ISSUES

These are the issues Austin will fight for.

Vote for Austin on June 7 in the Democratic primary.

Build a Green Economy

We need to get serious about fighting climate change and cleaning up our water. Industry and consumers will adopt environmentally friendly practices faster when it’s economically advantageous to do so. We need to incentivize the production and consumption of clean energy and bolster programs that help farmers and factories protect our waterways. Iowa can become the green economy of the future. 

Provide World-Class Public Education

Every student in Iowa should have access to a first-rate education. As the product of public schools and a family tree full of teachers, I know that public education is society’s great accelerator. Iowa was once a national leader in public education but has since suffered tremendous decline. I will work to get public schools the state funding they deserve so that we can recruit and retain top educators, reduce classroom sizes, and support innovative programs that better prepare our students for the modern economy. 

Heal a Broken Health Care System

You shouldn’t have to be wealthy to be healthy. Far too many Iowans struggle to navigate and afford health care in our state. Iowa’s privatized Medicaid system isn’t working and it’s denying Iowans medical care while out-of-state insurance companies reap the profits. I will add medical expertise to the legislature so that we can fix Medicaid, restore sound public health measures, and expand mental health and addiction services throughout the state. 

Reform Government to Serve ALL Iowans

Iowa’s democracy has been under attack. State leaders have dismantled local control, disenfranchised voters, and empowered wealthy corporations and interest groups to call the shots instead. I will work to restore local control over local issues – allowing cities and counties to have the power to raise the minimum wage, enact public health measures, and protect against unfair housing practices. I will work to make it easier to vote, not harder, while protecting against fraud. I will call out lawmakers whose actions are determined by their campaign donors and work to reform our campaign finance laws so that politicians can no longer accept blank checks from special interests. 

Rebuild our Workforce by Supporting Workers

We can welcome Iowans back into the workforce by redesigning our system to better support and reward our workers who are the lifeforce of this economy. I am a proud co-owner of a small business that embodies ethical employment practices. We need to raise Iowa’s minimum wage to a living wage through a staged process until reaching $15 per hour and then indexing to inflation. We need extensive public investment in childcare, restoration of collective bargaining, and expansion of paid apprenticeships. 

Champion the Rights of LGBTQ+ Iowans

Divisive culture wars have threatened our state’s reputation as a welcoming home for all people. I will work to ensure state policy does not infringe upon – but rather fully supports – the civil rights, safety, and health of our LGBTQIA+ community. 

Show up for Racial Justice

Every Iowan should have equal treatment and protection by our justice system. We need a statewide ban on racial profiling. We need to reform the way our communities respond to crises by creating community-based support services to respond to calls about persons experiencing mental illness, substance use, or developmental disability. We should eliminate mandatory minimum sentencing for nonviolent crimes and dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline.  

Protect Reproductive Rights

Decisions about one’s health should be left to the individual, not the government. I support Roe v. Wade and would oppose any legislative efforts to undermine reproductive freedom. Access to women’s health services is already strained in Iowa and our state should be doing more to expand these services rather than shutting down entire clinics.

Promote Economic Justice

In the wealthiest nation on earth and in a state with a $1.2 billion budget surplus, it’s wrong that so many Iowans struggle to attain food and shelter.  Our social safety net has frayed. We need serious solutions to improving access to healthy food, affordable housing, and affordable childcare. Reforming our criminal justice system, improving schools, and bolstering workforce training are key to breaking the cycle of poverty. 

Legalize Marijuana

A majority of Iowans support legalizing marijuana, and the Iowa legislature should heed the call. It needs to be done thoughtfully, so that public health and safety measures can be addressed. Importantly, prior marijuana-related offenses should be overturned and expunged, and those currently incarcerated for marijuana possession or sale should be set free.

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