In solo event, Galloway cites need for more housing, minimum wage hike

Missouri State Auditor and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nicole Galloway addresses the crowd during a campaign stop Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020, in Kansas City, Mo.
Missouri State Auditor and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nicole Galloway addresses the crowd during a campaign stop Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020, in Kansas City, Mo.

As governor, any future right-to-work proposals and bills seeking to overturn minimum wage increases would be vetoed, according to commitments state Auditor and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nicole Galloway made Monday night in a virtual forum.

Galloway was the sole gubernatorial candidate who participated in a virtual town hall hosted by organizations including Missouri Poor People's Campaign, Missouri Faith Voices, Faith Voices for Jefferson City and Missouri NAACP.

Incumbent Republican Gov. Mike Parson, Libertarian candidate Rik Combs and Green Party candidate Jerome Bauer are also seeking the governorship.

Questions asked of Galloway included topics of unions, minimum wage, Medicaid expansion, Amendment 3, affordable housing, paid maternity leave, police reform and the response to COVID-19.

Alex Okafor, a defensive end for the Kansas City Chiefs, said "I believe that every workplace deserves a union."

A question by Okafor and a follow-up by Terrence Wise, an activist with Stand Up KC, asked what Galloway would do to protect and advance the labor movement.

Galloway said she "would veto right-to-work," as well as bills that would take local control away from communities or overturn minimum wage increases.

In 2018, Missourians voted down a right-to-work law against compulsory union fees by a 2-to-1 margin, according to the Associated Press.

Meanwhile, the state's minimum wage stands at $9.45 an hour, with 85-cent increases set for each year through 2023 for all private, non-exempt businesses - thought activists are looking for a $15 an hour minimum wage.

On affordable housing, Galloway said even housing development projects that break ground immediately would not immediately help people in need of housing, so she proposed using Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act funds for rent relief and other programs to help people experiencing housing insecurity.

She added she expects some kind of further bipartisan stimulus bill from the federal government - sometime after the Nov. 3 election - and said she would work at the federal level as governor to get more funding.

On police reform, Galloway cited Iowa and Kentucky as examples of where progress has been made.

The Associated Press reported in June that Iowa lawmakers passed a bill that included provisions that restrict the use of chokeholds, authorize the state's attorney general to prosecute an officer whose actions result in a death, and authorize the state's academy council to revoke an officer's certification if convicted of a felony or discharged for serious misconduct.

A settlement between the family of Breonna Taylor and the city of Louisville following Taylor's death in a no-knock warrant drug raid included incentives for officers to live in the neighborhoods they police and reform of search warrant request approval, the Associated Press reported in September.

Galloway did not immediately provide more details about what those states have done that she likes, but she did call for banning the use of chokeholds and limiting no-knock warrants.

She also said she supported hazard pay and paid time off for workers who face coronavirus or are sick or quarantined.