To the editor:
The late Rep. Cloria Brown is most certainly deserving of Lindbergh Boulevard recognition, despite a March 20 letter suggesting otherwise.
The importance of accessible, quality and safe early-childhood education is front and center in recent news. Cloria Brown’s efforts in this cause ensure the most vulnerable children in the Lemay/Mehlville area, and throughout Missouri, have the opportunity for the nurturing care they need.
I worked with Cloria on many issues facing early childhood education in low income areas.
I see the results of her service on the children of her district, South County and Missouri daily.
As a passionate public servant, Cloria frequently gathered the right people around the table and asked “what do we need to do at the state level to allow you to better serve the at-risk children in our community?”
She, therefore, understood the challenges families had in finding affordable high-quality child care programs and the financial challenges of child care programs whose mission it is to care for at-risk children in our community.
As a member of the Legislature’s Budget Committee in 2015, she fought for changes to Missouri’s child-care assistance program that included:
Increased funding to high-quality childcare centers across the state of Missouri by reinstating the disproportionate share program that provides additional funding to high-quality centers that enroll a high percentage of low income children.
The eligibility level for Missouri’s child-care assistance program was increased to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. Families that earn up to $2,318 per month for a family of three are eligible for full child-care assistance.
This legislation has been of significant help to families who are working hard to make ends meet while providing a better life for their children and on the agencies that care for them.
Honoring this public servant is fitting – her service is a reminder that “being a nice person” in politics and government can still exist and we can find common ground on issues important to us.
It is disappointing that a letter to the contrary, espousing a myopic view of her record, was published during the one-year anniversary of her passing.
Editor’s note: Ms. Forand is the president of the Lemay Child & Family Center Board of Directors and is also the former Gravois Township Republican Committeewoman.