116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — Union electrician and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 405 President Jeff Cooling is running for a seat in the Iowa House.
Cooling, 33, is the first candidate to announce in House 77, which includes much of Cedar Rapids from 16th Avenue SW to the Linn-Johnson County line. Rep. Kirsten Running-Marquardt, D-Cedar Rapids, represents that area, but she is running for an open Linn County Board seat.
“I’m running to represent Cedar Rapids because it's time working people say that enough is enough and take our voice to the Statehouse,” Cooling said. “Working people shouldn't have to worry about being paid a living wage, making our jobs or time between jobs more difficult.”
An Iowa native, Cooling is continuing his family’s union tradition. His parents and grandparents were union members. He started his apprenticeship with IBEW 405 after graduating from Cedar Rapids Prairie in 2006 and now is a journeyman electrician.
He wants to reverse the attack on workers’ rights that he witnessed when the Legislature “gutted” Chapter 20 collective bargaining rights for public employees. Cooling was among the speakers at Capitol rallies against those changes in 2017.
Since then, Cooling said, “I’ve been involved in working to elect candidates who support me and working families.”
He and his wife, Amanda, have two children. Cooling said they are concerned about schools and child care, which was the family’s largest monthly expense until their older child started school.
“Finding consistent and affordable child care for them has been very difficult,” he said. “So affordable child care is definitely something that's important to me, because if we can make that affordable, a lot of our families are going to have more money in their pockets to spend.”
Cooling also is concerned that “teachers, classrooms and public schools are underfunded and forgotten. Our infrastructure is aging, especially in our rural areas.”
“It's time to stop these attacks on us regular working people and the areas we live in and reverse the direction of our state,” he said.
“I have seen working people's rights attacked at the Statehouse,” added Cooling. “Our teachers, classrooms, and public schools are underfunded and forgotten. Our infrastructure is aging, especially in our rural areas. It's time to stop these attacks on us regular working people and the areas we live in and reverse the direction of our state.”
In addition to serving a second term as IBEW 405 president, Cooling is an area vice president at the Hawkeye Area Labor Council. He also has worked with his young trade unionist group since 2011, most recently volunteering with Project ReLeaf CR, planting trees in Cedar Rapids.
For more on Cooling and his campaign, visit facebook.com/JCforHD77.
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