by Jason Frerichs
Reyma describes herself as a “born again Iowan” and she is running for a spot in the legislature in Iowa’s House District 38. Reyma moved to Iowa to attend school but chose to make the state her home. In her own words, she states,
“I fell in love with Iowa twenty years ago because of the high-quality education, effective services for people in need, well-maintained natural resources, friendly people, and the overall enhanced attention to detail present in everything that bears the State of Iowa stamp. Those of you who come from families who have lived here for generations have worked hard to cultivate what is called: The Iowa Way.”
House District 38 includes parts of Ankeny, Altoona, Saylorville, and the far north side of Des Moines. It is a working-class district with growing diversity, which makes Reyma the best candidate to represent us. She has dedicated her life to the service of others, is right on the issues important to Democrats, and she truly cares about making the world a better place. She is the executive director of the Central Iowa Center for Independent Living, winner of the 2018 Organization of the Year award from the Des Moines Civil and Human Rights Commission. On March 4th, Reyma won the DAWN’s List Activist of the Year award. DAWN’s List is an organization that is committed to the election of pro-choice Democratic women. She is an outspoken advocate for the disability community and speaks both locally and nationally to advocate that leadership on issues pertaining to the disability must come from the community itself.
An issue that is very important to Reyma, and should be extremely important to the entire Democratic Party, is turning out voters who have been left out of the process. I recently had the opportunity to speak with Jack Schuler, Reyma’s campaign manager, about this issue. He shared with me a story about canvassing with Reyma. They knocked on the door of a young African-American woman who is a single mother. Reyma herself is an African-American woman who is a single mother. Jack told me that this woman was so excited to see someone just like her running for office. Reyma is correct when she says that we need to turn out these types of voters who have been ignored by the Democratic Party, but it’s much more than a matter of getting them to turn out on Election Day: we need to be committed to building relationships all the time, bringing new voters into the political process, and supporting them to pursue leadership opportunities.
I stand with Reyma for many reasons: one being that she wants to return Iowa’s schools to their top in the nation status. Defunding our schools has harmed our students and our state. In order to be competitive in the 21st-century global economy, we must have an educated workforce.
I stand with Reyma because Republicans are trying to make it hard for people to vote. She understands that when we engage citizens in the political process, they will turn out in large numbers.
I stand with Reyma because as a healthcare professional, I’ve seen firsthand the disaster of privatizing Medicaid. Before the privatization, Medicaid’s overhead was 6%. Now patients are literally dying due to lack of funding and overhead is 12%. Reyma will fight to restore Medicaid to the former system.
When asked why she is running, Reyma said, “I began to notice negative shifts in all of the things that I thought made Iowa great, including with regards to the very cornerstones of a thriving state: education, healthcare, and the general well-being of individual citizens. In a few short years, we’ve reached a point where Iowa’s most vulnerable are being denied life-saving supports, education dollars- our tax dollars- are in danger of being diverted from our public schools and handed over to corporations, and small businesses are forced to pay more in taxes than Big Business outfits, who use us for tax credits, but employ precious few Iowans in return.”
I stand with Reyma because I know that she will fight for all of us.
If you want to learn more about Reyma’s campaign you can click on the following link: https://www.runreymarun.com/
And, if you can spare of few bucks, please donate to her campaign: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/runreymarun
Chair of the Iowa Democratic Party Progressive Caucus