Cedar Falls Times Questionaire
1. What's at stake in this race, for the voters and for your?
Based on my experience in the Legislature, the election this year is crucial to the future of our community and growing Iowa's economy. I've been a vocal proponent of strong education funding for k-12, better state support for UNI, and a smart economic development strategy for Iowa focused on small businesses and renewable energy.
2. What are some of the issues that voters have brought to your attention in your interactions with them? How do you plan to address their concerns. Please be specific and give examples.
The top concern I've heard at the doors this year is growing our economy and creating good-paying jobs. My plan to grow our economy includes:
3. How many door have you knocked on since the beginning of the campaign? How has this experience informed and guided your campaign goals?
- Targeting state resources to high quality, good-paying jobs
- Giving Iowa businesses first crack at state and local contracts, so our tax dollars create jobs here in Iowa, not China or Mexico
- Expanding tuition grants for students to fill job openings in key shortage areas
- Reducing property taxes for Iowa businesses without shifting the burden to homeowners and farmers
- Encouraging the production and use of renewable energy like wind, solar, and biofuels
- Helping revitalize local communities and improve their quality of lift
I've knocked on thousands of doors this year and it is a rewarding experience. As state representative, my responsibility is to listen to the concerns and issues of the people of my district. My service in the Iowa House has always been guided by the people of Cedar Falls. Over my eight years in the Iowa House, my goal has always been to visit people at their doorstep and discuss the issues that impact their lives.
4. What's your pitch to the undecided voters? Please be specific. Use this as an opportunity to give your message in a nutshell.
As your current state representative, I'm proud of my record supporting Cedar Falls and UNI. Despite the overheated rhetoric of campaigns, Iowa has a sound budget and ended the year with over $1.2 billion in surplus and reserves. I've worked to keep the state budget balanced every year without raising taxes. I've also worked hard to provide additional funding for k-12 schools, raise teacher pay, expand preschool, and prevent another round of steep cuts targeted at UNI last year. While we may not always agree on every issue, I will always listen to the ideas and concerns of the people of Cedar Falls.
5. Looking at your life, what's your proudest accomplishment so far -- politically or personally?
As a state representative, I worked with Allen Memorial Hospital, social workers, and local law enforcement to create the Allen Child Protection Center. The center provides services and support for children in our community who are victims of abuse. I believe that children are safer in our community because of the protection center.
6. Share a story, something that has touched you deeply.
While door knocking in my first campaign, I met a teacher in Cedar Falls who shared a story about one of her students who was abused. She challenged me to do something to help this child and others who are abused. She was right and that is what motivated me to start discussions with community leaders that led to the opening of the Allen Child Protection Center.
7. How much money have you raised so far and how much have you spent?
Hundreds of people in Cedar Falls have invested in my campaign and, as of the last filing report, I've raised about $30,000.
8. What keeps you awake at night?
Over the last two years, I've been stunned by the lack of support for UNI at the Statehouse. I know the positive impact UNI has on our community and the entire state of Iowa. While I'm pleased we were able to turn back several proposals to slash funding to UNI, there is more work to do to keep UNI a world class institution with affordable tuition for Iowa students and families.
9. If you were to tell your grandchildren about the experience of campaigning for the House seat in 2012, what would you like them to know? How would you tell that story regardless of the outcome of the election?
It's extremely hard work and it teaches you a lot about value of communicating with people, listening to their concerns, and respecting their opinions. It's a great honor serving the people of Cedar Falls in the Iowa House of Representatives.
10. Is there a decision in your political past that you regret? And if you could do it over, how would you change things?
I don't have any regrets about my service. I've always tried to do what's best for my district regardless of politics and will continue that in the future.