Candidate column: Todd Taylor

Rep. , Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011, at the Statehouse in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Rep. , Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011, at the Statehouse in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

A few years back we all heard governor Tom Vilsack say he wanted “more Iowans, younger Iowans and better paid Iowans” to help make Iowa a better place. From that was born the concept that still resonates with us today: We want to make Iowa a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

This is the theme statement of why I am running for office. Additionally, as a student of political science and a state representative for the westside for a number of years, I want to write good legislation and rewrite stupid legislation. Yes, there is plenty of both. This is why I has continued to seek office and I have been blessed by the strong support of the constituents of House district 70. Like many other have said, “I stand on the shoulders of those who have come before me.” I am pleased to have the support of so many Republicans and Independents as well as the Democrats of the northwest and southwest Cedar Rapids.

I was born in Ames, and grew up in Cedar Rapids. As a Jefferson High School graduate, our state Sen. Wally Horn was a teacher of mine and today, remains a mentor. My wife Kim and I have two children and we want to best education for them and for all Iowa’s children.

We need to make education our top priority. For K-12, I will continue to support preschool education and school readiness, ready recovery and measuring results against statewide standards with local control and teacher input. In short, the people, parents, taxpayers and of course students want results. In addition, I would expand early education opportunities through initiatives like statewide voluntary preschool programs to ensure children are ready to learn as they enter kindergarten.

Additionally, we must create jobs and a strong middle class. We must make childcare more affordable for working families — and find a way that those families trying to make ends meet will not lose our support when they make a slightly better wage. I would raise the minimum wage on a statewide basis. I will work to make sure women earn equal pay for equal work. We should focus state resources on small businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs — including those run by minorities and women in our urban centers, so they can grow and create good paying jobs.

I hope I can earn your vote.

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