Iowa Sen. Claire Celsi (D-West Des Moines) visited the July meeting of the Perry-Area Democrats Wednesday evening at the Center for Town Craft and led a lively discussion about state and national politics and the prospects for the 2020 elections.
Celsi represents Iowa Senate District 21, which includes portions of Des Moines and West Des Moines in the southwest corner of Polk County as well as the northwest corner of Linn Township in Warren County.
About 20 people greeted the first-term senator, including Perry Democrats and several local staff members for seekers of the Democratic nomination in the 2020 presidential election.
Also on hand to welcome Celsi was Warren Varley of Stuart, who is weighing a 2020 run for Iowa Senate District 10, a seat currently occupied by two-term Republican incumbent Jake Chapman of Adel.
The tenor of the discussion suggested the assembled Democrats were shocked and sickened by the latest resort to white-power rhetoric by U.S. President Donald J. Trump.
On state-level issues, the Democrats blamed the administration of Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and the Republican-controlled Iowa Legislature for the ongoing failure of Iowa’s Medicaid privatization program, the chronic underfunding of education in the state, the ineffectiveness of efforts to reduce water pollution and Iowa’s contribution to the Gulf of Mexico dead zone and the worst-in-the-nation state of mental healthcare in Iowa, including the creation without funding of a children’s mental health regime.
David Calderon, constituency engagement director for the Iowa Democratic Party, also attended the 5:30 p.m. meeting and spoke about efforts to bring citizens into active engagement in the electoral process, with particular emphasis on energizing the Latino population in Perry in advance of the Iowa Democratic Caucuses in February 2020.