Kelly Houx
Wednesday Sun, 10-04-06

Retiring Rep. Cathy Jolly said the desire to serve the public that drove her to run for office six years ago has not changed.

Jolly, D-45th, said she wanted to help more people after serving as an assistant Jackson County Prosecutor.

“I wanted to leave my handprint on the state,” she said. “I wanted to help families improve their quality of life.”

Jolly said serving with the drug response team attached to the prosecutor’s office fueled her desire to seek public office.

“We started reaching out to the community that was affected by drug use and drug violence,” she said. “We helped clean some neighborhoods up, offered better protection and started working on legislation to get drugs off the streets.”
During the last veto session a couple weeks ago, Jolly said farewell to her colleagues in Jefferson City.

“It felt like I had just walked into first session, but I can say with all certainty I have had a tremendous opportunity to be part of something bigger every time we voted or drafted a piece of legislation,” she said. “I know that I am simply Cathy. I am a neighbor, wife, and mom. The title of representative is bestowed by the people.”
Jolly praised her constituents for sharing concerns and offering ideas for possible legislation.

“I listened to parents, friends, and former co-workers from the prosecutor’s office,” she said. Legislation she advanced includes closing loopholes in Missouri’s sex offender registration law, which requires all offenders to register with local law enforcement authorities. One of her last pieces of legislation allows sex crimes or child abuse victims to have access to the records of criminal proceedings involving attackers. The in formation could be used for a civil lawsuit.

Jolly also sponsored legislations dealing with the illegal drug Ecstasy and offering tougher penalties for prosecutors trying drug trafficking cases.

The Senior Care and Protection Act took effect in June 2003. Jolly served as the lead sponsor of the original House version that advocated for seniors in long-term care facilities. “It was about providing good care for seniors,” she said.
She also co-sponsored legislation that requires retailers who sell kegs of beer to attach identification.

Jolly’s families-first ideas manifested in legislation to help single mothers who qualify as working poor to find child care.` Jolly served as vice chair of a committee that studied the procedures to safeguard Missouri children from abductions via the AMBER alert system. She also sat on the crime prevention and public safety committee and education.

“My first year, I sat on the critical issues, consumer protection and housing committee,” she said. “We saw everything and the kitchen sink.” Jolly said people in elected roles still do good.

“As far as the job and experience, I have no regrets,” she said. “I am disappointed that party agendas factored into decisions such as cutting about 90,000 people from Medicaid. I am also sad that we are not funding our schools better.

“We have to help people understand their voices do matter. During non-election years, I walked door-to-door to see what people were thinking about. I want people who turn 18 to register to vote with the same sort of enthusiasm they have when the get their drivers license.”

For immediate release: Friday, February 3, 2006

Jolly in the City

Kansas City- Three-term State Representative, Cathy Jolly, will announce next Thursday that she will not seek re-election for Missouri’s 45th District. Instead, she plans to run for the City Council in Kansas City in 2007. She said she will file for the Council’s 6th District At-Large seat that is being vacated by Alvin Brooks who is term limited from running again.

Jolly is a former assistant Jackson County Prosecutor who was first elected to the State Legislature in 2000. Her accomplishments in the Legislature are extensive: authoring, sponsoring and co-sponsoring legislation on a wide array of issues, including sponsoring the expansion of the DNA database which has enhanced the ability of law enforcement to solve, and prosecutors to convict the most violent offenders.

Jolly said, “I have enjoyed my service in Jefferson City and believe I have made a positive contribution to my community and the State of Missouri. I am honored to have made a difference in the lives of those I have served in my district. I will miss it, but I am looking forward to serving closer to home and making an impact more directly on the future of our city.

Jolly also said, “My background as an assistant prosecutor, and as a six year member of the State Legislature, has prepared me to serve effectively on the City Council. My husband, Scott, and many of my friends and constituents have encouraged me to do this and I look forward to the challenge.”

Jolly’s formal announcement of her candidacy for City Council will be at a special event at the Uptown Theatre, Thursday, February 9, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Cathy and her husband Scott live in Kansas City with their two year old son, Drake. Both Scott and Cathy are attorneys. See attached bio for more information about Cathy.

Wednesday Sun's "Best of the Southland" Favorite Politician August 2006