Justin Knight, candidate for Iowa House District 25, was highlighted by the Iowa Democratic Party Progressive Caucus in a press release written by Caucus Chair Jason Frerich. The release was received by Progressive Voices of Iowa on Tuesday morning. The following is the press release in full:
The Iowa Democratic Party Progressive Caucus is proud to highlight the candidacy of caucus member Justin Knight. He is running for the Iowa House of Representatives in District 25. Justin is a veteran, farmer, and professional chef. He is the first openly gay candidate to run for his seat and believes that representation should be “for the people and by the people.” He believes that our government should represent all Iowans — not just moneyed interests. Justin resides in Van Meter, where he raises honeybees and chickens and cultivates a very large garden. Healthy living is very important to him.
Justin is very concerned about the privatization of Medicaid. Instead of a doctor determining what type of care a patient receives; any tests, medications, or equipment a patient might need go to a group for approval. This type of managed care delays treatment and reimbursement to providers. Privatizing Medicare would just exacerbate these issues. Creating a managed care system to run Medicaid has been an unmitigated disaster. Governor Branstad refuses to own his mistake. Children from low-income families suffer the most. We cannot expect our children to succeed academically if they do not have access to quality health care.
Education is a very important issue to Justin. When asked about his plan for education, Justin had the following to say, “Over time our schools have underwent major changes that we did not plan for. Now is the time to make education a priority to ensure every Iowan has the right to a great education. Previously, Iowa had over 4,000 school districts; now we have 388. What does this mean? It means our schools now have larger student population and geographic footprints. Schools are not awarded specific state money to use for transportation, so they must use the general fund for these costs. Rural schools are hurt the most in this because population density is not taken into account. I will introduce a system where we take the average of the distance it takes for each student to get to school and assign dollars per a mile calculation for the entire school year. I also propose that we create a set amount of funds used specifically for maintenance or purchases.” Justin wants to ensure a level of funding that ensures Iowa students receive a top-notch education, regardless of which part of the state they reside in. He believes that a well-educated populace will allow Iowa to face the challenges of the 21st century head on. He wants to invest in our students, rather than pouring money into jails due to lack of educational opportunities.
Mental health is a very important issue for Justin. He was quoted as saying that “Jails are not treatment centers.” Governor Branstad has closed down two state mental health facilities. As a result, mentally ill people are being incarcerated instead of being able to access the services they need to live productive lives. Knight said, “I will work with medical professionals to ensure we have the programs in place and the beds needed to ensure all Iowans have a safe place for thorough treatment. Closing mental health facilities endangers the lives of those who need help as well as creating a plethora of additional social ills. We can do better. We MUST do better.”
Justin supports legal cannabis for both recreational and medical use. He had the following to say, “I fully support legalizing cannabis in Iowa. With proper regulation and taxation, we can overcome the obstacles we face ensuring we properly fund our education system. Colorado has brought in 70 million dollars last fiscal year alone from cannabis, that more than pays for the regulation. What could our state do with an extra 70 million in tax revenue?”
Justin will represent all Iowans at the State House. He will fight to ensure every Iowan has access to quality healthcare and education. As a veteran he sees serving the state as a calling and will fight for progressive values. Justin’s campaign manager Heather Ryan had this to say about Justin, “I love politics! I’ve been politically active since the early 80’s, so the 2016 election “ain’t my first rodeo”. That being said, when I became Justin Knight’s campaign manager, I thought he would be very similar to a good deal of the other candidates for whom I’ve worked over the years – dogged and idealistic but ultimately, in “it” for themselves. It is my great pleasure to report that Justin has proven to be so much more than just another “Candidate”. He genuinely cares about the people for whom he seeks to represent. He spends hours speaking with residents to learn about their concerns and how he can help. While he is not a politician by training, he is a quick study and his comprehension of tough issues is beyond compare. Most impressive is Mr. Knight’s ability to work a 10-12 hour day as a professional chef, tend to his bees and chickens, then campaign for hours afterward. He is a determined hard worker who never quits in the effort to reach, understand and represent the people in his district. I implore the wonderful people of Madison County to consider Justin Knight for Representative when they cast their ballot. As a political nerd, I can personally attest that a representative who cares as much as Justin is hard to find – but when you do, it is a true blessing to have him on your side!”
For more information on Justin Knight, you can click here.