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I am writing in response to the article in the Iowa Standard where it mentions that Speaker Pat Grassley “expects only redistricting to be done during the special session”. Together with many Iowans, I am left with questions and grave concerns.

Blanket policies and cookie-cutter health mandates are sweeping the state without concern for our individual bodily autonomy or beliefs. As a member of leadership and Speaker of the house, Pat Grassley, has turned a blind eye to the needs of the people he was elected to represent. As thousands of Iowans are concerned about retaining their jobs (many of whom have made a significant investment of both time and money to achieve) we are left to ask, why is this not important enough to be added to a special session?

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A significant percentage of Iowa’s workforce is being threatened with termination as well as a host of segregation policies and mandates are also working their way into our society under the guise of public health. Iowans have called, emailed, begged, and pleaded for Iowa elected officials (including Speaker Pat Grassley) to hear Iowan’s dire cry of distress requesting protection from unconstitutional mandates. Yet, maps, MAPS, are deemed more important in this critical hour. I suppose I can try to understand it, under normal circumstances these maps are important too…but are they more important than the citizens and livelihoods of the people of this great state? If a large percentage of Iowans are left unemployed and forced to seek employment outside of this state, will those maps even truly matter?

Isn’t this exactly what special sessions are for? Shouldn’t we take advantage of an existing special session to address and protect lives and livelihoods? I think most people would agree that time IS indeed now. If Speaker Pat Grassley doesn’t think so then I do honestly wonder who is persuading his decisions? Is he more motivated by corporate and pHARMa donors who don’t want him meddling in this issue?

What’s specifically interesting to consider when you begin to peel back the “onion layers” to politics is… Speaker Grassley holds the “purse strings” to the Republican House Majority Fund, the primary hub of all House fundraising dollars. Any Republican wishing to seek reelection and hoping to receive campaign dollars would need to get in line and follow marching orders. Do you want a leadership position or to be appointed a Committee Chair? You will also have to get into line and follow his marching orders.

If the maps are approved “as is” then 67 of these legislators will be in run-off races against each other. So, not surprisingly, it appears much of this boils down to money and political aspirations.

We’re told to be patient, wait till the next legislative session starts in January…Many Iowans have been hit with multiple challenges this last year. Some may have the funds to hold them over till the next legislative session but most families in this state do not, especially after the hardships we’ve been forced to endure throughout this “pandemic”. No action, clearly communicates Speaker Grassley and leadership are OK with the “free market” creating a class system and also OK with leaving masses of Iowans unemployed as a result of discrimination for unnecessary medical procedures.

I would like to leave you with a final thought, Iowa’s state motto is “Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain”…if not now, when will you stand for Iowans? If not now, when will you do what you were elected to do? To hear, represent and protect the rights of the people of Iowa?

In recent history, there has been no greater opportunity to defend this motto than now. I encourage you to stand with Iowans and protect us in the special session next week! Where there is risk there must always be choice!

  • Kristi Northway
    President of Informed Choice Iowa

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