Candidate column: Molly Donahue

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I was born and raised in Cedar Rapids. I hold a Master’s Degree in behavior disorders from the University of Northern Iowa. I have been teaching in Cedar Rapids since 1990. I currently teach at my alma mater, Washington High School, work with students who have behavior issues. My parents are retired and live in Colorado. I also have two sisters who also live out of state.

I decided to run for the legislature because it is clear that education is no longer a priority for our Governor or for the Re-publican majority. Republicans in the Iowa House have knowingly broken the law for six years in a row (my opponent has joined them for the last two years) by not setting basic state funding for public schools (called Supplemental State Aid) on time. When Republicans finally set school funding, the increases over those six years are the lowest in Iowa history. In 2012, schools actually got a ZERO percent increase.

As we’re seeing here in our own community, these delays and political tactics at the Capitol result in larger class sizes, program cuts, and the elimination of teaching and staff positions all of which means school districts are forced to raise property taxes to make up the difference. The Governor and the Republicans believe that corporate tax cuts to attract business and economic development are more important than investing in education. This is counter intuitive because

business investors are attracted to communities where education is a high priority. They are also looking to invest in states and communities with a well-educated workforce. Education impacts every aspect of our lives.

I also think we need to reverse the privatization of Medicaid because our most vulnerable people, as well as our providers, are not being served. We also need to raise the minimum wage because it is an investment in our people as well as our community along with equal pay for equal work. Finally, we need to work on the issue of water quality.

As your representative, I will work tirelessly on these issues which I believe will improve our quality of life. I respectfully ask for your vote on Nov. 8.

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