Quality public education is the first, and best, investment we can make in Iowa’s future. Iowa has always prided itself on being a national leader in education. I support strong financial support to maximize learning opportunities statewide. If we want our state to keep pace with the changing technological and employment landscape we have to support an educational system that embraces the broad spectrum of opportunities. We have to support funding for up to date textbooks and multimedia resources for remote learning opportunities. We also have to trust and support our educators.
Our public education system must prepare our youth and young adults for further academic, trade, and technological education. This means coordinated programs between our schools, colleges, trade associations, and employers. A well-educated motivated workforce is as important as brick and mortar.
Educational investment is economic investment.
I believe our soil, water, and air are assets worth protecting. It’s time to set aside the divisive rural vs. urban model and support collaborative efforts to address air, water, and soil quality. Reduction of soil and nutrient runoff is in the best interest of all Iowans. Clean water is vital not only for consumption but also for recreation and quality of life for all of us. This means we all have to be involved in the discussions for solutions to restore the quality of our waterways and bodies of water.
Iowans overwhelmingly voted for a modest sales tax increase to fund environmental quality projects, yet our legislature has refused to honor this vote. Strengthening the Department of Natural Resources is vital towards getting us back on the right path.
I believe our natural resources should be a priority, not an afterthought.
The business of government is the provision of vital services. While it’s important that government works as efficiently as possible, it’s pointless if it’s not effective. We can’t provide effective services by giving away tax dollars to large corporations chasing “promises” of jobs while starving our vital departments of funds on which to operate.
It’s time to support our public employees that strive to provide these services. We need to provide them the strength in numbers and the resources to keep our children and elders safe. We need to start by restoring the dignity of true collective bargaining for all public employees, like the professionals that keep our judicial system running and our streets and highways safe. It’s time to truly address mental healthcare and stop using our jails as a substitute. It’s time to stop underfunding our public services and calling it progress.
There are no winners in the race to the bottom.