My name is Kari Chesney, and I am ready to represent the people of Missouri’s 50th House District. The residents of the 50th deserve a representative that listens to their concerns and isn’t afraid to fight for their interests in Jefferson City.
Growing up in a middle-class family exposed me to the many struggles that most Americans deal with each and every day. During my childhood, my father worked as a machinist and my mother as a teaching assistant in our public school district. My mom rarely purchased anything that wasn’t on sale, and we wore last year’s clothing styles off of department store clearance racks. My parents pushed my sister and I to excel in school, because scholarship money would reduce our inevitable college loan burden. During the 2007-2008 financial crisis, my family joined millions of others impacted by the Great Recession. My parents taught me a lot about the perseverance of the working class and the pride that comes with hard labor. My exposure to my parents' hardships and their ability to overcome them has greatly influenced my decision to run for public office, to fight against the sway of money and special interests in our government, and to give a voice to the working class of the 50th district.
I have been a resident of Columbia, MO for 8 years while attending the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine as a veterinary student (2011-2015) and PhD candidate (2015-present). Just like 44 million Americans, I had to take out loans to cover tuition and living expenses as a first-generation college student. During my studies, I have made time to volunteer for a number of state and national advocacy groups, including the Student American Veterinary Medical Association, MU Graduate Professional Council, and National Association for Graduate and Professional Students. This work has shown me just how broken our government can be and how money controls public policy far more than the needs of working families and everyday Missourians.
The wealth of the few has influenced politics in Jefferson City for far too long. International corporations have bought our legislators and are coming after our land to force family farmers out of business and pollute our environment. Wealthy private school donors have pushed our legislators to support school voucher programs, resulting in public school closures, loss of local jobs, and a loss of community in our small towns. Legislators in Jefferson City continue to refuse Medicaid expansion in favor of the billion-dollar private insurance industry even as hospitals and clinics close and the number of uninsured Missourians continues to increase.
The people of district 50 deserve a representative that isn’t afraid to listen to their concerns and advocate for their interests - not the interests of coastal lobbyists, not the interests of international corporations, and not the interests of the wealthy few. I will be that voice for District 50, and I am ready to lead the fight for our community in Jefferson City.