Statement from Sen. Jamilah Nasheed on ‘Medicaid 23’
State Sen. Jamilah Nasheed has issued the following statement in response to the conviction for the ‘Medicaid 23’ and the Cole County Prosecutor’s remarks about her.
“The conviction for the ‘Medicaid 23’ for exercising their First Amendment right to peaceably assemble and engage in protest marks a dark day and chapter in Missouri history. As one who has engaged in peaceful civil disobedience actions, and who was present during the time of the protest, I can state unequivocally that the charges for which they were convicted should never have been pursued by the prosecutor.
“I not only resent the prosecutor wasting taxpayer dollars pressing these mean spirited and racially tinged charges, I resent and am disgusted by the manner in which he tried to use me in presenting his case. For him to characterize me as a victim of the protest not only is cynically untrue, it distracts from the true victims I was fighting for on the floor of the Senate at the moment of the protest – the thousands of Missourians deprived of basic health care because the Republican-controlled General Assembly refuses to expand Medicaid.
“I encourage the Medicaid 23 to not only continue to fight their case – all the way to the Supreme Court if need be – I urge them to continue to relentlessly push for Medicaid expansion. As far as I am concerned, the fight to expand Medicaid in Missouri has only just begun.”