Boston University School of Law

Don Calloway (‘05) elected to represent hometown of 71st District in the Missouri State House of Representatives


For Don Calloway (’05), who describes himself as, “an attorney by trade and a lifelong public servant at heart,” the soul of government lies in listening and responding to the citizenry. Hoping to make a greater impact on his hometown of St. Louis, Calloway recently campaigned and was elected to represent Missouri’s 71st District in the State House of Representatives.

Despite his commitment to pro bono work outside of his private practice, Calloway never felt he was doing his “fair share of public service.” Seeing the opportunity to transfer his skill from the private sector to the public domain, Calloway ran for a seat in the State House. In an effort to meet his neighbors and advocate his plans for improved public education, more relationships with private industries and affordable health care, the 71st District native spent the campaign season knocking on just about every door in his community—an endeavor which earned him over 50 percent of the vote on the August 5, 2008 Election Day.

Calloway recalls Election Day as one of the most memorable experiences of his life thus far. Contending against his main opponent for every vote in stifling 100-degree heat, Calloway drove back and forth to the city’s largest polling places from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Despite a tight race for much of the day, watching the voters file into the polls eased his nerves and boosted his confidence. “My team and I had knocked on so many doors over the last months of the campaign that we knew people as they came to vote; and we were calling them by name as they approached the polling place. After seeing so many familiar faces, I knew that we would do very well,” says Calloway.

And he and his team did do very well—winning the 71st District election with 1,432 votes. “So many people worked hard and sacrificed on my campaign that it was a true community effort,” says Calloway. “Winning was great, but there is a lot of work to do! It will feel even better to get substantive legislation passed that helps working families stay afloat in the tough economic times.”

Eager to “learn the House rules inside and out,” Calloway cannot wait to begin serving the community and its working class residents. As for his agenda, he intends to begin work to stimulate development within his district as soon as possible. “I'm looking forward to creating jobs and economic opportunity in my home neighborhood,” he says, hoping that the 71st District “can move away from the fast-food and pawn shops that have defined the area's commercial atmosphere.”

Born and raised in St. Louis, Calloway has a longstanding involvement with the city. In addition to having provided pro bono legal services outside of his private practice at Lathrop & Gage LC, he has served as an assistant scout master to the Boy Scouts of America, as a youth organizer, tutor and mentor for the Matthews Dickey Boys’ and Girls’ Club, and as an active member and youth ministry volunteer for the Greater Mr. Carmel M.B. Church.

>>View Don Calloway's personal campaigne site.

Reported by Lauren Shiraka