Meet Michael Baumli, running for Missouri State Senate in District 12
Michael grew up on his family’s small farm and is familiar with the needs of rural communities in Missouri. Recently, Michael has noticed aggressive legislation being introduced and is alarmed by these laws as he sees them as harmful to the people. In his adult life, he has been working in the computer science and IT world for the past 20 years. This combination of unique skills makes Michael adept at understanding the intersection between agriculture and manufacturing. He also understands just how much legislation can impact people’s everyday lives and has felt a calling to get involved in politics more and more throughout the past couple of years.
Agricultural issues are important within this district because it is mainly rural. We learned that there are actually 18 ½ counties in this district. Michael is ready to take on the challenges that come with representing a large district like this one! One interesting thing we learned from Michael is that environmental policy can hurt farmers who rely on agriculture to make a living. While he sees protecting the environment as hugely important, he says we need to find a balance between the environmental policies and protecting the farmers in these areas. Without proper consideration, certain laws could put farmers out of jobs and essentially stop them from making a living. His goal is to protect the environment but also represent the needs of the farmers and agriculturalists within his district.
Another issue Michael wants to address is something called the right to repair laws. More often than not, manufacturers of expensive, large farm equipment are the only people who know how to repair these machines. This means if a machine breaks in a field, it can be stuck there for weeks while the farmers wait for a repair person to come. Michael is a proponent of making the blueprints and manuals for these machines public information. This way, farmers won’t be as negatively affected by these issues and there could even be a new generation of workers who specialize in fixing this equipment. In terms of cyber security, Michael also wants to hold more companies accountable for their own security. This would make it so that certain information would not fall into the wrong hands and be used for the wrong reasons. In a time where cyber security is becoming more of a threat, he sees this topic as an important focus for all people.
Michael acknowledges that if he wins this seat, it will be a tough battle being a Democrat in a mainly Republican state. But he is still hopeful about what he can achieve in the future. Michael also aims to fund schools properly so they can have full school weeks and not lose valuable educators to pay cuts. His main goal is to rebuild the rural communities that have been shrinking in the past couple of decades. He even told us that his district’s population shrank 10% in the last 40 years while the state’s population grew by 25%. Michaels aims to solve this problem.
Michael told us that his district is a beautiful place full of a rugged individualism mindset. He says that the people there are helpful and come together when they need support. 20 years ago, Michael’s father was injured in an accident, and his community members came together to plow his fields and pick up the slack when he was unable to work. This is what Michael values about where he is from. The people take care of each other.
Michael has a daughter with 6 chickens and 2 rabbits who she loves dearly! He himself loves anything computer related, including 3D printing! He sees himself and a perpetual student and he is always ready to learn something new.