I’m Brenda Brink from rural Huxley, and I’m a Democrat running to be the state representative for Iowa House District 49, covering southern and eastern Story County, and southern Hardin County. I’m running for the Iowa House because for a long time, we took it for granted that Iowans in political power had our best interests at heart. But, after the last harmful legislative session, many of us realized that we must now pitch in and fix the mess politicians in Des Moines left. I am an everyday Iowan who has the heart and energy to fight for the interest of hardworking families across the state. I want an Iowa that is healthy and prosperous, that attracts our young to stay here and that attracts others to move here and help us grow.
I was raised on a farm in Farragut, IA. My brother, sisters, and I grew up with high expectations from our parents, 4H leaders, and teachers. Even though we knew that we lived in the best place in the world, we learned how to make the best better. Not just to achieve a personal best, but the idea that by working together, we could make our communities, state, and world an even better place for everyone.
I’ve lived in rural Huxley for over 30 years. As a lifelong Iowan, I’m ready to stand up for my rural community in the Iowa House. I am running to be an advocate for public education, to bring good jobs to our rural communities, to make sure all Iowans have accessible, affordable healthcare, and to protect our environment through sustainable solutions.
As state representative, my top priorities will be:
If we intend to get back to our #1 in the nation ranking for public education, we need to invest in it at a level that shows we value it. Schools do not run well on starvation budgets and people do not move to a place with poor schools. My leadership with our local Dollars for Scholars shows how much I myself invested time and money on a personal level to help our young people achieve better lives through education.
We need to repeal the privatized Medicaid scheme that is siphoning off dollars that need to go right to our providers for the care our vulnerable need. Our mental healthcare is shameful as well. We need to re-instate the number of beds that were available before the last governor closed those facilities. In addition, the difficult job of CNAs and nurses makes it nearly impossible to attract and retain adequate numbers of qualified and caring individuals for our aging population. We need to raise the minimum wage which will improve the care that our elders get. We need to re-instate the numbers of nursing home inspectors and advocates. By rewarding nursing homes with recognition, we promote best practices that keep our seniors healthy and happy. I was part of that as a nursing home dietitian.
To me, there is no separating environment and health. They are one and the same. It is clear that our state is being over-run by CAFOs who externalize their costs, expecting others to clean up their mess. The air quality-asthma connection and antibiotic resistance connection cannot be denied, either. I would push for a moratorium, until the impaired waterways number less than 100 in our state. The tax breaks this industry enjoys need to go as well. That, in itself, is one of the first steps to take to help balance our state budget.
I believe that our rural communities are worth fighting for because we don’t have an Iowa without them. This campaign is about advocating for the people I’ve known my whole life: everyday Iowans who work hard and want the same opportunities for their kids that they had.
We need to bring our prosperity back home. We need to bring our people back home. We need to bring our values back home. I’m Brenda Brink and I will work to bring it back home.