• Fenna Milbauer

Kathy Ellis: A Compassionate Leader and Problem Solver

Updated: Sep 18, 2020

Who is Kathy Ellis?

Kathy Ellis (MO-08) was born and raised in Jefferson County, Missouri. Kathy is a licensed clinical social worker, and runs her own social work and counseling practice. She is an active member of her community, serving in a variety of volunteer positions. Currently, as the vice-chair of the board of a local community health center, and secretary of a foundation that assists in providing services to women and children suffering from domestic violence.

Getting Started in Politics

What was your journey into politics?

Kathy Ellis: “My journey really began with my 40 years of social work experience. I was able to really have a connection with people and help them and make them feel empowered in their lives. In 2016, I attended the Women’s March in Washington, it was overwhelming to see the stories of people’s lives on their signs. I thought to myself ‘I need to do more in my district’. This was when I first decided to run for Congress, and I began to travel in my district. I found that campaigning is a lot like social work: you listen, you work with people to solve problems, and you help people to feel empowered”.

How does your background in social work equipped you for office?

Kathy Ellis: “Everyone has issues and strengths, and it's a balance of finding those out and how you can work with them. I’ve worked with a lot of couples, I always tell them that they have to work together, particularly if you have kids, in that sense, neither of you will get exactly what you want, but you will get something. I think that the lack of connection between the Democrats and Republicans has to do with the lack of communication. We must begin to try to work together, and realize that we can come to agreements and communicate. I also have experience in small businesses, running my own practice has taught me a lot about the struggles of other small business owners and about how our healthcare system works.”

Her Commitment to Community

Kathy is an active member of her community which allows her to deeply understand the needs and problems within her district. She advocates for better health care in her county (recently 5 hospitals and 2 health care centers have closed) and improved infrastructure.

Within your district what are the key voter issues?

Kathy Ellis: “The number one issue is healthcare. We are in a district that doesn't have much healthcare support, sometimes you have to travel two hours to the nearest hospital. The second issue is education, which is just deteriorating. I think our district and state suffers from this. The third is development of infrastructure, training people in new technologies, and changing the way that we access this district. Think of things like roads, highways, and the main focus is having broadband. Students are forced to sit in the McDonalds parking lot in order to access the internet”.

Why Kathy?

Kathy is challenging Republican incumbent Jason Smith to represent Missouri’s 6th congressional district. A win for Kathy would bring about great change in her district. Her work has already empowered many in the community, giving a voice to women and LGBTQ+ people in her district.

Kathy Ellis: “I think seeing my district evolve, becoming more open and aware of issues. People from the very beginning have been really open with me and told their stories. One of the funny things is that when I started my campaign people would assume I was their representative and would call me with their concerns. I would try my best to help and solve their problems. I see it as an extension of social work.”

How can I support her?

If you would like to support or learn more about Kathy, please visit:

Campaign page



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