Andrew Dunn: The kind of legislator we need in 2022

Editor’s note: Bleeding Heartland is unlikely to endorse in any Iowa Democratic primaries this year but welcomes guest commentaries by candidates or their supporters. Please read these guidelines and contact Laura Belin if you are interested in writing.

Now that the 2022 election year is here, I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Andrew Dunn and I am an activist, community organizer, and nonprofit leader running to represent Iowa House district 90, serving the northeast and graduate college area of Iowa City.

I am also a seventh-generation Iowan raised in a family of teachers, nurses, and blue-collar workers. Like many families who fell victim to unrestrained corporate greed and special interests in the 2008 housing crisis, my parents worked multiple jobs to make ends meet. Eventually, it didn’t matter how many hours they worked. We still lost our home, jobs, and after countless overtime hours, my father’s health.

While trying to survive on federal food assistance and health insurance for children, we paid thousands a month for insurance trying to keep my dad alive as he wrestled with diabetes, pancreatic cancer, and a heart attack. My story isn’t unique or isolated to the housing crisis.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made it impossible to ignore that hundreds of thousands of people in our state, many of them in our community, are struggling. In 2022, we have thousands of families struggling to put food on the table, pay rent, afford medicine, and pay for childcare. At the same time, billionaires have seen their wealth expand by almost $2 trillion, a 62 percent increase.

Instead of prioritizing tax policies and programs for a middle class that’s hurting, the Iowa GOP has passed major tax cuts for the wealthy, delivered hundreds of millions in tax breaks to megacorporations, and is now moving to destroy critical mechanisms for funding government itself. The greatest takeaway here is that our policies and economy have not been working for average Iowans. That needs to change.

I’m running because I’m dedicated to building that change. I’ve spent the last decade working in government, campaign, and issue advocacy. I’ve lived and organized in urban and rural Iowa, in Georgia, and in Washington, D.C.

If there’s anything I’ve learned in that time, it’s that solutions need to be systemic and we have to show up. We can’t snap our fingers to change a tax policy and expect our social, economic, and political strife to evaporate. We can’t sit idly while the GOP out-organizes us in nearly every rural district in the state. This project and service demands a representative who will deliver results to our state and community. We cannot rest on our laurels knowing we send Democrats to Des Moines from a handful of metropolitan areas.

We must do and demand more of our elected officials.

We need leaders in the Iowa House who understand the intersectional nature of the issues of our time: education, economy, racial justice, environment, healthcare, especially reproductive healthcare, and so much more.

We need leaders who are dedicated to the big picture: building up Democratic power across Iowa, organizing 24/7 365, and supporting our candidates no matter where they live. Otherwise, what good is electing Democrats in the first place? To improve teacher pay, strengthen unions, build the middle class, bridge communities, and be on the frontline of climate change solutions, we need to elect legislators who will show up, show out, and do the grassroots work we deserve.

That’s who I am, that’s what I want to do. I hope that I can count on your vote in the June 7 primary.

Andrew Dunn

Learn more at, www.dunnforiowa.com

Map of Iowa House district 90:

Top photo of Andrew Dunn provided by the author and published with permission.

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