This upcoming election for the Iowa Democratic Party Chair is unique. It comes at a time when we have no Democratic majorities at the state or the federal levels. We don’t have a Democratic President, Iowa Governor, or a US Senator.
It is clear that what we have been doing is fundamentally not working. I am running because I believe I am the candidate can get Iowa Democrats winning again.
I became involved with Politics while I was a student at the University of Iowa in 2004. I had friends that were serving in Iraq and marriage equality was a big issue for my friends and me. We had a lot of fights at that time and I believed the party was the best way to channel my energy.
I began my career as canvasser and staffer for the Iowa Democratic Party. I am privileged to have worked for all three of President Obama’s winning Iowa campaigns and served as State Director for Organizing for America. Most recently I have been working on some of the most important progressive issues today. I have worked on climate change, held the GOP accountable on the Supreme Court, supported background checks for gun purchases, promoted equal pay for women, advocated for early childhood education, and been on the front lines for many other issues.
I hope to take the experience and apply it to the state party. I am a unique candidate because I have raised money and run large organizations, but also feel I can bring fresh perspective on tactics that work in the modern campaign age. We can’t keep using the same failed tactics and expect different results.
We need a chair to lead the charge against the GOP at the local and national levels. We need an aggressive message and even more aggressive tactics. Now is the time to engage our base and show them we have their backs.
There is a reason why we are in the position we are in: Democrats have forgot how to communicate our values. We are the party who stands up for those that feel they have been left behind or have no voice in the process. We are the party that fights for them. We believe in equal economic opportunity, regardless of where a person is born. We are the party of equal rights, clean water, education, and health care.
Voters want to know how Democrats are going to improve their lives. This isn’t about press releases or cookie cutter ads from Washington. We need to communicate our values on an individual basis. Too often we may get caught up in party mechanics or negative ads. Press releases and some mail pieces will not get it done.
Republicans are going to limit the right to vote for minorities, students, and seniors. They are limit health care coverage for millions, and have already began the process of destroying health care for seniors in the state. They are going to take away benefits from Iowans that have worked hard for them.
This is while they will continue to give tax breaks to their corporate donors and violate election law to keep donations a secret. I will not stand for the Branstad/Reynolds administration’s shameless efforts to throw our children, parents, grandparents, and neighbors under the bus to line their friend’s pockets.
We should not shy away from a fight on the issues. We should start it. That’s how we begin winning in this state again.
Editor note: Based on the results of a poll conducted last year by Progressive Voices of Iowa, the top three candidates in that poll, Blair Lawton, Kim Weaver, and Derek Eadon, were invited to write guest articles to reach out and make their case to PVI readers. PVI has not, nor will it be endorsing a candidate for IDP Chair.