This second of two in-district work weeks included the final event of my Drug-Free Missouri anti-drug initiative, an event with the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, a visit to Windsor, a talk with students in Camden County, and a chance to congratulate the MO-4 winner of the Congressional Art Competition.

Lebanon High School hosted the final school event of my Drug-Free Missouri initiative, with an assembly attended by over 1,500 students who heard the message of the dangers of drug use and abuse. Lebanon was the seventh such assembly we held over the past two weeks, featuring compelling speakers who shared their very personal accounts with students, explaining how drug use and abuse has affected their lives in very negative ways.

Dr. Wayne Williams, who had previously spoken to students about losing a daughter to a heroin overdose in the spring of 2016, spoke to the students in Lebanon, telling them how he misses Jessica “every moment of every day.” He told the students that they are the key to making a difference and that they must make the right choice to stay with us.

An undercover officer with the Missouri Highway Patrol shared his compelling story of having lost his mother to drug abuse. He said that when she was found dead her only personal possessions were photographs of him and his sister. He urged the students to stay away from drugs at all costs.

This has been a very intense venture which I pray will convince those who have not used drugs to never use them, and those who are using drugs to seek help.

I believe it is now important to engage with parents, encouraging them to speak to their children about the dangers of drug use. Counseling and other efforts to help those hooked on drugs is welcome, but it is preferable to stop our young people from using drugs in the first place. Conversations about this topic can be difficult, but they are essential. Some resources to assist parents are available on my website. I also encourage parents to contact my Harrisonville office at (816) 884-3411 to speak with Adam Timmerman, my district Drug Free Missouri liaison, if you have ideas or concerns. I want to work alongside you and support you in raising up a drug-free generation to end this cycle of drug abuse in our society. He can also be reached via email

Before the Lebanon event, I had the pleasure of speaking to an American government class at Camdenton High School. It was wonderful to see so many young people who are taking an interest in how our government functions. The level of interest can’t help but make even a skeptic optimistic about this generation of young people.

Welcoming the EPA Administrator to Missouri’s Fourth

I joined Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt this week as he visited the Thomas Hill Energy Center in Clifton Hill on Thursday to discuss how the government is getting out of the business of picking winners and losers in the energy sector. Power plant workers and Missouri Electric Cooperative members were told about the EPA’s Back-to-Basics agenda, returning the agency to its core mission of protecting the environment through common sense regulations developed in cooperation with state and local partners.

It was refreshing to hear the head of the EPA talk about prioritizing both the environment and job growth. He understands that it is possible to prioritize both the environment and job growth – there is no need to choose between the two. Administrator Pruitt talked about President Trump’s recent Energy Independence Executive Order which directs the EPA and other federal agencies to review the Clean Power Plan and revise regulatory barriers that stand in the way of energy independence. Miners and coal-fired electric utilities are especially harmed by the federal government’s unnecessary burdens. I look forward to working with Administrator Pruitt to keep electricity affordable for Missourians.

From there I was given a “windshield” tour of Windsor, where we drove to see the construction happening at Royal Oaks Hospital, visit Farrington City Park and tour Kim’s Cabins, which is a popular spot to stay for bicyclists on the Katy and Rock Island Trails.

That’s a winner

Finally, this year’s winners of the Congressional Art Competition were announced over the weekevnd. The contest featured artwork from high school students throughout Missouri’s Fourth Congressional District.

Stella Tutin of Boonville High School captured first place with her pen and ink work titled “Kemper,” a drawing of the torn down Kemper Military Academy’s General Admission Building in Boonville.

There were 27 submissions this year, all of them remarkable, making it very difficult for our judges to choose. Stella’s winning entry will be displayed in the Capitol in Washington for one year and will join artwork from other Congressional districts across the country. Additionally, Stella will be flown to our Nation’s Capital by Southwest Airlines for the ceremony unveiling winning entries from across the country.

Winners of the second and third place ribbons, as well as our honorable mention entry, will have the opportunity to display their artwork in Congresswoman Hartzler’s offices in Harrisonville and Columbia for visitors to enjoy over the next year.

I congratulate all our winners and wish them much success in the future.

Have a great week

Yours in service,

Vicky Hartzler

Member of Congress