Letter to the editor: How about an agenda that actually helps?

The interior of the dome on the Iowa Statehouse

To the editor:

In a time of multiple significant issues threatening the future of Iowans, it would be great if our elected Republican legislators would use their control to focus on solving the big challenges impacting most of us.

It’s easy to name them: the pandemic, job loss, childcare, education, climate change, water quality, mental illness. Our lists may not be the same, but I’m confident most Iowans would have at least one or more of these topics on their lists.

Headlines about children who died in foster care, about Glenwood residents inappropriately used as research participants and receiving inadequate medical and behavioral care, about numerous long-term care facilities with COVID-19 outbreaks and deaths — these are a few of the ongoing reminders of our lack of standing up for the most vulnerable among us.

Making progress on any of these large issues that are negatively impacting so many Iowans and slowing the potential of our state would be what actual servant leaders would do.

Instead, we have elected leaders who mistakenly believe that they are elected to push through their own personal agendas or those of their major donors or those that a minority of extremists in Iowa support.

What Republican now in office ran on the issue of reinstating the death penalty? What town halls were held in which Iowans were demanding and voicing concerns that killing criminals is the pressing issue demanding attention? How would reinstating the death penalty resolve any of Iowa’s major challenges, increase our quality of life or recruit businesses to locate in Iowa?

Listen to Iowans. Focus on high-priority issues. Focus on the issues that will positively impact many Iowans. Make progress on the challenging issues we face.

What major improvements to the quality of life for Iowans are you making as you reintroduce the death penalty, work to restrict women’s rights, dictate the restroom you want someone to use or survey professors regarding their political affiliations? The party that rails against regulations — even those that promote public health and safety — works hard to take rights from others.

If you don’t have the ability to listen to your constituents and to prioritize their concerns — even when they might not match your concerns but would move Iowa forward — your abilities do not align with the requirements of the job. You are failing in the duties of your office. You are not serving all Iowans but, sadly, that was probably never your goal.

Laura Stebbins


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