I am not a politician; I am a practitioner who will take my lived and professional experiences to bring proven solutions to the Iowa State Capitol. I have a proven track-track record of building bridges and creating relationships that benefit the people in our community. Moreover, I have been able to develop deep relationships with hundreds of constituents that live in SD17 that I can leverage to bring the needs of our community to the state Capitol.
I do not compare myself to Gandhi. However, I do live by this quote, “the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” I have found myself serving District 17 and beyond for the past two decades. I will treat everyone with dignity and respect and engage in civil discourse as a State Senator to get things done and make an impact on the issues that Democrats care most deeply about.
Here are a few issues that I will continue to champion in the Iowa Senate (in alphabetical order).
I feel the pain of finding a childcare provider that you feel comfortable with and can afford to leave your children at. My wife and I work full-time, and all three of our kids attend(ed) daycare. We must implement free full-day PreK beginning at three years old throughout the entire state of Iowa. We also need to make adequate funding available for school and community-based childcare with non-traditional hours. I will fight for our state government to create accessible, affordable, educational, and safe childcare environments for our most important investment, our children.
Civil and Human Rights
Protecting human and civil rights is imperative for the future of Iowa. I have been a City Civil and Human Commissioner for seven years. During my time on the commission, we proposed the following initiatives Bridging the Gap, Racial Profiling, Welcoming Cities, and more to our city leadership. All of the initiatives that we sent to the City Council were created by Grassroot work engaging the people in our community. That is the same approach that I will take as a State Senator to make sure that I am representing the needs of everyone in our district. I support PP, the Young Women’s Resource Center, BLM, and LGBTQ advocacy organizations and will continue to do so as State Senator.
As your State Senator, I will fight to fully fund all of Iowa's public schools. Public dollars are for public schools. Moreover, public schools should have the ability to get the discretion to get those funds into the classroom so that teachers have all the tools they need to teach and students have everything that they need to learn. I have two daughters in Des Moines Public Schools, I work inside the public schools, and I have coached football and basketball at East and North. As Malcolm X stated, “education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” This statement is just as true now as when he said it. We need a State Senator who has experience creating, implementing, and scaling successful programs for students in PreK-12, high school equivalency programs, PSE, and the Trades. I am that candidate.
Access to healthcare is a human right. I work with our excellent local healthcare providers to ensure that we have access to affordable and high-quality healthcare in our community, including physical, mental, and reproductive healthcare. This includes partnering with Broadlawns Medical Center (our county hospital), Mid-Iowa Health Foundation, Planned Parenthood, Polk County Health Department, and other organizations willing to support nonjudgmental healthcare access in our community. We need to bring everyone to the table to make sure everyone has the tools to make the best healthcare decisions for themselves and their families.
My wife and I bought an old foreclosed and abandoned house in Riverbend over 15 years ago. Families like ours need access to safe, affordable housing within the community. As a non-profit leader, city commissioner, and neighborhood advocate, I can take my insights and relationship to the Capitol to allow experts in the field to have a voice at the tables to make legislation that will create and maintain safe, local, and family-friendly affordable housing. Sustainable housing creates community.
Justice System Reform
Our justice system is not in the right place. We need to increase and improve treatment for mental health and substance abuse. The jails can no longer be the default treatment centers. We must have equitable, fair, and transparent systems that keep our communities safe and work to rehabilitation and create positive, productive members of our committees. This includes looking at public safety in many different ways and bringing everyone to the table so that solutions are sustainable.
I am an ally and will vote that way in the Iowa Senate.
I am pro-choice. I have volunteered with Planned Parenthood in Iowa, the nonprofit that I lead partners with PP for our health fairs. I support PP financially and publicly. My wife worked at PP from 2012 - to 2019, and when she left, she was the state deputy director. As a Girl Dad, husband, and advocate, I will continue to show up for and fight for the rights of women to make decisions for their bodies.
I want to create solutions that allow Iowans to live without fear about drinking tap water and using our water for recreation. We need to have common-sense policies that protect our drinking water and recreational opportunities in our water. I live on the Des Moines river and have been at the table for the waterway renovation. I want our families to feel safe drinking water from the tap.
We need careers in our community. Over the decades, I have worked with local employers to be more culturally competent, reduce the barriers to employment, and create intentional employment pipelines into our community. These pipelines have included careers in healthcare, insurance, the trades, and more. I will take my expertise in building bridges and eliminating barriers to increase access to careers for people inside district 17.