116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
DES MOINES — Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms told Iowa Democrats on Sunday “finally help is here” in cheering President Joe Biden’s efforts to rescue the nation from an economically crippling COVID-19 pandemic in ways that she said are aiding many Americans and businesses.
By restoring leadership in the White House since Jan. 20, Bottoms said, the Biden administration “has over-delivered on lifesaving policies that have turned the tide on some of our nation’s darkest hours,” with hundreds of millions of Americans receiving vaccination shots that are helping reopen communities.
“We’ve been able to reunite with our families and loved ones and we’ve actually been able to hug and touch one another. How long have we all been waiting for that?” the Georgia mayor asked in her remarks as the keynote speaker at the Iowa Democratic Party’s virtual Hall of Fame fundraiser.
Due to the “inaction and incompetence” of the former GOP president and Republican Congress, she said too many families and small businesses are still struggling to recover from damaging pandemic effects even as the new administration “hit the ground running and gave our communities a much-needed lifeline.”
Bottoms said she is thankful the nation has a leadership team that will keep American families “top of mind and will not rest until this pandemic is behind us.” But, she added, “bold” bipartisan legislative action is needed to “seize the moment to re-imagine” a new U.S. economy with passage of a jobs plan that would rebuild crumbling infrastructure and keep recovery moving forward.
Likewise, she called on Democrats in Iowa who sustained political losses in 2020 to rebuild their party infrastructure for “progressive wins” beginning in 2022 by electing a new governor, a new U.S. senator, flipping congressional seats back to Democrats and breaking the GOP grip on Iowa’s Statehouse.
Despite what she called a “disturbing pattern” by Republicans in Iowa and other states to “purge” voters from the rolls rather than making elections more accessible and secure, Bottoms challenged Iowans to “show up to vote” as a powerful tool to counter efforts to suppress turnout or discourage participation.
“Elections are on the horizon. In 2022, you have the opportunity to elect a governor who works for all people across your state, not just the donors,” said the 51-year-old mayor, lawyer and mother of four.
“You can replace Chuck Grassley with a senator who goes to Washington to work for you each and every day; you can flip congressional seats and take back seats in the Iowa Legislature.”
Republicans issued a statement saying that given that Iowa Democrats opposed GOP “back the blue” legislation — which Reynolds is expected to sign soon — during the recently completed 2021 session, it “should be no surprise” they would continue to show “their disdain for those who serve and protect our communities” by choosing as their speaker a mayor who has advocated defunding the police.
In an interview with Atlanta TV station WXIA in June 2020, Bottoms said her police reform priorities in Atlanta were broadly aligned with what activists who call for defunding the police mean. "The intent of this movement as best as I can assess really is about reallocating funds for social services and support and community enhancement initiatives," the mayor had said, according to the report.
"Iowans know what it's like to lose an officer in the line of duty, and this radical push to defund the police only adds to the danger officers already face," said Kollin Crompton, communications director for the Republican Party of Iowa.
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