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Brett's Blog Archive: Monday, February 21, 2022 - A Convention of States Surge in Jefferson City

Published in Blog on February 21, 2022 by Brett Sterley, State Director, Convention of States Missouri

Surge Day is one of my favorite days of the legislative session. We plan this event early every  year because the legislative calendar fills up quickly. Providing a little extra encouragement to our legislators to expedite our legislation is important. And even though the General Assembly’s annual session lasts four months, the end is always here before you know it. “Sorry. We just ran out of time” is the easiest excuse House or Senate Leadership has for not passing bills.

*L-R: RC Gwen Wadell, DC Patti Siegel, DC Vivian Gontarz, DC Gina McPeck, SIA Dan Vaught and DC Greg Tate.

The third floor of the Rotunda, on the Senate Chamber side, served as our home base. Festivities began at 8:30 a.m. Our tables were decked out with COS literature, signage and seven dozen glazed doughnuts from Schulte’s Market in Jefferson City. Our volunteers were off to a fast start speaking with high school groups who were there to learn about the legislative process.  

We broke into teams to visit each office, visit with legislators and staff, and to hand out surge packets. This year’s packets contained a handout listing a few of our national endorsers, a press release covering passage in Wisconsin and Nebraska, a pocket Constitution and a personalized bookmark. Each bookmark listed the number of petition signers in the legislator’s district, the number of petition signers in Missouri (57,939), year over year COS supporter growth (22%) and annual growth of the national debt ($1.87B).

*L-R: SIA Dan Vaught, SGC Bennie Salkil, LL Marty Martinez, DC Vivian Gontarz, SD Brett Sterley, and SIA Michael Phoenix

To say our teams were amazing is an understatement!! They handed out 185 packets before lunchtime – missing only nine offices where they were unable to connect with legislators or staff. Visiting 194 offices in four hours is incredible. 

Our volunteers also made sure our tables were staffed the entire time. There, they interacted with the public and legislators taking a break from action on the floor. Everyone was able to speak with their legislators. What a huge success!

*L-R: DC Carol Jagger, RC Carol Hurley,VA John Mallinson and DC Doug Fristoe

If you haven’t visited the State Capitol, I highly encourage you to place it on your “to-do” list. Rush Limbaugh used to describe the experience as, “ordinary people achieving extraordinary things.” This is an example of what he was referring to. The best days to attend are Tuesdays and Wednesdays. We have members of our Legislative Liaison Teams present every Wednesday. We’re there to assist you, if needed. E-mail me at if you’d like to come to the Capitol and would like some assistance. Believe me, it’s an empowering experience! 

In liberty,



*DC = District Captain, LL = Legislative Liaison, RC - Regional Coordinator, SD = State Director, SGC = State Grassroots Coordinator, SIA = State Information Analyst, VA = Volunteer Activist

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