By Scott Galindez
Anna Ryon, an Attorney at the Office of Consumer Advocate, has officially entered the race for Congress in Iowa’s Third Congressional District. Ryon who was born in Creston, Iowa. A graduate of Grinnell College and Drake Law School, Anna’s life and career choices have been based on her values and commitment to social and economic justice.
Anna’s father was a United Methodist Minister. She describes herself as an “all Iowan girl” who learned the value of hard work in Brooks, Iowa. Anna described spending a lot of time at her grandparents home in Adams County which is in the heart of the third district. She described spending summers tubing in the Nodaway River, digging thistles in the pasture and spending hours fishing in the pond. It is where Anna learned to shuck corn, shell peas and snap beans for canning and freezing. Adams County is the place where Anna can worship in the church where her parents met, where she can drink a beer in a building her great grandfather built down to making the cinderblock by hand. Adams County is where Anna learned the value of Community and the importance of taking care of each other. Adams County is where Anna learned the importance of supporting local business. Adams County is where Anna learned the value of fairness and giving everyone a chance. Finally, Anna said Adams County is where she learned that callused hands and dirt under your fingernails are things to be proud of.
Jim Pemble a retired Pastor who has known Anna for 30 years was not surprised when he heard Ryon was going to run for Congress. Pemble told a story of when Anna who was in High School at the time, brought together members of their church with diverse viewpoints. He described Anna Ryon as someone who can bring people with diverse opinions and attitudes together.
Anna told the crowd gathered at Streetcar 209 that her first political engagement was in 1992. She was a High School Senior who was two weeks too young to vote. There was an equal rights amendment on the ballot that year. Anna could understand why opponents of the measure were opposed to just adding the words “and women” to the equal rights clause of the Iowa Constitution. She went to meetings, made signs and stood outside in the cold with those signs trying to convince people to support the ERA. The morning after the election was the first time she had to deal with political defeat. She felt like the people of her state had rejected her and said that she was worth less. Anna compared that feeling to how she felt after the 2016 elections. This time she felt like her country rejected her for a lot of reasons.
Ryon described trying to find ways not to lose hope. For Anna one way for her to keep hope is to run for Congress and add her voice to government. Ryon Acknowledged that the women she fought with 25 years ago are still fighting and said that the fight is getting harder. She believes she must put herself in the center of the fight for what she believes in. She then listed a host of issues that she could no longer sit back watch her Government take the country backward on. She listed civil rights, voting rights, women’s rights, public education, Anna believes that too often only the voice of the wealthy is represented in our government. She is running to give voice to everyone else. She is in the race to fight for everyone to have health care, for everyone to have a living wage, for everyone to have a good education and for everyone to be treated with respect and dignity.
Anna said she has been attending a lot of rallies and protests during the last few months. She encouraged others to join her in the coming months stating that 2018 is bigger than her. “It’s about all of us, Its going to take all of us working at all levels, local, State and Federal to turn back the conservative tide and to take control of our government again. We need to work together to take our voices from outside on the streets to inside the halls of government where we can truly have a voice.”
Ryun will hold her second campaign event this Saturday morning at 10:30 am at Drips Coffee House in Council Bluffs. For more information on her campaign go to http://annaforiowa.com
Scott Galindez attended Syracuse University, where he first became politically active. The writings of El Salvador's slain archbishop Oscar Romero and the on-campus South Africa divestment movement converted him from a Reagan supporter to an activist for Peace and Justice. Over the years he has been influenced by the likes of Philip Berrigan, William Thomas, Mitch Snyder, Don White, Lisa Fithian, and Paul Wellstone. Scott met Marc Ash while organizing counterinaugural events after George W. Bush's first stolen election. Scott Moved to Des Moines in 2015 to cover the Iowa Caucus.