In the News: Convention of States volunteers say Missouri is ready for return to work
The following was written by T.H. Lawrence and originally published in the Missouri Business Daily.
Bradley Cooper is young but already involved in politics and government.
The 16-year-old high school sophomore is a Convention of States information analyst who said he is concerned about government overreach during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Communities like Kansas City and St. Louis have taken this crisis and turned it into an opportunity to restrict liberty without an end in sight,” he told Missouri Business Daily. “Indefinitely keeping an economy closed is not what is best for the people of this state — the people of Missouri want to work. It is important to be working on a plan to reopen our economy, collaborate with state and federal officials on creating the safest plan to reopen the economy, and it just doesn't seem as though those communities are doing that.
“Instead of proactively working to safely reopen our economy, some communities in our state are more focused on putting restrictions on small businesses, and their citizens. That is unacceptable; more must be done to safely reopen our economy.”
He said the Show Me State is well equipped to thrive once the shackles are removed.
“The state of Missouri is unique, with $8.9 billion of our economy coming from agricultural goods/services," Cooper said. "During this global pandemic, Missouri’s economy is one of the better ones of the 50 states. However, with most small businesses being forced to close, and the restrictions on being able to go about daily business, there will be negative effects on our economy, and I think [it's] time to develop a comprehensive plan to reopen the states, so Missouri and every other state can get back to business as soon, and as safely as possible.”
Gwen Lanzer joined the ranks of Convention of States two years ago. She advises people to take a good look at the campaign to consider amending the U.S. Constitution.
“I'm a journalist by training and trade,” Lanzer told Missouri Business Daily. “Growing media bias and the need to disseminate context with true black/white facts drove me to volunteer my skills for the Missouri Convention of States. Today's agenda-driven media bias is thwarting critical thought and discussion on solving the important issues facing our nation.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a global shutdown, and Lanzer said people are growing restless.
“Every area of the state is different. However, in and around St. Louis, commerce has ground to a halt and the natives are growing increasingly frustrated,” she said. “Small business owners are watching their savings and livelihoods slip away, while employees of larger companies wonder whether they'll be laid off or furloughed next. All face an uncertain future based on decisions made by political and medical elitists often removed from the hardships and concerns of everyday life.”
Lanzer said she is not surprised to see people speaking up.
“Tuesday’s protests in Jefferson City and Clayton, Mo. were only the tip of the iceberg of a growing rebellion if the present situation does not change,” she said. “The longer the economic shutdown continues, the more it is questioned. Today, I believe both state and local government leaders have overstepped their bounds. A case in point — recent news reports state that St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page has singlehandedly extended the 'stay at home' and business lockdown indefinitely — refusing counsel from his County Council members. Ordering businesses to close and issuing 'stay at home' orders is an infringement of our civil liberties.”
It’s time for people to rise up and express their concern, said Lanzer, a marketing consultant who is married with an adult son.
“As Convention of States volunteers,we are helping to grow awareness that every U.S.citizen has the power to affect positive change in government,” she said. “By joining our movement, they can exercise the constitutional right to call a Convention of States granted under Article V of the U.S. Constitution. Our mission is clear — calling an Article V amendments convention that addresses three pressing concerns: Curbing the federal debt. Limiting federal government power and jurisdiction.Imposing term limits on the judiciary, federal bureaucrats and elected officials.”
Convention of States operates much of its grassroots efforts online, and through in-person contacts, rallies, and meetings. During the current crisis, it has added some efforts.
“In light of the recent circumstances, we have been contacting legislators asking if there is anything we can do for their districts, such as reach out to at-risk individuals and just have a conversation with them, or send notes of encouragement around our community,” Cooper said. “Being connected and letting the legislators know that we are here to help them return our economy to the state it once was is incredibly powerful.
"We are also launching an online forum for patriots to come together [while practicing social distancing] to discuss the current events, and work together to let our governments know that the people want a speedy, and safe reopening of our economy.”
He said it is important to note that Convention of States does not sponsor, endorse or support specific communities, events or content posted by other users through its forum.
“We are just connecting patriots around the country during this time of social distancing,” Cooper said.
He joined the COS Missouri state leadership team in 2019.
“Being able to help patriots around the state presents an incredible opportunity to reduce the size of our government, and this pandemic shows that a big government isn't always the answer,” Cooper said.
“Missouri has a massive team of petition signers that are fighting every day to bring power back to the states, and the people inside those states. I am beyond proud to work alongside some of the most dedicated and talented patriots in Missouri, and we would love to have you join our cause.”
Cooper urges people to visit conventionofstates.com to sign the petition and join the movement today.
In addition to his work on behalf of Convention of States, Cooper, a Willard resident, is an activist for school safety and works with several government officials and organizations throughout Missouri and the nation to make sure schools have all the resources necessary to properly protect students.