As a school board member, state senator and state representative, Maria Chappelle-Nadal has a track record of advocating for all of her constituents, including marginalized communities. As Maria runs for her 4th term in the Missouri House of Representatives, she hopes to ensure St. Louis residents have access to a clean and safe environment, quality public education, and the basic resources needed to lead full and successful lives.
Maria was born in St. Louis, where she was raised by a single mother who worked two jobs to support their family. As a child, Maria had a speech disability that often kept her from talking at all. Through speech therapy she developed a strong voice, and she has been using it ever since to advocate for the issues impacting the St. Louis community.
Maria received a dual degree in Political Science and Sociology from Georgia State University.
In 2004, Maria was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives, and was re-elected for two additional terms. In 2010, she was elected to the Missouri State Senate and to the University City School Board. In the Senate, she has served on the Education Committee, the Seniors, Families and Children Committee and the Veterans’ Affairs and Health Committee.
Maria has championed legislation on a variety of issues, including bills related to sex education (SBs 713 and 672), gun safety (SBs 739 and 740), election protection policy (SBs 755, 756 and 757), #Ferguson focused policy (SBs 671, 741, 758, 761, 763), and radioactive waste recovery, maintenance and accountability (SBs 600 and 601).
As Missouri’s Senior Advocate from 2002, Maria successfully helped shepherd legislation such as the Senior Care and Protection Act of 2003 and the Missouri Senior Rx Generic Drug Rebate.
Maria is a member of NOBEL/Women, the National Foundation of Women Legislators, the National Hispanic Council of State Legislators, the Missouri Legislative Black Caucus, and the Young Elected Officials Network.
She served as a member of the Democratic National Committee from 2005 - 2009, and as a Director of the University City School Board from 2010 to 2015.
Maria has dedicated her public service to advocating for improved conditions for the St. Louis community. She volunteered as a board member of The Women’s Safe House, The Institute for Peace & Justice and serves as a frequent Ready Reader in both public and private area schools.
Maria has received numerous awards, including the Barbara Jordan Leadership Award from the Young Elected Officials Network (2015), the St. Louis Business Journal Legislative Award (2014), the Senator John Heinz Memorial Award from the National Adult Day Services Association (2013), MO Alzheimer’s Association Outstanding Leadership Award (2010), the St. Louis Hispanic Leaders Group Esperanza Award (2008), the Missouri Association for Social Welfare Legislative Award (2008), and the St. Louis Freedom of Choice Award (2006).
In 2002, Maria was one of sixteen national fellows chosen by the National Organization for Black Elected Legislative/Women and the Center for American Women in Politics (CAWP) at Rutgers University. She is a former participant of the Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public Life (2004), and the Neighborhood Leadership Academy at the University of Missouri-St. Louis (2002).