Educating Rhonda: Law enforcement challenges

Bleeding Heartland welcomes guest posts advocating for Democratic candidates for Iowa offices. -promoted by Laura Belin

My name is Jeffrey Cárdenas. I’ve been volunteering to elect Rhonda Martin to Iowa Senate district 20 and to defeat Brad Zaun.

On Friday I attended a protest against anti-Black violence in Des Moines. There a young African American male speaker asked, “…my grandparents turned the other cheek and walked away. N*ggah, I won’t. And if you think that’s wrong, what am I supposed to do? Please tell me, what am I supposed to do?!”

His question immediately reminded me of President Barack Obama’s eternal call to action: “I don’t know what party these men and women belong to. I don’t know if they’ll vote for me. But I know that their spirit defines us. They remind me, in the words of scripture, that ours is a future filled with hope. And if you share that faith with me, if you share that hope with me, I ask you [to vote].”

With Obama’s words echoing in my mind and while witnessing violent protests here and across the country over police-involved deaths of Black citizens — I feel more urgency now to support thoughtfulness in law enforcement and policy-making. That’s why I proudly support Rhonda Martin for the Iowa Senate.

Rhonda’s thoughtfulness was on full display during when she held a virtual “Educating Rhonda” with Polk County Sheriff Kevin Schneider to discuss law enforcement challenges. Here are videos from that event, from her campaign YouTube channel. The discussion centered on COVID-19, changes in law enforcement — including mental health — over 40 years, general jail operations, cross-jurisdiction collaboration, and staff recruitment issues.

Part 1:

Part 2:

From fighting COVID-19, addressing new and different trends like mental health, collaborating across jurisdictions, operating the Polk County jail efficiently, and recruiting staff — the Polk County sheriff’s job is a difficult one that requires allies like Rhonda Martin. That’s why we need Rhonda’s thoughtfulness now more than ever.

Please vote Rhonda Martin for Senate District 20 in the June 2 primary.

Jeffrey Cárdenas has volunteered and worked on behalf of progressive candidates, causes, and elected officials since graduating with a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California at Davis in 2008.

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