendment 1 is long overdue. It addresses several issues that we are in need of cleaning up. We need to fix our gerrymandering issue. Right now, there are people in Marceline who still don’t know which district they’re really in. We have had people receive the wrong ballots in Marceline. We have to get campaign financing under control. There’s a lot of money coming into these campaigns and we need to cap it. Lobbying gifts need to be stopped. Representatives are sent to the capitol to work on behalf of the citizens, they are not sent down their to receive gifts, tickets to the Royals game, or whatever they may be. If elected, I will not receive any gifts. I will listen to lobbyists, but I can do that without needing to accept their gifts. I think it’s important to have lobbyists to be able to hear about a range of issues though.
How do you hope to work with colleagues across the aisle?
I will listen to all legislators. You have to be a good listener to do this job anyway. I will also make sure to do as much research, as possible, to get all of the facts on issues. I think you have to do a lot of visiting with legislators, especially on the other side. Communication is vital. I think there is a divide on how we discuss our hot-button issues. I feel it builds trust with the other side, when we stand by our beliefs. I know I will stand by what I think is best. I think we may be able to come together on a lot of issues. I won’t be able to just focus on what I believe though, because I will need to represent my constituents as well. If there’s an issue that I feel strongly about, I will take that back to the district and ask how they feel. I will not vote down the party line, if I believe the vote is bad for the district. I will stand my ground to the leadership. I will not be a rubber stamp.
Infrastructure is a big problem in northern Missouri, roads are in need of repair and many buildings are very old, how do you hope to change this?
I am fully in to support repairing our infrastructure. I’m not just talking about roads and bridges either. I want to sewers, local airports, any part of the infrastructure has to be addressed now. We need to spend on infrastructure. Other first world countries have much better infrastructure than we do. We need high-speed internet. We need to help out our rural airports. That sort of brings us full-circle to the new fuel tax. Why is it only now, that we’re being asked to have this fuel tax to support our infrastructure. Now, we’re expected to play catch up since we haven’t approved another fuel tax since the 90s. If we’re going to address infrastructure, then for god’s sakes let’s address infrastructure directly instead of sidestepping the issue.