Power Profile: Rep. Tommie Pierson, Jr.


How do you measure success? That’s easy for a former math teacher and metrics engineer, now turned legislator. Missouri State Rep. Tommie Pierson, Jr. (D-District 66, St. Louis) has learned that the passage of good legislation is one way.

Pierson, a member of the House Utilities Committee, supported energy legislation known as SB 564 in the 2018 legislative session. It passed with flying colors and has been transformed by Ameren Missouri into its new Smart Energy Plan. 

“I was fortunate to be a part of that legislation as it made its way to the finish line,” Pierson said. “It was a large effort with many ‘wins’ included” in the bill that became law.

“There were certainly things in that bill that we need to move our state forward and to keep us competitive with other states,” he noted. But at the same time, he says he appreciates the “assurance that people would have some relief with their utility bills.”

After the bill became law and Ameren Missouri unveiled its Smart Energy Plan, Pierson said, “It has been fulfilling to see this come to be and that the things that we were promised would come to fruition.” 

Pierson represents an urban area with 85% of his district in north St. Louis County, and the remainder in the City of St. Louis. He said he is pleased that the Smart Energy Plan “includes folks with diverse backgrounds” in terms of employment opportunities and infrastructure upgrades and modernization. 

Now, in his second term in the House, he said he has learned a lot about “how we use and obtain energy and how we can do things that will be beneficial to the environment.”

Before he was elected to the legislature, Pierson was a junior high math teacher at Hazelwood East. He fondly looks back at that time as “one of great fun and challenges each and every day.” His 7th graders, he noted, “were certainly a rambunctious group!”

His students had a lot to learn, and he said he has found his own steep learning curve at the state house. 

“Missouri is a diverse state,” he says. “Before being elected, I had little knowledge of what happens in rural areas, or with agriculture. I have learned about conservation and natural resources. I’ve even gone turkey hunting,” he said with a laugh. 

Teaching and legislating are just two of his talents. A graduate of Washington University and later the Covenant Theological Seminary, he has also been known for his preaching. Pierson has been a pastor for the past 15 years and presides at inStep Church.

His jobs as a pastor and as a legislator have given him an “enhanced appreciation for people.” 

As to measuring success, he seems to be pleased with all that he does. “I enjoy learning a variety of topics,” he said. “It has been very worthwhile.”

May 2019

Published on by Gregory Hauenstein.