Cori Bush

“I’m not willing to take off the hat of the activist to be in Congress. I think I’ve proven that you can do both. When we tell our stories, it holds other people accountable. When those that are directly impacted are at the table, that is how transformative change happens.

-Cori Bush, episode 295 of Talk Easy with Sam Fragoso

Today we’re joined by Congresswoman Cori Bush! Back in 2020, Bush made history as the first Black woman elected to represent Missouri’s First Congressional District.

With the upcoming midterms, we wrestle with the messaging coming from the Democratic Party (3:45), Bush’s fight for police reform and affordable housing (7:10), and the power of grassroots politics (8:20). Then we turn to Bush’s new memoir, The Forerunner, where she discusses her upbringing in St. Louis (9:20), her father’s formative lessons on leadership (10:50), the challenges she faced in high school (15:02), and how she persisted through periods of homelessness as a single mother (29:14).

On the back-half, we discuss her work on the ground of the Ferguson protests (32:09), a stirring speech from Angela Davis (38:15), her renewed focus on legislation around mental health (43:30), why she continues to believe in a “politivist” approach to public service (47:50), and why she’s holding onto hope this November (51:20).

Original illustration by Krishna ShenoiReference image by Joe Martinez.

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