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Elad's Plan to Enforce Civil rights

Many state Attorneys General have a Civil Rights Division to enforce rights on the job, prevent violation of our civil liberties, and assert accountability into our government. Missouri does not have a Civil Rights Division. As Attorney General, I will:

1. Institute Missouri's first ever Civil Rights Division. The Civil Rights Division will be an integral part of the Office. It will take reports from the public of workplace abuses; discrimination in housing, education, public accommodations, and transportation; and violations of civil liberties throughout the state by governmental entities.


2. Combat illegal discrimination. We will fully enforce Missouri’s Human Rights Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, religion, sex along with sexual orientation and identity, disability, and familial status. The Civil Rights Division will enforce Missouri and federal prohibitions on discrimination against LGBTQ+ Missourians. We will protect Missourians with disabilities under Missouri’s Human Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

3. Bring accountability to our justice system. The Division will work with civilian oversight organizations, local governments, the Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission, and whistleblowers to end systemic abuses against Missourians. We will take corrupt officials and departments to court to enforce the law. My office will be instrumental in turning around police departments that fail to protect and serve the public. Good officers who stand up for our constitutional rights will no longer be alone and will have an Attorney General who stands with them. Officers who demand accountability will be protected from retaliation in the workplace. We will also fight the continuing illegal practice of counties maintaining debtors' prisons. It’s time for real change, real enforcement, and real accountability.

4. Fight for fairness in our court system. As Attorney General, I will fight for our government to invest in our public institutions, including fully funding our depleted Public Defender system. Unlike previous Attorneys General, I will not use taxpayer money to keep innocent people in prison. We will work with local conviction review units and develop our own review procedures to stop this massive violation of civil rights happening in our state.

5. Protect our housing rights. We are seeing an increase in the number of out-of-state corporate landlords moving into Missouri and taking advantage of lax housing enforcement. Bad landlords hurt their residents, bring down housing standards in their neighborhoods, and make it very difficult for good landlords to compete and stay in business. In conjunction with the Consumer Protection Division, we will hold landlords accountable to maintain habitable residences for tenants, and we will enforce non-discrimination laws already on the books. We will also enforce the law against predatory scams in housing. Having worked on hundreds of cases with renters, landlords, owners, and lenders, I know how important it is for Missourians to have access to safe, affordable housing. I fully support a housing-first model of poverty alleviation.

6. Uphold students’ rights in our education system. We will prohibit discrimination in education. The Civil Rights Division will protect unhoused children and ensure they can continue attending their schools under the McKinney-Vento Act. The Division will also protect children with disabilities under the Missouri Human Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

7. Enforce Missourians' right to privacy. I will advocate for stronger privacy laws in Missouri to protect us from data-collecting conglomerates taking our information without our informed consent. In conjunction with the Consumer Protection Division, we will enforce antitrust law in Missouri and prohibit illegal monopolies from destroying competition in our economy. And I will protect our constitutional right to privacy in health care, medical decision-making, and family planning. I do not support more big government intrusion into our personal lives.

8. Protect our right to vote. Voting is foundational to our democratic republic. The Civil Rights Division will enforce our right to vote, challenge illegal restrictions on that right including with respect to our right to access the initiative petition, and ensure that your voice is heard.

9. Investigate issues in the marijuana industry and reform requirements. Missourians voted to legalize cannabis use and to automatically expunge specific marijuana-related convictions. The industry that has emerged from this vote has involved substantial allegations of corruption and failed regulation. As Attorney General, I will ensure that our state meets its constitutional responsibilities, protects the safety of Missouri residents from corporations trying to exploit our state, and ends the wasteful war on marijuana.

10. Prevent violations of our civil rights. Our Office will provide training to governmental entities and employees, including to law enforcement officers, corrections officers, and prosecutors, on how to protect Missourians’ civil rights. We will improve coordination and information sharing in our state, identify problem areas, and focus on prevention of constitutional violations. These efforts will protect our rights and, because they will lead to less violations, will also save taxpayer money by reducing the frequency of liability payouts and the generation of other costs involving the state’s Legal Expense Fund. We will also protect our free speech rights, including access to books in our state's libraries. Missouri is paying a lot of money every year due to civil rights violations. You deserve better.

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for Missouri?

Elad Gross for Missouri Attorney General alt logo

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