From teaching at Head Start in Southern Missouri to teaching at a Reggio Emilia early childhood center at Harvard University, Ian has worked 8 years with children beginning their educational journeys. His degree in education from Westminster College in Fulton, MO set him on path to exploring experiential, child-directed learning and his experience has taught him what approaches work best in the classroom. Ian is an advocate for universal, free kindergarten for every Missouri child, regardless of where they live, and expanding access to pre-k education in our most underserved districts.
Ian earned his J.D. at night after a day teaching preschoolers, and worked at both the St. Louis City Circuit Attorney’s Office and at Arch City Defenders. He is committed to protecting equal rights for everyone, no matter what. His work on both sides of our criminal legal system provides keen insight into the need to push back against efforts to dismantle Missouri’s human rights statutes, and the urgent need for more reforms to our municipal court system.
Ian is passionate about protecting reproductive rights. Growing up in rural Missouri, he knows that Missouri women often lack full access to physicians and clinics – particularly as the legislature continues to attack the medical community, restrict access to contraception and constitutionally protected abortion care. During the 2017 regular session and the governor’s special session on abortion, Ian testified and lobbied against legislation designed to dismantle local reproductive discrimination ordinances.
He and his husband, Stephen, who works full-time to expand access to quality affordable health care for all, were fortunate enough to wed legally just a few years ago – instilling in both of them the universal values of acceptance, equality and fairness. As a young gay man raised in Southwest Missouri, Ian was marginalized for his sexual orientation. Yet, even then he recognized the struggle for equality was even worse for people of color, immigrants, and those with minority religious backgrounds. He is committed to fighting for the civil rights of every Missourian.
His earliest memories include volunteering with his granddad and labor leaders in rural areas throughout Southern Missouri and Iowa. These pursuits continued into adulthood. He was able to pay his own college tuition by working in Secretary of State Robin Carnahan’s office, helping Missourians understand complex government regulations.
Ian and Stephen have both worked on numerous bipartisan and Democratic political campaigns, including urban and rural state legislative races, the presidential campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, and statewide ballot campaigns to restore collective bargaining rights for public employees.
Maybe most importantly, Ian knows the 87th district. By managing several previous campaigns for State Representative Stacey Newman, he has talked to hundreds of voters in the district since 2008, getting to know their concerns, as well as the unique attributes of this community.