Election 2020 Q&A: Christina Blackcloud
Iowa House of Representatives – District 72
ABOUT THE CANDIDATE
Name: Christina Blackcloud
Hometown: Born in Omaha, raised on the Meskwaki Indian Settlement near Tama and lived a short time in South Dakota.
Profession: Organic Farmer
Education: Dual BA in Business Admin. and HR Management.
Family: Partner Michael and family
Experience: 15+ years governmental work (Executive Director, Director of Senior Services). Delegate to the Democratic National Convention, interned with U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin in Washington D.C. First indiginous candidate to win an Iowa primary election.
1. What do you feel are the three most important issues Iowa will be facing during your term as a state representative/senator? How do you plan to address those issues?
I believe education is the key. It’s the best thing we can do to set a solid foundation for our next generation of leaders. I believe by connecting practice, policy, and research, we can advance Iowa’s teachers, our diverse and dynamic academic professionals, by more adequately supporting those who care for and educate our children. In doing so, we will advance our educational system and help Iowa’s children achieve their full potential.
I believe everyone deserves an equal voice and I believe in equal pay for equal work. Worker’s rights and women’s right are under attack right now and more needs to be done to ensure that everyone is treated equally. Families must be supported. As an Indigenous woman, I will seek out injustice and support policies for underrepresented communities to engage and empower voices via grants, increased police training, and employee/apprenticeship training.
We must stand against any attempts to take money away from our veterans and senior citizens. We must work to keep health care and education dollars in our district so that our rural healthcare and educational systems can grow. We must provide access to physical and mental health care and housing needs. We need to support preventative care measures and we must improve access to high-quality medical, mental health, and addiction recovery services to Iowans.
2. How would you work across the aisle with colleagues in the State House and what are you able to do to bring not only law makers, but also your constituents together in a time when there is so much division?
I discovered early on that one of my passions was to help others, so I’ve spent my life working with many audiences with differing agendas. State representatives are the “eyes and ears” for our communities and our actions are the first line of defense for helping the people in our districts. To me that means we must be the person who supports their ideas and fights for their needs first. But it’s a unique job where I do believe it takes partisanships to get things done. We must work together to accomplish goals to make life better for them. We must listen to our constituents.
3. Education funding continues to be a contentious issue in the Legislature. What steps will you take to ensure Iowa schools are adequately funded?
Iowa is well-known for our quality in education but I also believe that COVID-19 has demonstrated that access to the internet isn’t a luxury, but a necessary utility like water or electricity. The lack of high-speed internet access in rural Iowa is literally lowering people’s quality of life and creating a serious setback to our children’s academic success. I believe every child deserves equitable access to high-quality education and I will support legislation that invests in teachers and students so that both can succeed. I believe that all children thrive and learn in a society dedicated to ensuring they reach their full potential. I’ll support efforts to promote leadership and professional development in the education field. I’d like to develop partnerships with the private sector to enhance career and technical education and apprenticeship programs.
4. What challenges do you see small, rural communities facing in 2020 as compared to cities and suburbs? What do you plan to do to help meet those challenges as a state representative?
Access to the internet is a HUGE issue facing rural communities. I believe all children thrive and learn in a society dedicated to ensuring they reach their full potential. But the lack of high-speed internet in rural Iowa is creating a serious setback to our children’s academic success. I’ll stand and support legislation that invests in teachers and students so that both can succeed. I have a plan to advance and strengthen our community.
I think the number one way we can grow the economy right now is to help people get back to work after the shutdown. The pandemic not only exposed our weaknesses in the healthcare system, it exposed our economic vulnerabilities too. Until a vaccine can be found and we can get a handle on COVID-19, we need to ensure our families and our workers are safe. In a post-pandemic world, we must look to build sustainable infrastructures by seeking targeted tax incentives for job creations so that our communities can thrive and grow. We must create supportive entrepreneurial environments.
5. Why do you think voters should support your candidacy for state representative/senator?
We need a new generation of leaders who aren’t bought and paid for by large corporations and special interests. I will seek out injustice and support policies to engage and empower voices via grants and increased training. I believe the only way to make change is to be the change. That’s why I’m running. I support equal pay for equal work, will protect worker’s rights, and will seek targeted tax incentives for job creations so that our communities can thrive and grow.
Our district needs a representative that will support new ideas and fight for the needs in our communities. If elected I would be the first indigenous person to hold a seat in the Iowa legislature and I can’t wait to get started.
EDITORS NOTE: Candidate forums will appear on page 3 in the weekly edition of the News Chronicle and online over the coming weeks.