By Rep. Kirsten Running-Marquardt
I want to take a brief moment and speak from my heart on why we need Rep. Tyler Olson of Cedar Rapids as the next governor of Iowa to move our state forward into the next 30 years.
Many people talk about doing things. But this Iowa-born, middle-class working mother has seen Olson firsthand professionally and personally champion quality early education for all of Iowa’s children. He is willing to stand up for our kids and community even when it’s politically tough or when the camera is not on. We need a governor we can trust, a governor who understands that education is the key to opportunity and should be available to everyone.
Gov. Terry Branstad was first elected 30 years ago and we all know how much the world has changed. We have seen what he can (or won’t) do and it’s time for a new perspective in the governor’s office.
As state representatives from Linn County, Olson and I have worked together on a number of campaigns and issues important to us and our community. The thing that gives me the most insight into Olson is what I’ve seen over the years as a friend of the Olson family. From the integrity and value of a hard day’s worked instilled in him by his parents, to the love he has for his wife, to the future he believes in for his and all of our kids, Olson is the governor we can believe in.
As a mother, I want equal opportunity for a quality education, not just for my son, but for the children statewide. When Branstad took office again in 2011, one of the very first things he did was try to get rid of preschool for 25,000 Iowa kids. I stood on Iowa House floor, advocating for preschool for our kids, representing the many middle class mothers who understand the lifelong benefits of a quality early education. Olson was there with me, leading the fight.
Branstad and Republicans in the Legislature abandoned their flawed plans, temporarily. However, this temporary pause will come to a halt as education becomes an issue that will be one of the most hotly debated ahead of this next election. Not just preschool education, but whether we are willing to make a long-term investment in children by giving them the opportunities for success, or we sacrifice investment in our children to continue giving hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks to big businesses such as the recent foreign fertilizer company. We need Olson’s forward-looking, balanced economic development approach, investing in our children and Iowa businesses and entrepreneurs.
Rep. Kirsten Running-Marquardt of Cedar Rapids is serving her third term in the Iowa House of Representatives, representing District 69. Comments: email@example.com