ALL OF THE INDIVIUDALS BELOW HAVE SUPPORTED CEPL BY AGREEING TO TAKE PART IN OR CO-SPONSOR A CEPL EVENT.
Todd Abrajano is the Founder and President of Turning Point Public Affairs. He has over fifteen years of experience with political strategy, legislative and regulatory grassroots advocacy, and direct government relations. Among other positions public and private Mr. Abrajano has served as director of communications for the MO House of Representatives, overseeing the office and serving as the press secretary for the Speaker of the House. During the 2008 presidential campaign, Todd directed “Spin Room” media relations for the McCain-Palin campaign during the VP debate held at Washington University in St. Louis. During the 2012 election cycle, he served as a top communications strategist for two high-profile U.S. Senate campaigns. Todd received his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science with a concentration in international relations from Yale University.
Captain Charles Alphin is a Consultant and Senior Trainer for Nonviolence365, The King Center in Atlanta Georgia and Lafayette and Associates. He is a retired Police Captain who served with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department from 1965- 1991. Introduced to Kingian nonviolence during his time on the force Captain Alphin incorporated its philosophy into all of his work as he was promoted from Sergeant to Lieutenant to Captain, and eventually Commander of Vice-Narcotics. After retiring Capt. Alphin was asked to join the King Center where he continues his work of incorporating nonviolence strategies into the community by offering training to police forces across the nation.
Dr. Kevin R. Anderson teaches courses in American government, political theory and African American politics at Eastern Illinois University. Professor Anderson focuses his research on American and African American Political Thought, seeking to understand the tensions between individual liberty, collective good and American political values. His current long-term research project explores the consequences of integration and incorporation in African American politics. He is the author of several books, including Agitations: Ideologies and Strategies in African American Politics. Dr. Anderson earned his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Missouri– Columbia.
Dr. Lance Bennett is the Ruddick C. Lawrence Professor of Communication and Professor of Political Science at the University of Washington. He is also the founder and director of the Center for Communication and Civic Engagement and the author of ten books, including most recently: When the Press Fails: Political Power and the News Media from Iraq to Katrina (Chicago, with Regina Lawrence and Steven Livingston), and The Logic of Connective Action: Digital Media and the Personalization of Contentious Politics (Cambridge, with Alexandra Segerberg). Prof. Bennett has lectured internationally on the importance of media and information systems in civic life. His research has been funded by the NSF, the Ford Foundation, and MacArthur foundation, among others. Current research interests include: press-government relations and the quality of public information, changing patterns of citizenship and civic engagement, and the uses of digital media in public life.
Reverend Traci Blackmon is ordained in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, serving as the pastor of Christ the King United Church of Christ in Florissant, Missouri. She is a member of the Ferguson Commission and is also employed as the Coordinator of faith-based initiatives for BJC HealthCare. She is the founder and convener of the Sista SOS Summit, an intergenerational symposium designed to assist women and girls. Reverend Blackmon holds a Master of Divinity degree, with a coursework emphasis in Womanist Liberation Theology, from Eden Theological Seminary.
Joan Bray was elected to the Missouri Senate in 2002 after serving 10 years in the Missouri House of Representatives. Before that she was an editor and reporter for, among others, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, where she also served as vice-president of The Newspaper Guild’s Local 49. As the ranking Democratic member of the Missouri Senate Appropriations Committee, Sen. Bray worked with her colleagues to comb through the state’s more than $24 billion budget.
She sponsored landmark measures to help poor, neglected and abandoned communities by providing tax incentives for investments in economically distressed areas. She is a graduate of the Women and Power Program at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. She currently serves as executive director of the Consumers Council of Missouri. She continues to pursue passions reflected in her legislative career through her volunteer positions, among them the board of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri and the Oversight Committee of the National Cooperative Rail Research Program.
Dr. T.R. Carr served three terms as Mayor of Hazelwood, MO, from April 2000 to May 2009. He is also professor and the Program Director of the Department of Public Administration and Policy Analysis at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and a Senior Research Fellow with the Institute for Urban Research at SIUE. He is currently a member of the Board of North County, Incorporated and Chairman of Economic Development Committee of the Northwest Chamber of Commerce in Northwest St. Louis County. Dr. Carr also serves on the St. Louis-Samara (Russia) Sister City Committee. He is a recipient of the “Buzz Westfall Award for Excellence in Leadership” from St. Louis County Municipal League. He received his MPA and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Oklahoma.
John Combest started JohnCombest.com — “arguably the state’s best known and most popular political Web site,” according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch – in 2001 to provide a comprehensive source of daily political news to his fellow Missouri politicos. In February 2007, John was named as a “Most Influential St. Louisan” by the St. Louis Business Journal, and in July of that year, the paper recognized him as a “30 Under 30” honoree.
In 2000, John served as an aide to U.S. Senator John Ashcroft in the St. Louis District Office. He later worked at a St. Louis-based public relations firm, focusing primarily on public and governmental affairs. While at the firm, he also worked with clients in the transportation, real estate and health care industries who wanted to use the Internet more effectively. John currently is a manager in Public Affairs at Monsanto Company. John has a Bachelor’s degree in political science from Washington University in St. Louis. He lives in St. Charles, Mo. with his wife, Monica.
Franc Flotron was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives in 1982. He served as Assistant Minority Floor Leader in the House from 1986 to 1988. Elected to the Senate in 1988 representing the 7th District, Senator Flotron became the youngest Republican Minority Floor Leader ever in 1992 and was re-elected to that position in 1994. Senator Flotron was a leader in areas dealing with the business environment, education, health care, economic development and campaign finance reform. Now a principal at Flotron & McIntosh Governmental Consultants, Senator Flotron brings the perspective of both a legislator and a lobbyist to the issue of term limits.
Dr. Brian J. Fogarty is a Lecturer in Quantitative Social Sciences at Glasgow University Most recently, he was Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Political Science at the University of Missouri – St. Louis. Additionally, Brian worked as Mentoring Faculty-in-Residence at the Empirical Implications of Theoretical Models (EITM) Summer Institutes at Duke University (2008) and the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor (2009).
Brian’s research focuses on studying the news media as a strategic actor in politics and as a political institution within the American political system. By its nature, this work is at the intersection of institutional and behavioral research in American politics. He takes both theoretical and empirical approaches to understanding how the news media operate as an institution within American politics.
Alderman Antonio French is serving his second term as the Alderman of the 21st Ward, representing parts of the neighborhoods of Penrose, College Hill, and O’Fallon, where he was born and raised. Prior to becoming Alderman he served the 21st Ward as the Democratic Committeeman. In 2012, Alderman French founded The North Campus, an education initiative modeled after The Harlem Children’s Zone in New York City. In 2010, the Riverfront Times awarded him the honor of “Best Local Politician.” Recently, French gained national recognition for his work covering the unrest in Ferguson, MO following the shooting of Michael Brown. Alderman French is a graduate of Auburn University.
Bill Freivogel is Director of the School of Journalism at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. A graduate of Washington University Law School and a member of the Missouri Bar, he spent 34 award-winning years as a reporter and editor at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He was Assistant Bureau Chief in Washington before returning to St. Louis and serving as Deputy Editorial Page Editor. He was a finalist for the 2002 Pulitzer Prize, and also shared the Sidney Hillman Award, Investigative Reporters and Editors Award, National Press Club’s Washington Correspondence Award and ABA Silver Gavel Award. His research focuses on media law and the Supreme Court.
Terry Ganey is a best-selling author and freelance writer, St. Louis editor of the Gateway Journalism Review, visiting professor of journalism at Southern Illinois University, and lecturer at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. As long-serving State Capital Bureau Chief for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in investigative reporting. His disclosures of Missouri’s Second Injury Fund scandal helped send seven men to federal prison and produced $1.6 million in restitution for the state. He also was a correspondent for the Associated Press and served as projects editor for the Columbia Daily Tribune. His non-fiction books, most recently a new edition of: Under the Influence, the Unauthorized Story of the Anheuser-Busch Dynasty (Simon and Schuster, with Peter Hernon) have appeared on The New York Times Best Seller List.
Representative Kimberly Gardner, a Democrat, represents parts of St. Louis City (District 77) in the Missouri House of Representatives. She was elected to her first two-year term in November 2012 and was re-elected to a second two-year term in November of 2014. She serves on numerous House Committees including Civil and Criminal Proceedings and the Special Committee on Urban Issues. In addition to her legislative duties, Rep. Gardner is an attorney at Bell, Kirksey & Associates. She is a former Assistant Circuit Attorney for the city of St. Louis. Rep. Gardner currently resides in St. Louis, where she has been a lifelong resident. She holds a J.D. from Saint Louis University and an M.S. in Nursing from Saint Louis University
Wayne Goode A very special friend of CEPL as one of the founding legislators who created the funding for the Center for Ethics in Public Life, former Senator and UM Curator Wayne Goode was elected to House of Representatives in 1962 and the Missouri Senate in 1984. He represented the 13th Senatorial District in St. Louis County until his retirement in 2005. He served as Vice Chair and Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee from 1995 to 2000, and served on many other panels including the Governor’s Advisory Council on Local Government Law. He has also served as a Managing Partner of the St. Louis office of Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP and as Chief Deputy Attorney General for the state of Missouri. Further service includes as Vice Chairman of University of Missouri Board of Curators, as Director of Missouri Foundation for Health and as a member of numerous boards, including the Missouri Historical Society, Ozark Natural Resources Foundation and the Consumers Council of Missouri. Mr. Goode was honored by the University of Missouri-St. Louis for his work in sponsoring legislation that established the university.
Chuck Gross A very special friend of CEPL as one of the founding legislators who created the funding for the Center for Ethics in Public Life, former Senator Chuck Gross was first elected to the Missouri House of Representatives in November 1992. He was re-elected in 1994, 1996 & 1998 and served in the Missouri Senate from 2001 to May 2007. Now the Executive Director of the Duckett Creek Sanitary District he also spent 5 years as Director of Administration for St. Charles County Government. Prior to St Charles County Chuck was Vice President of Business Development of UMB Bank. He also serves on several non-profit Boards in St. Charles County.
Former Missouri Senator Tim Green is a retired member of the Missouri State Senate. He was first elected to the Missouri House of Representatives in 1988, serving until 2002, including service as the chairman of the Budget Committee from 2000 to 2002. In 2004, he was elected to the Missouri State Senate representing the 13th District, serving until 2013, including a stint as the State Senate Minority Caucus Leader. Senator Green was a delegate at the Democratic National Convention in 1992 and has served as President of the Missouri State Building and Construction Trades Council, AFL-CIO. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from University of Missouri-St. Louis.
Former Speaker Catherine Hanaway is an attorney at the Husch and Blackwell law firm. She was first elected to the Missouri House of Representatives representing the 87th District 1998. After her first term in office, she was elected the House Minority Leader, and in 2002 became the first female Speaker of the Missouri House, serving until 2004. In 2005, she was nominated by President George W. Bush to be the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri, a position she held until 2009. Speaker Hanaway earned her law degree from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
John Hancock’s political experience spans three decades in grassroots and electoral politics. He is a former state legislator, was the GOP nominee for Missouri Secretary of State in 1992 and 1996, and served as executive director of the Missouri Republican Party from 1997 to 2003, and again in 2015. In 2003, he established John Hancock and Associates, and soon after, Public Pulse Research, he is a co-host of Hancock & Kelley on KMOX Radio in St. Louis and has a Political Science degree from the University of Missouri – St. Louis and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Rutgers University.
Dr. Laurel Harbridge is Faculty Fellow at the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University and Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science. Her primary areas of research and teaching include the United States Congress, congressional elections, political parties, and public policy. Her current book project, Is Bipartisanship Dead? explores how party leaders in the House of Representatives changed from prioritizing legislation with bipartisan agreement in the 1970s to prioritizing legislation with partisan disagreement by the 1990s. Her work has been published in the American Journal of Political Science, Legislative Studies Quarterly, and American Politics Research, among others. She earned her PhD at Stanford University in 2009.
Clarence Harmon served as the 48th Mayor of the City of St. Louis from 1997 to 2001, after previously serving as the Chief of Police of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department from 1991 to 1995. He was the first African-American Chief of Police in St. Louis history. Mr. Harmon served as a paratrooper with the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division, and has degrees from Truman State University and Webster University. In addition, he has taught courses at St. Louis University and at Southern Illinois University, and served as the Director of the Criminal Justice Program Sanford-Brown College System. He is currently the president of Harmon Consultants, Inc., a private firm specializing in government, and private industry consulting.
Monica Huddleston is serving her second term as mayor of Greendale, MO. She was first elected in 2003 and was the first female and first African-American to be elected to this position in her municipality. She is a member of the Advisory board for the Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public and serves as Vice President of The Great Rivers Greenway Board of Directors.
Dr. Dan Isom serves as the E. Desmond Lee Professor of Policing and the Community at UMSL. He previously served as the Chief of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. He joined the SLMPD in 1988 and worked in patrol, investigation, training, internal affairs, and management positions. He is particularly interested in the management of police operations including the design of police departments from a political and community perspective, police officers’ individual behavioral issues and professional cultural perspectives influence on community-police relations, and police management. He is a member of the Ferguson Commission. Dr. Isom holds a Ph.D. in Criminology and Criminal Justice from UMSL.