Exact Change

Lynda Waddington

At The Gazette I serve as a columnist, blogger, community engagement co-leader and member of the editorial board. I've been both an insider and observer of Iowa politics and, shockingly enough, I still enjoy it. While I write on a variety of topics, I enjoy telling the stories of everyday people most of all. My house is home to two cats, two dogs, two children, a few hundred dust bunnies, at least a couple of MIA hamsters and, of course, my spouse. Our oldest daughter was released into the wild a few years ago, and should phone her mother more often.





Index: Iowa needs better crisis plans

The new National Health Security Preparedness Index is out, and Iowans continue to lag behind in plans for the state's most vulnerable.

Across most of the 139 measures used to compile the index, Iowans far ... »

Middle-aged women (still) leading political activism

A funny thing happened in the wake of last year's presidential election.

No, it wasn't that more women signed up to serve as foot soldiers on the political battlefield. They've always been there - marching, dialing and door knocking. The humorous ... »

State won’t force my daughters

For the past several years I've searched for a way to get my oldest daughter to move back to Iowa, and ways to keep my younger daughter in state. Thanks to the Iowa Legislature, I'm putting those plans on hold.

There's been plenty of #x201c;progr ... »

An opportunity to care for Iowa’s kids

Before the General Assembly comes to a close lawmakers need take notice of new school lunch policies in the southwest.

Legislators in Texas and ... »

How much can your city afford?

State lawmakers are putting your city between a rock and a hard place. Either way, you'll pay.

Senate File 481, which targets so-called #x201c;sanctuary#x201d; communiti ... »

Parallel messaging gave GOP Statehouse control

Have casual conversations with Iowans and a pattern emerges of the ways the national 2016 election narrative did and did not apply to the Statehouse.

Since November I've been quietly talking to people around Iowa. I've reached out to farmers and ... »

Some more ‘woman’ law suggestons

Since it appears Republicans in the Iowa Statehouse have run the gamut of nationally-promoted bills restricting the ability of women to be productive and healthy members of society, here are some suggestions for the remainder of the session.

... »

Disability isn’t so easy, even for the desperate

As much as I need to stop thinking about the Washington Post story on Social Security disability benefits reprinted in ... »

Atheist, humanist invocations planned at Iowa Statehouse

This month the Iowa Statehouse moves closer to its #x201c;people's house#x201d; nickname when first an atheist, and then a humanist, offer invocations from the well of the House chamber.

The General Assembly has a long-standing tradition of invoca ... »

Let facts guide child neglect, abuse policies

Seventy percent of the roughly 1,600 children who die in the U.S. each year from abuse or neglect are under the age of three.

Those most likely to die from neglect or at the hands of an abuser are infants not yet a year old.

These and othe ... »