Meet Our Speakers for 2024

Whether you are attending in person or virtual, you have the option to register for any of 3, virtual afternoon sessions. All sessions will be recorded and shared with attendees afterwards.

Meet Our 2024 Speakers

Vee Sanchez, she/her

Presenting 3:45–4:30 pm

Vee Sanchez works on staff with Empower Missouri as Affordable Housing Policy Manager. She works to organize Empower Mo's statewide Affordable Housing Coalition - the largest of it's kind in the state of MO. In addition to state level legislative advocacy work, Vee works to build grassroots leadership and tenant union establishment and development in SWMO.

Title of Presentation:
Intersections on Housing and Disability

Presentation Description:
Discussion on how Missouri's fair housing statutes are out of compliance. Overview of what the Federal Fair Housing Act requires, the consequences of noncompliance, and a pathway forward in bringing fair housing back to MO.

Kristine Kliewer, she/her

Presenting 1:45–2:30 pm

Kristine was paralyzed from the upper chest down in 1988. She relies solely on others for her well-being and day-to-day care. As a professional, I work trying to make our community more inclusive for everyone with ALL abilities.

Title of Presentation:
Caregiver Crisis and Wages

Presentation Description:
Kristine will be covering her personal experience relying on caregivers; how difficult it has been getting assistance and the barriers this creates. In addition, what happens when those who rely on Direct Support can’t find adequate support and end up being homeless.

Jeanette Mott ("J-MO") Oxford, ze/zir/zirs

Presenting 2:45–3:30 pm

Jeanette Mott Oxford has been an advocate, educator, writer, and organizer on issues of poverty, health, housing, transportation, racism, human rights, equality, and campaign finance reform in Illinois, Kansas, and Missouri since 1983. Presently Public Policy and Advocacy Manager at Paraquad, the independent living center for the St. Louis region, Oxford has also been executive director of two statewide not-for-profits focused on social and economic justice. Oxford was State Representative for a portion of the City of St. Louis from 2005-12 and served as Ranking Member on the Children and Families Committee for most of that time and as Vice-Chair of Ethics, 2011-12.

Title of Presentation
Our Right to Accessible Transportation

Presentation Description
Under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, it is considered discriminatory when the operator of a fixed route transportation system fails to provide paratransit services that are comparable to the level of designated public transportation services provided to individuals without disabilities using such systems. In early 2023, people with disabilities formed the STL Metropolitan Alliance for Reliable Transit (S.M.A.R.T.) in response to Metro Transit's patterns of trip denials and failure to meaningfully engage with people with disabilities. S.M.A.R.T.'s efforts have led Metro to make public promises of improvement before the St. Louis County Council, and S.M.A.R.T. is continues organizing to see that those promises are kept. Learn the organizing principles that S.M.A.R.T. is using. Can advocates in your city form a similar group to win the transportation you need and deserve?