First I want to thank the citizens of southwest Cedar Rapids, Fairfax and southwest Linn County for entrusting me to be their state representative. I am proud to call our community home, and I have worked hard to be an effective leader and local connection to state government.
I grew up on the southwest side and attended Kirkwood Community College, the University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa. Upon graduating from UI, I decided Linn County was the place I wanted to start my family. So I moved back to the southwest side, where I live with my husband and 11-year-old son.
I stand proud of the work I have done in the Legislature. For me, Iowans come first, not politics. This has been reflected in my work to pass many pieces of legislation in a bipartisan manner. Some of those bills include addressing lunch shaming in our schools, providing greater local access to cancer support and screenings, protecting citizens’ DNA information from insurance companies, and providing state university tuition grants for children of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. I also worked with companies that provided schools with lifesaving EPI-pens, and on legislation that allowed school nurses to use them. Along with other Linn County elected officials, I helped secure vital funding to support flood recovery efforts and passed legislation that saved Ellis Harbor.
As ranking member of the Economic Development Appropriations Committee and member of the Iowa Workforce Development Board, I have tirelessly advocated for increased opportunities for workforce training and support for Iowa’s strong union apprenticeship programs and community colleges. As a member of the labor committee, I helped lead the fight against the terrible attacks on Iowa’s collective bargaining laws and successfully fought off several attempts to erode Iowa’s child labor laws.
None of that work was done alone. This work was done with strong advocacy from organizations across Linn County, and by listening to citizens and making sure their voices were heard. There is much more work to do so all Iowans have a fair shot at a prosperous future.
My priorities remain: developing a 21st century workforce through rising wages and strong worker training; providing the resources our public schools need; smart, fiscally responsible economic development; and quality affordable health care including public health.
I ask for your vote on Nov. 6. Let’s move this state forward together.
• Kirsten Running-Marquardt is the Democratic candidate in Iowa House District 69.
All candidate guest columns in House District 69:
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