On Saturday, Gena Ross had the opportunity to make one of the first formal speeches of her campaign at the "United We Stand: Democrats!" rally in St. Joseph. Democratic candidates like Nicole Galloway and Yinka Faleti headlined the event, and all speakers were given the chance to not only showcase their campaigns, but to stand unified as Missouri democrats.
Ross was able to interact with voters (and future voters!) face-to-face on Saturday: a rare opportunity in this campaign season. Photo by Dr. Gena Ross for Congress.
In her speech at this event, Ross was attempting to equip voters with the information and motivation to vote for her. In this race against incumbent Sam Graves, every vote matters, and mobilizing the democratic vote should be a priority for Ross.
"I'm going to fight for you like never before if [I'm the] representative, when it comes to healthcare, preexisting conditions, no county left behind, no person left behind... it's we the people! I represent people! That's every one of you. I don't care where you're from, what your background is, what your zip code is. Everyone deserves to be represented and respected, and that's what I'm about."
Ross also used this platform to talk about the recent passing of Supreme Court Justice Ginsberg. She quoted Ginsberg's famous words "women belong in all places where decisions are made," and said that when it comes to representing Missouri's 6th, "20 years is a little bit too long" for Sam Graves. While speaking about RBG's legacy, she urged the attendees of the rally to reach out to Missouri's senators and let them know that "we will not stand for a rushed appointment of a new Supreme Court justice."
This is clearly an issue of importance to Ross, as she dedicated much of her limited speaking time to it. A speech at an event like this would traditionally focus on issue stances, but Ross made a different point. She called for unity among the Democratic Party, as witnessed at Saturday's event. When ending her speech, she reminded the audience that in this election, "our lives are at stake." She encouraged inter-party collaboration, a theme that has been more and more common lately.
With recent news of RBG's passing and the insufficient penalty given to Breonna Taylor's killers, Ross' call to reach across party lines rings especially true. Even though it originated as humor, the idea of "anyone but Trump" is beginning to become an increasingly valid position. As local elections come near, this sentiment may just trickle down into "anyone but a Republican." We have hope for Missouri's 6th District. Although it has elected a failing congressman time and time again, maybe this is the year, or the candidate, that can turn things around. As Ross said, our lives depend on it.
If you think that current events like RBG's passing and the Breonna Taylor decision could change the election, tweet us at @Ross4Congress and let us know your thoughts!