If you took a walk through the neighborhoods of West Des Moines, one would start to notice many of the yards are dotted with white signs in purple and green lettering stating Claire Celsi for Iowa House. Claire Celsi is the Democratic candidate for House District 42. She is a graduate of Drake University with a very strong Public Relations background in renewable energy, financial services, sustainable agriculture, and education clients. She is running because she has spoken with thousands of Iowans who are dissatisfied with the Iowa Legislature’s priorities. The Legislature is failing to take issues like water quality and hog CFOs seriously.
Claire takes climate change very seriously. She feels that it should be one of our top concerns. She has been endorsed by the environmental group Iowa Conservations Voters. This group is an Iowa-based political action committee organized to support full funding of Iowa’s Natural Resource and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund, action on climate change and protection of Iowa’s water, land and wildlife through support of conservation funding and other environmental policies. “Iowa Conservation Voters is supporting a bipartisan group of candidates for public office this fall that have shown a commitment to clean water, protection of our natural resources and support for sources of clean energy,” said Iowa Conservation Voters Board Member Rob Davis. “We hope Iowa voters will take time to think about who their conservation candidates for public office are before they step into the voting booth this fall.” When Claire was asked why climate change is such an important issue for her, she had the following to say, “I’m deeply committed to preserving our precious land and natural resources for the next generation of Iowans. There are many common sense measures that our Legislature can take to ensure a clean water and renewable energy future for our state. I look forward to working with all sides to make progress for our future.”
Claire is also a supporter of comprehensive medical cannabis legalization. She feels we need to expand beyond the limited 2014 bill that allows access to medical cannabis for children who have epilepsy. The issue with this bill is that it is weak and ineffective because it is so limited in who has access to medical cannabis and it is set to expire in 2017. Her opponent Rep. Peter Cownie promised a bill that would expand the number of conditions eligible for treatment and a way to dispense the medicine here in Iowa. Cownie did not live up to his promise. His bill was completely gutted. He refused to hold public forums and voted on a watered down bill. In the Des Moines Register, Dr. Charles Goldman, an oncologist who helps sick patients, urges Iowans to research who they should vote for in the upcoming election. “Iowa’s lawmakers should instead make a commitment to support a comprehensive medical cannabis bill that creates a medical-patient advisory panel that uses already available science to define cannabis’ therapeutic capabilities and allows us doctors the freedom to heal as fully as possible.”
Claire Celsi is a candidate that progressives should support if we want to turn Iowa blue again. If you support the Bernie Sanders agenda, I would encourage you to support Claire as well. Bernie said that climate change is the biggest threat to global security. Wars will be fought over water and other resources. I think he’s right. Claire knows that to secure our future, we must take climate change seriously and we must act now. Bernie Sanders said, “Right now, we have an energy policy that is rigged to boost the profits of big oil companies like Exxon, BP, and Shell at the expense of average Americans. CEO’s are raking in record profits while climate change ravages our planet and our people — all because the wealthiest industry in the history of our planet has bribed politicians into complacency in the face of climate change. Enough is enough. It’s time for a political revolution that takes on the fossil fuel billionaires, accelerates our transition to clean energy, and finally puts people before the profits of polluters.” I ask that you support Claire so that we can all enjoy a better Iowa.
When I spoke with fellow Bernie supporters, many were impressed with progressive positions on important issues. Rachel Lunsford, West Des Moines resident and Bernie State Delegate said the following, “Claire is not a cheesy candidate. She is the real deal and committed to actually representing us in the Legislature on important issues including climate change, mental health care access, and education funding. That’s why I’ve already voted for her.”
Chair of the Iowa Democratic Party Progressive Caucus