I’ll never forget the cold February day back in 2017 when the Iowa Legislature – against thousands of protests, calls and letters from working Iowans – voted to take away the collective bargaining rights of 180,000 public employees. I watched in disbelief as the people who work the hardest to take care of our communities – police officers, firefighters, corrections officers, teachers, nurses and even snow plow drivers – stood in the Legislature, asking for their rights and were ignored by a majority of lawmakers.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t the first time, nor would it be the last, that the voices of Iowans were ignored while the last Legislature passed the most extreme bills in Iowa history. They privatized Medicaid – ignoring input from patients and their health care providers. They limited workers’ compensation – ignoring input from workers in industries susceptible to the injuries that are now hardly covered. They under-funded our public schools – ignoring input from students and teachers. They passed the most extreme anti-abortion law in the country – ignoring women who need to make tough decisions.
Why have we been ignored? Why did the majority pass bills they didn’t campaign on?
Money. Favors for lobbyists and mega donors that resulted in tax breaks for out-of-state corporations; control over unions, workers’ rights and women’s bodies.
I am one of those ignored public workers and Louie Zumbach, my current representative in District 95, is one of those in the majority. I’m running for the Iowa House to be a voice not just for workers, but for all Iowans who have been ignored by Zumbach and so many others we elected to represent us.
Since last February, I’ve knocked thousands of doors in District 95, and I have listened to your concerns.
Bottom line: The policies enacted over the last two years aren’t based on our values. What I hear is that you value your public schools, your public employees, your right to quality health care, your local businesses and your environment. I’ve listened closely to your concerns, and I know I need to do more than just reverse the damage that was done.
I’m ready to work with you to support and strengthen what we value most here in the great state of Iowa, and I’ll do whatever it takes to get the job done.
• Christian Andrews is the Democratic candidate in Iowa House District 95.
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