Everyone complains that there is too much talking and not enough doing in politics. When the state released their Vaccinate Iowa website, there was an obvious gap between finding a location and finding an appointment. I took action and created Vaccine Hunter, a site that should have been created by our state from the beginning.
Iowans are no longer being represented by our state senators, only special interests. I am running to represent ALL Iowans and have already proven I can get things done.
Public Education Funding
Public Education is the beginning. If public schools are prioritized and provided proper funding, it creates a ripple effect of change throughout the state of Iowa. Just a few years ago Iowa was one of the top ranked states in education, and every year since then, we have been declining in the national rankings. More education means better jobs, higher salaries, and more income tax to benefit the state. Iowa could again be at the top of the list for best states with public education, which would bring in highly qualified teachers and other professionals who want to live and work in Iowa. During the pandemic it was made very clear that public schools provide much more than an education to their students—they provide child care and nutritious meals, as well as physical and mental health support. We have an obligation to the students of Iowa to provide them with the necessary aid so they can reach beyond their basic needs and have the chance to be creative, inventive, and imaginative once again.
“State funding levels for higher education remain significantly less than FY 2009 amounts. Looking farther back, higher education appropriations for FY 2021 are $63 million less than in FY 2001.” according to the board of regent’s appropriations request for fiscal 2022.
Protect the Right To Vote
Our voting rights in Iowa took center stage when the latest bill to attack the vote was passed by the Republicans and signed on March 8, 2021 by our governor. We now have a shorter window of time to vote and absentee ballots are due earlier. This legislation also took away locations where Iowans could drop off their ballots early. Counties are now expected to mail out the ballots and get them back in record time. There have even been county officials who have resigned in fear of the monetary fines that could be brought to them for infractions. We should be making voting easier, and everyone who is eligible should be allowed to vote.
Public Health and Pandemic Preparedness
The COVID-19 pandemic caused devastating health and economic consequences including the deaths of nearly one million Americans, and shined a light on the importance of strong public health infrastructure. I stepped up and filled the gaps the state was leaving with our response, but we clearly need more state support so we aren’t in the same position again. The importance of public health has never been more apparent than over the last two years, here is what I want to take on:
- Addressing shortages in mental health funding, staff, and housing for long term patients.
- Getting state agencies together for a retrospective on our state’s Covid response, and creating a playbook so we can better handle pandemics in the future.
- Increasing funding for scientific and medical research and making sure it is done safely to reduce biological risks.
Bring Back Iowa Nice
First and foremost, our state senators need to serve ALL Iowans, not just special interests. There shouldn’t be a reason to pass bills at midnight and then immediately sign them.
As a state we need to be inclusive of all people no matter their race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity. There were many anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced in Iowa this past legislative session, and we need to stop any more discriminatory bills from occurring in the future. Discrimination against any group of people is not only unjust, but it’s not Iowa nice.
As a legislature, more focus needs to be made on goals that both parties want to move forward. If we can find more common ground, work can be done to push Iowa in a more positive direction.