Letters or articles on crucial issues facing the state of Iowa.

Talking to our neighbors

One of the joys of this campaign has been getting to meeting neighbors in Senate District 47. Every week during our Saturday morning Coffee & Canvassing event, I have interesting conversations with these neighbors, learning about their lives and what is on their minds.

Just recently I knocked on the door of a teacher named Emily, and she shared her concerns regarding public education here in Iowa. Unequal school funding means that her school is losing money next year, and she’s not sure what is going to be done to fix that. Not only are funding, teacher pay, and benefits a concern, but she and her students also have to worry about gun violence in schools. Though Emily had much to be worried about, she commented towards the end of our conversation that it was so nice to meet someone to actually talk to about these things, because that just doesn’t happen anymore.

I know it can seem scary to go knock on a stranger’s door and strike up a conversation. But I have not only learned valuable lessons about what residents of this district need from their legislators, I have also built connections and learned more about the community I live in. I couldn’t be prouder to have the opportunity to represent District 47 in the State Senate.

If you’re interested in getting to know your fellow Quad-Citians and get the word out about our campaign, please join us for Coffee & Canvassing! We meet at 9:30 am every Saturday morning. This week we’ll be meeting at the Coffee Hound located at 3451 Devils Glen Road, Bettendorf. Grab a cup of coffee and a walking list, and head out to enjoy the beautiful weather and good conversation!

See you there!

Celebrating working men and women

As we celebrate Labor Day this weekend, I think back to my childhood. My dad worked for a construction equipment dealership, and he was not covered by a union. But just down that same street was a factory where many of my friends’ dads worked. And they did have a union. Even from a young age, I could tell that their quality of life was better than my family’s. Unions gave my friends’ dads better wages and benefits that I wish my family would have had.

That’s why this weekend, while we’re enjoying parades, cookouts, and a day off of work, we must remember the labor of the men and women that make our country great. Because of their hard work, many Americans were able to get better wages, hours, and working conditions.

Yet my opponent, Roby Smith, and his colleagues in the State Senate instead vote to gut collective bargaining, taking that voice away from many hard-working Iowans.

I am proud that Unions representing working women and men are among the many supporting my campaign. And you can be assured that I will fight for these hard-working Iowans in the Iowa State Senate.

The fight for women’s rights isn’t over

This past Saturday marked the 98th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing women the right to vote. Suffragists protested, went on hunger strikes, and engaged in civil disobedience despite the threat of arrest, all to make sure they had equal rights to the men of this country. Without these women, I would not be able to vote in this November’s election, let alone see my own name on the ballot.

Make no mistake, my opponent Roby Smith will never vote in the best interest of women. He proved that this spring with his vote in favor of a catastrophic and cruel abortion ban. We cannot let him and his colleagues continue to erode our rights here in Iowa.

Last week I was honored to receive the endorsement of Planned Parenthood Voters of Iowa. This was incredibly meaningful to me, as one of my core beliefs is that women have the right to make their own decisions about their healthcare and bodies. If elected as your State Senator, I will fight back against the unconstitutional legislation that was passed earlier this year and restore rights to those who lost them.

This November, I hope you remember the hard work of the suffragists and exercise the right that they fought so hard for: the right to vote.

Voting should be easy

It may be difficult to believe, but there are some politicians that work to make voting harder while making it easier for them to get reelected. My opponent Roby Smith is one of those politicians. In 2017, he led the movement in the Iowa State Senate to make voting harder for Iowans. Fortunately, the Iowa Supreme Court agreed with a lower court and stopped the implementation of some of the restrictive measures on early voting that Roby wanted.

To me, it is clear that voting should be easier rather than harder. Besides, there are other ways to address the minuscule amount of voter fraud that occurs without disenfranchising thousands of voters.

This election it is more important than ever that we stand up to the self-serving politicians like Roby Smith by VOTING.  And you can do it from the comfort of your own home. To request a ballot for voting at home, go to our website to download the form to request a vote at home ballot. Also, you can visit the Scott County Auditor’s website to get more information about voting at home.  After you request your ballot, it will be mailed to you about a month before the election.

This election, let’s not only commit ourselves to vote but also to convince our friends and family to vote.

Back to school

It’s hard to believe that it’s already August and summer is nearly over. For many, that means it’s almost time to head back to school!

I am proud to announce that I have received the endorsement of the Iowa State Education Association (ISEA). ISEA and its teacher members work hard to ensure that students receive a quality public education. As a product of public schools from kindergarten all the way through college, I know that I am where I am today because of the hard work of those teachers.

Unfortunately, not all of our legislators here in Iowa understand the importance of a good education being available to all students. Roby Smith is bad for Iowa public schools. For example, he supports creating a massive private school voucher program that would take money away from K-through-12 public schools.

It’s time we start really investing in our communities by investing first in our children. Every child in Iowa deserves a good education from preschool onwards, no matter what city they live in or how much money their parents make. As your State Senator for District 47, I will bring these values to the Iowa State Senate.

Celebrating Unity and Pride



On Saturday the Gleason for Senate team joined the Scott County Democrats to walk in the first Quad Cities Unity Pride Parade. The weather was beautiful, and needless to say I got my steps in for the day! But more importantly, we had the opportunity to talk to citizens and celebrate unity and Pride. It is important now more than ever that we come together to celebrate our individuality and love and accept one another for who we are. I am proud to support the LGBTQ+ community.

Another disastrous legislative session

Now that the 2018 legislative session has ended, I’m reflecting on the damage that the GOP majority has done in the state of Iowa. They passed a bill effectively banning abortion in the state, taking away the rights of Iowa’s women and squandering taxpayer dollars to defend an unconstitutional law. They did not fix the problems created by privatizing Medicaid, leaving our most vulnerable citizens without the secure access to healthcare that they desperately need. And they failed to adequately invest in public education, even cutting our universities. Our public schools and University are Iowa’s opportunity engines and the majority in the legislature fails to recognize this .

We deserve legislators who look out for the best interests of our citizens, solidifying our rights to health care and creating educational and economic opportunity instead of taking it away. My opponent Roby Smith is making it clear with his votes that those are not his priorities. It’s time to make a change.

Iowa’s Catastrophic Fetal Heartbeat Bill

The state of Iowa is now home to one of the nation’s most restrictive abortion laws. Early on Wednesday after a debate that went into the late hours of the night, the Iowa House and Senate voted on party lines to pass a bill banning abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected – as early as six weeks into a pregnancy and before many women even know they are pregnant. This legislation effectively bans abortion in the state with the only exceptions being if the mother’s life is in danger and in some cases of rape and incest.

This is unbelievable. Women’s health care decisions are a personal matter, and the government has no place legislating what we do with our bodies. We cannot go backward to a time when Women obtained abortions in back alley clinics and by other horrifying methods that placed our lives in danger. A woman’s right to choose was settled in 1973 by Roe v. Wade, and those rights must remain in place across the state of Iowa.

Not only does this law threaten the rights of women all across the state, but it is also a threat to educational opportunity in Iowa. Part of this law states that OB/GYNs cannot be trained on abortion in the state, which is a requirement for training in their programs. Students who could have studied obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Iowa will now potentially have to go out of state, costing them much more in tuition and potentially causing Iowa to lose some great physicians.

My opponent Roby Smith votes for bills that are going to hurt our rights and opportunities. It is clear now more than ever that a change is needed in our state legislature.