Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress in Missouri’s 8th Congressional District Kathy Ellis and local organizers Leslie Bearden and Marcia Ridley are hosting a community forum in Phelps County on income inequality.

Panelists and facilitators for the forum include Executive Director of The Rolla Mission Ashley Brooks and Rolla City Councilwoman Rachel Schneider.

“The gap between the richest and poorest is the largest it has been since before the Great Depression. We may not agree on a solution to this problem, but we can agree that there’s a crisis on hand,” Ellis said. 

The event is free and open to the public. Ellis said, community members will have the opportunity to ask panelists questions, share experiences of income inequality in the district and begin to work together to identify solutions to close the gap between the richest and poorest in the district. 

“Too many families struggle to make ends meet, despite working two or three jobs to feed their families. Parents struggle to provide the necessary food and resources for their children, and healthcare costs commonly cause families to declare bankruptcy. We must begin to work together to identify solutions to this growing problem,” Ellis said

The forum will be held in the Phelps County Courthouse at 200 N. Main St. on Nov. 13, at 6:30 p.m. All are invited, regardless of party, affiliation or opinion on the topic. 

Ellis will face off against Congressman Jason Smith, Republican incumbent of Missouri’s 8th Congressional District, in the 2020 election.