Less than 3 weeks to go

Well, here we are, less than 3 weeks until election day. I remember when we started walking door-to-door last March and it was snowing. Now, as Fall approaches and the leaves are turning, the campaign is buzzing with activity.  As we approach election day, our focus shifts to turning out the vote. Let me be clear – if our voters VOTE, we will win on election day. It’s that simple.

So we have plenty of opportunities in the coming days for you to take a shift to help us Get Out The Vote.

Saturday, October 20 – 9:30 AM
Meetup Location: Coffee Hound, 3451 Devils Glen Rd., Bettendorf, IA 52722 (map)
Note: This is our regular Saturday walk
Saturday, October 20 – Noon, 3:00 PM, and 6:00 PM
Meetup: 2322 E Kimberly Rd (map)
Note: We are walking with Iowa Democratic Party
Sunday, October 21 – Noon, 3:00 PM, and 6:00 PM
Meetup: 2322 E Kimberly Rd (map)
Note: Lt. Governor Candidate, Sen. Rita Hart will kick-off the 3:00 PM walk

Can we count on you to take a shift this weekend?  CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP

One other quick note, make sure to check out my appearance on Channel 8.  Apparently, Roby did not want to appear with me.

I look forward to seeing you.  Victory is within reach if we just keep running through the finish line.

As always, thank you for your support.

“Working for you”

A friend recently shared with me a post he had seen on the Facebook page of my opponent, current State Senator Roby Smith. In this post, Roby said that he is “working for you.”  Well, you can imagine that this was a surprise to me because I’ve seen his voting record! Here are some of his votes that show he is actually working against Iowans:

  • SF 359: The fetal heartbeat bill that put the politicians in Des Moines in charge of Iowa women’s health care;
  • SF2383: Roby voted to raise taxes on firefighters, first responders, EMTs, and reserve police officers, the public servants who dedicate themselves to keeping us safe and saving lives.
  • SF130/S3236:  In 2017, Roby voted to cut funding for public schools while also voting for a massive private school voucher program that would take money away from K-12 public schools.

When I talk to Iowans as I’m knocking on doors here in the district, they identify many of these votes as making their lives harder. That doesn’t sound like “working for you” to me.

When I am elected to the State Senate to represent District 47, I would work to reverse the damage that Senator Smith’s votes have done. I want to see Iowans paid fairly for the work they do, able to make their own health care choices, and capable of exercising their rights as American citizens by voting easily. I hope you will support me in making this vision a reality for our great state.

I believe you

Yesterday was a hard day for women in America. That is, of course, putting it incredibly mildly. We listened as a strong woman was grilled in front of a panel of mostly men about one of the most harrowing experiences a person can have: being sexually assaulted. And yet it did not matter that she was articulate, credible, and maintained composure while talking about one of the worst memories in her life. This morning, Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court has been advanced by the Senate Judiciary Committee. It did not matter that she seemed to be telling the truth. It didn’t matter that she is not the only person to make these types of accusations against him. Because to them, having power is more important than women’s safety.

I wanted to believe that this nomination wouldn’t move forward. And there is still a chance that it won’t, as it now appears that a one week delay for an FBI investigation is more likely. But when I look at what’s happening across the country, it’s hard to be surprised that he could still be confirmed. Right here in Iowa, Roby Smith and his colleagues in the State Senate showed that they don’t respect survivors when they made the rape and incest exceptions to their cruel abortion ban so very narrow and even impossible for some women. It’s easy right now for women to feel that our bodies aren’t something we have any power over.

But I refuse to be knocked down over this. We cannot sit back and let this continue to be a reality for women in America. I will not. If elected to the State Senate, I will work to make sure that women have power and autonomy over their own bodies, and that the powerful can no longer take advantage of them with impunity.

So to those of you who have survived sexual violence and feel despondent and hopeless: I hear you. I see you. I believe you. And I will fight for you.

17 years later

On September 11th, 2001 I was working as a District Manager for John Deere out on the East Coast. As you can imagine, it was a chaotic and harrowing time to be living there, and no one knew what to do but we all knew we wanted to help. I was lucky enough to have that opportunity when a woman working for the New York Port Authority somehow got my name and number and wanted to talk about what I could do. Over the course of several conversations and much work, we were able to get desperately needed equipment to where it needed to be for the recovery efforts. Four years later, she nominated me and one of our Factory Managers to receive a Maritime Medal Award from the Department of Transportation for our efforts that day. The event was held across from the World Trade Center site, a reminder right in our sights about what we had been through and how we all coped. I was very proud to represent not just my company, but the values of every American who just wants to help out in times of need.

Today, 17 years after that fateful day, I reflect on the country we were in those days after tragedy, and the country we all hope to still be. People who come together in times of crisis instead of lashing out at one another. People who see others not as “others” but as neighbors. People who just want to help make our country a better place for all. Those are the types of Iowa values that I hope to bring to the State Senate.

Yard Signs

In this day of high tech campaigning, yard signs may seem to be a bit old-fashioned. But it is clear that peer-to-peer advocacy is the most effective campaign strategy. Yard signs send a powerful message that you support me for State Senate in District 47.  Will you put up a yard sign?

Local regulations limit political yard signs until 45-days before an election.  We will adhere to those restrictions, and our team will install signs around the 21st of September.

In order to ensure we have the right amount of signs, we are asking folks to let us know if they want a sign by filling out the form on our website today.  We need to place print orders right away.

We will be in touch with you before we install the sign in your yard.  It is just as easy as that.

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!)

A frightening possibility

This week Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement from the Supreme Court. A lot of us are worried about what will happen next. Judging by the list of potential justices that President Trump released, we are in for a big change in SCOTUS. Replacing a moderate voice with one significantly more extreme has many worried about the rights of women, the LGBTQIA+ community, unions, and so many more voices that the far right wants to silence.

If the unthinkable happens and Roe v. Wade is overturned, we need to have legislators in place in Iowa who will defend a woman’s right to make her own choices about her health care. Roby Smith and his colleagues in the State Senate have already gone so far as to pass one of the most restrictive abortion bills in the country. If this landmark decision of the 1970s is overturned, he will act fast to make Iowa the first in the nation to outlaw abortion altogether. We cannot let this happen. And if elected as the State Senator of District 47, I will fight as hard as I can to make sure that it doesn’t.

And you can do your part to make sure Iowans don’t lose the rights that so many fought for over decades. Join us for canvassing this Saturday as we knock on doors and share information about our campaign. We’ll meet at 9:30 at Vander Veer Park and be back there in time for the Families Belong Together rally at 11:00. And if you can’t make it, you can still help our campaign by making a secure online contribution on our website.

We won’t go back.

A sad week in America

There’s no way to sugarcoat it.  This has been a sad week in America.  People are seeking asylum trying to escape danger in their home countries.  Imagine that your living circumstances are so perilous that you are willing to pack up your children and leave everything and everyone you have ever known. You journey across hostile and dangerous lands seeking a safe place to live where you can have an opportunity for a better life for your children.  Yet, when you arrive at the US border, the authorities rip your children from your arms.

What I just described is happening in our country RIGHT NOW, and it is wrong.

Some might ask what the events happening right now on the border have to do with the campaign for Iowa State Senate in District 47.  Candidates and elected officials at ALL levels have an absolute moral obligation to speak out on issues where our values are so severely trampled.  Giving shelter and safe harbor to asylum seekers is a uniquely American tradition.  Iowa has a well-known history of welcoming weary travelers.

Be assured that I will ALWAYS speak out when I see our government act in a manner that is inconsistent with our values.  Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”  This matters.