Government Relations

UM Legislative Update Newsletter

May 11, 2007

Rep. Jonas Hughes

As a student at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Rep. Leonard (Jonas) Hughes IV (D-Kansas City) took advantage of opportunities to become involved on campus. He served as president of the Student Government Association and The African American Student Union, worked two years as manager of the Kangaroos basketball team and was court warming king, among other activities. Today he is focused on giving students who follow him at UMKC the same opportunities by working to increase the state’s support for higher education in Missouri. “I think it is very important to continue to fund higher education at an appropriate level because it will result in us preparing future leaders for tomorrow,” Hughes said. “UMKC is a great example of a place that builds future leaders for tomorrow.”

Jonas Hughes

Hughes’ service as president of the Student Government Association helped prepare him for a future in politics. “I learned a lot at UMKC working in student politics,” he said. “My interest in student politics honed my skills in parliamentary procedure, Roberts Rules of Order and other areas that are benefiting me today.”

Considering his involvement on campus, it was no surprise that he went on to become involved in the community. At the age of 24, Hughes was the youngest person ever elected to the Missouri House of Representatives. He also was the youngest African American ever elected to the office.

Hughes’ early start in public service is somewhat of a family tradition. At the age of 25, his father, Leonard Hughes III, was the youngest person ever elected to the Circuit Court in Jackson County, Mo.

Hughes was first elected to the Missouri House of Representatives in 2004. Currently, he serves on the Appropriations Committee for General Administration, the Fiscal Review Committee, the Budget Committee, the Special Committee on Student Achievement and the Special Committee on Urban Education.

In addition to his legislative duties, Hughes is a member of the NAACP, the Missouri Legislative Black Caucus Foundation and Freedom Inc. He also serves as the vice president of the Young Democrats of Kansas City.

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