Legislative Report Card

Generate Health’s mission is to mobilize and inspire the St. Louis region to advance racial equity in pregnancy outcomes, family well-being, and community health. In other words, we want to create a better living environment for YOU and YOUR COMMUNITY! To achieve this mission, we advocate around policies and practices that impact Black maternal, infant, and family well-being, and we provide resources to keep community members informed about legislative action. We also develop relationships with policymakers and share our mission broadly so that it can be championed at both the state and local level.

Elected officials have a responsibility to uphold the will of the people and support their wellbeing through racially equitable, health-promoting policies. That’s why we elected them, right? And as their constituents, we need to hold them accountable to their duties and promises. That’s why Generate Health developed a Legislative Report Card – to ‘score’ state legislators on their support of the well-being of Black mothers, infants, and families. We evaluated state Senators and Representatives based on their bill sponsorship and voting record for the 2021 Legislative Sessions (Regular and Executive Sessions). We tracked Infant and Maternal Health, Health and Mental Health, Housing, Racial Equity, Food Security, and Safety Net policies.

We hope the information in our report card will be helpful for you and your community as you advocate for issues that are important to you. Please sign up for advocacy updates or contact info@generatehealthstl.org if you want to learn more about ways to be involved in policy and advocacy efforts to help St. Louis thrive.

Our Methodology

Generate Health tracks policies that impact maternal, infant, and family health during each legislative session. To select which policies were most important to include for our report card scores, we used the following criteria:

  • Will the given policy have a direct impact on Black moms and babies?
  • Is the given policy explicitly related to maternal/infant health?
  • Will the given policy have a direct impact on racial equity?
  • Is the given policy explicitly related to the social determinants of health?

Policies meeting these four criteria (approximately 50 policies in 2021) were used for the Legislative Report Card.

Legislators received points for voting ‘yes’ on bills that align with Generate Health’s mission, and for voting ‘no’ on bills that work against Generate Health’s mission. They also received bonus points for sponsoring bills that align with our mission. Likewise, legislators lost points if they sponsored bills that obstruct our mission.

We then calculated legislators’ total score percentage — their total points earned, divided by points possible. Using this percentage, we grouped legislators into three categories, which represent their level of support for Black maternal, infant, and family well-being: Champions, Inconsistent Supporters, or Non-Supporters, described below.

Score Classifications

Champions: These legislators are persistent in promoting and protecting Black maternal, infant, and family well-being. They consistently vote in favor of racially equitable, health promoting bills, and they vote against harmful bills. They also frequently sponsor and co-sponsor bills that advance racial equity, family and community well-being, and the health and rights of birthing and parenting people.

Inconsistent Supporters: These legislators have demonstrated that they have the capacity to vote for and sponsor bills that support Black maternal, infant, and family well-being. They occasionally vote for and sponsor bills that promote this work. However, they also vote for and sponsor bills that are not favorable. They will need to show a stronger, more consistent commitment to be recognized as Champions.

Non-Supporters: These lawmakers’ votes and sponsored bills stand in the way of progress for Black mothers, infants, and families. Their legislative actions create and perpetuate barriers to racial equity, family well-being, and community health.

Not Enough Information: A few legislators were absent during key votes or sat on committees that did not often hear the types of bills we used for scoring. Thus, we are unable to objectively assign a score to these policymakers.

Generate Health
3407 S. Jefferson Ave., #135
St. Louis, MO 63118
phone: (314) 880-5719
email: info@generatehealthstl.org
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