Week 5:
Radio and Roadshows

Ringgenberg Fellow in Legislative Affairs

Iowa State Senate Democratic Research Staff | Des Moines, Iowa

February 11, 2019

My week in the State Senate started out as the last one ended, event planning for the Senators. This weekend will be the listening posts I organized and planned for Senator Wahls in his district that will hopefully foster conversations and allow issues that are important to voters to be addressed. As a new Senator with only a few weeks of session, events like this are vastly important so that Senator Wahls can work in the best interest of those that elected him.

I am still working on a multi-senator, multi-district “roadshow” that for the moment has to be kept under wraps as we are still in the planning stage. A large part of politics, especially on the state level, is keeping in touch with those that you represent. State legislators especially have to keep in touch with the people they represent, being transparent is vastly important when representation is on a smaller, more direct level than on the federal level. This can be true for new and veteran Senators as well; it is easy for Senators to be focused on Des Moines as they live here for a few months and might lose touch with their constituents back in their own districts.

Additionally, this week I wrote, produced, and edited a radio spot for Senator Rich Taylor of Mount Pleasant. If you remember, last week’s spot was about predatory payday loan interest rates and his support of legislation to combat that. This week’s is in regard to the level of education funding the state of Iowa is providing to its schools. Senator Taylor, as many others in the Democratic Caucus, believes that education funding is of utmost importance as Iowa has always prided itself on strong public education. In recent years, under the current administration the Senators believe that funding has been flat, at best, and does not account for the rising costs that come with education. Senator Taylor’s radio announcement calls for a 3% increase in state funding for public schools. He closed by mentioning the importance of having strong schools that create the next generation of highly skilled workers, an area Iowa is seeing a drought of as many young and skilled workers move away. Without proper funding for our public education system, we lose the ability to prepare students for their lives.

A cool thing I was able to do this weekend is see Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana who announced that he is running for president. Mayor Buttigieg is the first openly gay candidate from either major party to be running for president, which is an incredible achievement. While he is in a crowded field of candidates, Mayor Pete (as he is known) comes across as very genuine; which is important to me in a candidate. It will be interesting to see how his campaign does as we are still a year out from the Iowa Caucuses.

I was able to see and talk with Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana who just announced his candidacy for president.

Alex Salisbury '19

Alex is a history and political science major from Iowa City, Iowa.