Meet Antoine Jennings, running for State Senate in Missouri, District 8
While this district is in a blue county, a Democrat hasn’t held this seat in almost 40 years. Antoine believes that the current senator isn’t held accountable by the people. He knows that the people of his state need leaders who will listen to the people no matter what their views are. His goal is to be elected to this position and to represent everyone as fairly as he can.
Antoine is the executive director of the My Brothers Keeper network in Kansas City and has also spent time as a teacher. He says that his life has always been about service. He currently serves as a FEMA contractor and has helped people affected by hurricane IDA along with the St. Louis floods. Currently, Antoine is deployed in Puerto Rico for hurricane Fiona relief and will be heading to Florida soon to support those affected by hurricane IAN. Antoine aims to help people find solace and takes pride in serving his country in this way. He sees now as the right time to jump into the political race because he knows that he needs to create the change that the people need. Antoine told us, “If not me, then who? If not now, then when?”
Securing the rights of the people is hugely important to Antoine. One of his biggest points is that Democracy is at stake, and if we do not take our rights seriously, we will be at risk of losing them. Antoine also sees that inflation and rising prices are at the front of most people’s minds. He takes these topics seriously along with the need to ensure that all citizens retain their rights.
Antoine says that when he is successful, he will always put the people first. He refuses to take any money from any political party and promises to the people of Missouri that he will always be loyal to them. Antoine is on a mission to become a representative and find common ground with other legislators. He recognizes that when two parties can work together, that’s when the needs of the people can truly be met. Otherwise, we will just see more division and backwards steps. Antoine believes that when the people do well, the country does well.
Antoine says that his neighboring county, Johnson County, Kansas has shown him that even in a red state, people will stand up for certain rights that the Republican party has tried to take away. Specifically, he saw people stand up against abortion bans who were on all sides of the political spectrum. He says that this shows him the people are able to come together and push for what they believe in and that many Americans will always fight for the rights of themselves and their neighbors.
We learned that in Missouri, Republicans have had a supermajority for 20 years. In the large Missouri State House, there are 49 Democrats and 163 Republicans. Antoine pointed us to the facts that his state ranks 50th in teacher pay, rank at the bottom of education, and near the top in crime. There are only 8 states that have a higher crime rate than Missouri. He sees that 20 years of a supermajority hasn’t improved their state at all. This is why he believes that Republican leaders in his state have no ideas on how to improve their home. He doesn’t see that their efforts show a desire to work for anyone besides themselves. Antoine believes that enough is enough. Leaders need to be accountable and they need to follow through with promises they make to voters. We even found out that many Missourians voted to expand Medicare and the Legislature did not act on the needs of the people at all. Antoine is ready for his state to feel like a Democracy again with leaders who listen. to. voters.
Antoine is a family man with 6 children— he has four girls and two boys and all of them are adopted! Their ages range from 4-26 and they are a huge positive influence on Antoine’s life.