Politically Speaking: Philadelphia-bound McNeil reflects on 8 years in the Missouri House | St. Louis Public Radio

Politically Speaking: Philadelphia-bound McNeil reflects on 8 years in the Missouri House

Jul 20, 2016

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies are pleased to welcome state Rep. Margo McNeil to the show for the first time.

The Florissant Democrat was first elected to the Missouri House in 2008. She’s finishing her last few months in the General Assembly’s lower chamber, as she is unable to run for re-election due to term limits.

Before she defeated then-Hazelwood Mayor T.R. Carr in her 2008 contest, McNeil was a teacher for a number of years in the Ferguson-Florissant School District. And before winning that election, McNeil served as a trustee for St. Louis Community College. She’s made education policy and “green” energy priorities during her four terms in the Missouri House.

In her waning days in office, McNeil will head off to Philadelphia to serve as a Hillary Clinton delegate at the Democratic National Convention. Although the competition to become a delegate in the 1st Congressional District was legitimately fierce, McNeil joined a number of elected officials and longtime activists in snagging a spot.

Here’s what McNeil had to say during the show:

  • Like many other women in the legislature, McNeil didn’t spend a lot of time indulging in Jefferson City’s social scene. She would instead spend long nights reading bills and brushing up on policy. She noted that colleagues who tended to engage in after-hours “socializing” climbed up the legislative leadership ladder quicker.
  • McNeil said she was disappointed that lawmakers declined to expand Medicaid while she was in office. And she was also dismayed that Missouri lawmakers chose to expand gun rights, as opposed to placing restrictions on firearms.
  • She thinks supporters of Bernie Sanders will play an important role in the future of the Democratic Party. Because the Vermont senator lost to Clinton in Missouri by only about 1,000 votes, his Missouri supporters will be well-represented in Philadelphia.
  • McNeil does plan to eventually run for office again. Though, like other guests of the Politically Speaking podcast, she declined to say which one she’s eyeing at the moment.

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Jo Mannies on Twitter: @jmannies

Follow Margo McNeil on Twitter: @MargoMcNeil

Music: “Dear Sons and Daughters of Hungry Ghosts” by Wolf Parade