• Arielle Kohn

Gena Ross: Know Your Power



Who Is She?

Dr. Gena Ross is a Democratic female candidate running to represent Missouri’s 6th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. She faces Republican incumbent Sam Graves along with other Democratic and Republican candidates in the state’s primary on August 4th. When she is not working as an Assistant Professor at a Community College in Kansas, Gena volunteers on two Diversity and Equity Inclusion Committees and a Student Grievance Committee. She has implemented before and after school programs for students, provided community outreach through the “Just for me Free Clothing Closet,” and participates in other community service endeavors. In 2015, Gena worked as a Constituent Service Representative with former U.S. Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill. Gena is extremely passionate about advocating for others and giving a voice to those who are voiceless, and she is honored to have the opportunity to represent the people of Missouri’s 6th District.


Question: How has your background inspired and equipped you to run for Congress?


Answer: Gena describes herself as a very well-rounded person, equipped with many different tools that will aid her in her run for congress. She earned a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and a Doctorate in Public Policy Administration with a specialization in Local Government Management. Her Associate’s Degree is in Urban Ministry, and her Bachelor’s Degree is in Business Administration with a specialization in Organizational Psychology and Development. In addition to her extensive educational background,  Gena worked on a Contract as a Constituent Services Representative for Senator Claire McCaskill in 2015. She also worked for the Missouri Department of Corrections as the Warden’s Administrative Assistant working on policies, she was a police civilian for the Kansas City Police Department, is an Assistant Professor at a Community College and an Adjunct at a University, and she serves on a variety of committees including a Diversity and Equity Inclusions Committee and a Student Grievance Committee. On top of all of this, Gena says, “I’m a single mother of three, so I know what it’s like to struggle. I know what it’s like in real life. To work your way up. I’m a witness that nothing is impossible. And, I’m a people person.”



What is she fighting for?

One of Gena’s principal focuses in her campaign is gun reform and “getting guns off the streets,” creating safer and better communities in her District. Gena is a strong proponent of universal access to quality education along with student loan forgiveness. She strives to achieve clean air for all and resources for farmers in rural areas. On the topic of the economy, Gena says, “I live in the rural area, so as far as the economy, there should be jobs in the rural areas. I don’t think that people should have to drive two hours one way to go to work. There should be some jobs that are created in those areas where people can live in those areas and build up their community. I don’t see why it can’t be done. They can be created. Build up there and make those communities sustainable.”


Question: What are the key voter concerns in your district, and how do you plan to address them?


Answer: “One of the most top priorities is healthcare. No one should have to decide if they’re going to pay a bill or pay for their prescription, or, not go to the doctor at all because they don’t have insurance. Or, it’s too much money and they just can’t afford it. So, in terms of healthcare, I want to make sure everyone is covered. If people have private insurance and want to keep it, that’s fine, but I just want to make sure everyone has access to healthcare.”

“I also want to make sure everyone has a proper, quality education from pre-k throughout. Everyone deserves an education. And for people that have student loans, I want to guarantee some relief, some kind of real public service loan forgiveness… I know all about student loan debt, so I take it very personally and will advocate for that [relief]… and then increase federal income minimum wage to a living wage No one can live comfortably off such a low wage trying to raise a family. Share the wealth and help people. Working people shouldn’t have to struggle as much as they do.”



Why her?

"I was raised by a single mother that worked as a Registered Nurse and she was involved with public service since I was a little girl. I always watched my mother help others in the community and serve in church. I have worked as a single mother, after my divorce. Therefore, I know how it is to wear both shoes, so to speak. That is why I want to serve and represent you. We need to create more living wage jobs, improve our schools, and make public safety - especially getting guns off the streets, a top priority. With all that is going on in the world, we cannot sit and be silent.  The time is now to join our forces together as one. 
Let's Refocus with 2020 Vision.” 

Question: Given the current political climate in Missouri and elsewhere, why might traditionally Republican voters be ready to vote for you? 


Answer: “If they’re sick of business as usual, if the [current candidate] hasn’t done anything for them in the last 19 years nor had a town hall meeting, you might want to give me a try… Because you’re Republican and have always voted Republican, you’re cheating yourself if you don’t open your mind… being open to something new that’s going to benefit your and your family. A color [red or blue] shouldn’t define you. What defines you is the value brought to the district, to Missouri. Don’t vote on color, vote on your morals and values, what’s really going to benefit you and help you build a better tomorrow beginning today… Why can’t we just unify together for what we’re trying to do? If we always stay divided just because of color, we won’t get anywhere… Everyone has something to offer... but we all need to respect each other’s differences and get along. The common core value is all of us thriving, not just surviving, in the state of Missouri. We’re better together.”


Additionally, on her leadership style, Gena says, “I am a transformational and service leader because I believe in empowering others. That’s why my slogan is ‘Know your power;’ I want people to know their power because some people may not think their voice matters, but their voice does matter… I want to work together with my constituents to come up with solutions that I can take to Congress and represent Missouri.” She also goes on to say “I’m transparent and I’m real… I’m a human being. I’m not those hardcore politicians, I’m a woman that is trying to enjoy life and help others enjoy life without being stressed out… I’m out to help and cater to the people… Accountability is everything [to me]. I’m not going to look the other way. If I see something, I’m going to say something, and I won’t be quiet.”


“I’m Black, I’m young, I’m ambitious, I’m strong, I’m vocal, I’m a winner, I’m a COVID-19 survivor, and I’m ready to fight”


How can I support her?


To learn more about Gena, visit:

Campaign website

Facebook

Twitter



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