Government Relations

UM Legislative Update Newsletter

March 10, 2006

Legislator profile: Rep. Michael Brown

Rep. Brown

Rep. Michael Brown (D-Kansas City) credits his undergraduate days at the University of Missouri-Kansas City as inspiration for his service in the General Assembly. “I’ve used each lesson from my life as a student in my role as state representative in the Missouri House,” he said. “I could see my future at UMKC. I was taught to reach for a big dream and work hard toward that dream.”

“Thank you to all my professors,” Brown said. “I hope you see your lessons do pay-off!”

Brown received an associate’s degree from Penn Valley Community College in 1990. He also received a bachelor’s degree in political science from UMKC in 1992 and attended the Ewing Kauffman Foundation Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership in 1991.

While all of Brown’s professors at UMKC were memorable, those in the political science department particularly stood out. Brown recalls David Atkinson, Ph.D., Curators’ Distinguished Teaching Professor of Political Science and Law, as the most influential. “He loved the law so much we began to love the law, too,” he said.

“My fondest memory from UMKC is gathering outside in the Quad to discuss what instructors we had each year – who was tough, who was hard – and being thankful that I had already taken that particular class,” Brown said.

In addition to his legislative duties, Brown is the owner and publisher of Ghettostone Publishing, an independent comic book company in Kansas City. He also is a member of the UMKC Alumni Association, the Missouri Real Estate Commission, and the Jackson County Housing Resources Commission, among others.

Brown was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives in 2004 to represent part of Jackson County (District 50). He currently serves a member of the Budget; Appropriations/Public Safety and Corrections; and Job Creation and Economic Development committees.

Brown describes his district as “on the brink of economic development that will literally transform our area.”

“We have I-70, Highway 71, Highway 435, and the Grandview Triangle,” he said. “We plan to be an inland shipping hub with highways that connect the nation.” And to do so, Brown said they will a qualified workforce that the University of Missouri helps supply.

“It’s very important to the state’s economic development plans that our universities continue to educate more of Missouri youth,” he said. “The state of Missouri must become a welcoming place for trade, sales, manufacturing and a discovery of cures so that new business is transplanted here.”

Higher education is critical to the future of Missouri, Brown said. “As the state moves toward life sciences, agricultural sciences, and the development of new industries, an educated work force will be needed,” he said.

Brown sees the mission of the University of Missouri as creating “an environment within the state that attracts new students to it, and retains them through completion while attending.”

He also sees the preparation of qualified high school graduates for higher education as one of the greatest challenges facing higher education in Missouri today. “Equally, I see the high costs associated with entering colleges and universities becoming a barrier,” Brown said.

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