Over the last year, I’ve traveled to every corner of the state to listen and learn what’s important to Iowans. I’ve learned that Iowans don’t ask for much and they are also extremely tired of politics as usual. They just want a decent paying job and the chance to lead a happy, healthy life.
I heard a deep sense of frustration from many Iowans who just can’t seem to get ahead and feel like the deck is stacked against them. Their wages aren’t keeping up with their bills and health care keeps getting more expensive. Even for Iowans who do have health insurance, too many can’t afford to get sick or take any time off work to care for a sick child because they won’t get paid.
Even with a growing economy and relatively low unemployment, I learned that everyday Iowans feel like they are being left behind and I can’t blame them. Endless corporate tax giveaways have enriched those at the top while the promise of trickle down prosperity hasn’t reached most families.
That’s why I joined my Democratic colleagues this week to unveil a new plan called Putting Iowans First. It’s a plan to get our state government focused back on the basics to improve the lives of everyday Iowans and create new opportunities for them to get ahead. That means good jobs, a great education, and affordable health care. The Putting Iowans First plan has four major parts:
1. Better-Paying Jobs
2. A Revitalization of Small Towns and Rural Areas
3. The Best Education in the Country
4. A Quality of Life that Makes Iowa the #1 Best Place to Live
Our plan will make sure that women in Decorah and Bettendorf have more access to reproductive health care and cancer screenings, not less.
Our plan will make education and job training after high school affordable so students from Oelwein and Muscatine aren’t graduating with a mountain of debt.
Our plan will give the teachers in Cedar Rapids and Sioux City the respect they deserve and give them a say on the issues that impact their own classroom.
Our plan will make healthcare more affordable and accessible to every Iowan so the family in Creston with a disabled child doesn’t have to spend months fighting to get the care their child needs.
Our plan will raise wages for families in Davenport, Anamosa, and Ft. Dodge so they can pay their bills, put food on the table, and be financially secure.
It’s time to say goodbye to the back room deals, bickering, and corporate tax giveaways that have infected our politics today. Instead of just rewarding those at the top, we believe it’s time to get back to the basics and improve the lives of everyday people here in Iowa.
Iowans expect us to work together and they expect us to take action. We couldn’t agree more and that’s why we’re going to going to keep focused on our plan during the 2018 session.
If you have ideas or suggestions to improve the lives of everyday Iowans, I hope you will contact me.
You can learn more about our plan at www.PuttingIowansFirst.com.
Mark Smith, House Democratic Leader