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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!
Marie

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.

Two actions you can take

As I walk door-to-door talking with voters, I hear a lot about what is going on in our country and the concerns you have about the direction our nation and our state are headed.  Right here in the Quad Cities, in the SD-47 Senate race, the choices we face in the upcoming election are crystal clear – an incumbent politician who is beholden to the extreme specials interests in Des Moines, votes against our public school students and teachers, and does not trust women to make their own health care choices.  Or myself; I will fight for OUR priorities like bringing good-paying jobs to Iowa, making Iowa a leader in education again, increasing access to affordable healthcare, and getting special interest money out of politics.

While the election is in November, TODAY there are two things you can do that will make a significant difference:

  1.  Sign-up to vote at home:  The most important thing you can do to turn our country around is vote, and you can do it from the comfort of your own home. Signing up to vote at home is a concrete action you can take TODAY.

Our current legislators here in Iowa have unfortunately made voting, an act that should be as easy as possible, into one of the most complicated processes in the country. The goal is undoubtedly to sow confusion and depress turnout.

To request a ballot for voting at home, visit the Scott County Auditor’s website, fill out the necessary forms, mail them in, and await your ballot which will be sent about a month before the election!

  1. Make a donation: As you know, it takes resources to get the word out about my campaign.  My opponent already has a healthy war chest funded by the wealthy Des Moines special interests. To effectively deploy our resources to deliver our message in the fall, we need to make planning decisions NOW. Your contribution to my campaign TODAY will send a strong message that you have had enough!!!  Help me by making a secure online contribution on our website TODAY.

Celebrating Independence Day

I hope that you had a safe and happy Independence Day. Team Gleason braved the heat to walk in Bettendorf’s annual Fourth of July parade. We had a productive morning talking with citizens and sharing our campaign (and of course giving out candy to happy children!)

Honoring those who gave their lives in service to our nation

This is Memorial Day weekend, and I find myself thinking back to April when my flight at the Quad Cities International Airport happened to coincide with the returning honor flight. These veterans were welcomed by a crowd of cheering well-wishers, expressing gratitude for the service these men and women gave to our country. It was a truly inspiring sight.

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But as we know, in the course of history not every soldier has been lucky enough to return home from their service to our country. Many men and women lost their lives fighting for our freedoms overseas.  This weekend we honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our safety and security. In the course of your activities this weekend, take a moment to discuss with your family and friends the meaning of Memorial Day and why it is important.

Marie

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.