Candidate Q&A: House District 133
Ozarks Independent sent a questionnaire to area candidates for the Missouri House of Representatives. Below are the answers provided a candidates for the 133rd House District: Democratic candidate Cindy Slimp. Republican candidate Curtis Trent did not respond to the questionnaire.
OI: Please give the us a little information about your background (where you were born, education, etc.)
Cindy Slimp (D): I was born in Joplin and grew up in Southeast Kansas in a small rural town. I moved to Springfield to start my family, bought a house here in 2016 and we have a child in the 7th grade. I work in software support and have been in the IT industry for 12 years.
OI: What compels you to want to serve / serve another term in the legislature?
Slimp: I care about the quality of life and health my neighbors have and I want our kids to have the best education they can get. People in Southwest Missouri deserve a voice in Jefferson City who will be an advocate of the issues they face. I support ethics reform and plan to be a representative of the people, not big donors and lobbyists. I support equitable and just representation and will lead with honesty, transparency and compassion for all of the folks in my district.
OI: What would be your legislative priorities if elected/re-elected?
Affordable & Accessible Healthcare
Sustainable Cost of Living
Equal Rights for Every Missourian
Repairing our Economy
OI: The state has suffered a significant financial blow because of the COVID-19 situation. What places in the state budget do you believe should be either not cut or cut the least amount in the next state budget?
Slimp: Education & Healthcare. If this outbreak has taught us anything, it’s that people need access to healthcare and we cannot take our public school system for granted any longer. Every year our education funding is cut – our children and educators are suffering for it now more than ever. In relation, we need broadband internet prioritized in our infrastructure budget. We have to make our children a priority. Additionally, we have expanded Medicaid and we will have to hold our legislator’s feet to the fire to ensure they take full advantage of what the people voted for.
OI: This summer saw the Black Lives Matter movement and calls to defund police. Where do you stand on defunding police, and what criminal justice reform measures do you think the legislature needs to take?
Slimp: I support reforms to address a number of issues within our criminal justice system. What I would like to see is more funding to allow social services to work with police. We need an oversight committee responsible for reviewing complaints from citizens and from law enforcement. Our budget for public defenders needs to be increased to allow for hiring of attorneys and their time to adequately represent their clients. Our local jails are overcrowded and instead of building more jails to accommodate people who haven’t faced trial, we can prevent people from having to be jailed in the first place with sustainable changes in our criminal justice system. At the state level, we need a ban on neck restraints and should institute a statewide investigation into racial disparities in traffic stops.
OI: What is your view of Governor Parson’s response to the COVID outbreak?
Slimp: Governor Parson has demonstrated a lack of honesty and an inability to be a supportive and consistent leader for the people in this state. Transmission rates have continued to rise resulting in unnecessary lost lives and Missouri is a hot bed of infections. I am appreciative of our local leadership in making sure we have up-to-date information and factual data to keep our loved ones safe. I support masks and social distancing to look out for one another and to keep our businesses open. Masks help our economy to recover.
OI: What would you say is your biggest strength and your biggest weakness?
Strength – I’m not a politician, I’m an outsider who simply got involved out of concern for the hard working families in my community. They matter to me.
Weakness – I cannot stand dishonesty or condescension. This is another reason why I decided to run.
OI: Give a final statement to voters on why they should choose you.
Slimp: I love Springfield. We are strong people with good values and we care about one another. I am a working-class person with compassion and concern for the well-being of my neighbors and our planet. Paying close attention to local politics has given me an understanding of how these policies impact our families. It’s one thing to write policies, but it’s a different matter to actually face hardships with health care, affordable housing, unemployment, racial injustice, social injustice, food insecurity and access to quality education. I know Missouri can do better — we can overcome and create policy that works for all of the people.