Alexandra Dermody is a Davenport based Gen Z activist, nonprofit director, and small business owner who lives in Iowa House district 81.
Luana Stoltenberg, a Republican who traveled to Washington, DC for Donald Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally on January 6, 2021, has completed her first legislative session as the representative for House District 81.
While she presents herself as a pro-life activist and author, it is essential to examine her legislative record and consider the implications of her key votes and sponsored bills.
Let's take a closer look at Stoltenberg's voting history:
- Education savings accounts: Stoltenberg supported this measure, which raises concerns about diverting public funds towards private education, potentially undermining the quality and accessibility of our public schools.
- Property tax reductions: While tax relief is important, Stoltenberg's support for property tax reductions without considering the impact on essential public services raises questions about her commitment to adequately funding education, infrastructure, and other vital community needs.
- Gender affirming health care ban for minors: Stoltenberg voted in favor of restricting access to necessary and affirming health care for transgender minors. This vote disregards the well-being and rights of transgender youth and their families.
- Restrictions on LGBTQ topics in school library books: Stoltenberg supported limiting access to LGBTQ-related materials in school libraries, hindering students' access to diverse perspectives and inclusive educational resources.
- Loosening child labor laws: Stoltenberg's support for loosening child labor laws raises concerns about the safety and well-being of young workers, potentially compromising their education and development.
Moreover, Stoltenberg's sponsored bills further illustrate her priorities:
- House File 510: Stoltenberg advocated for a bill that would have severely restricted access to abortions. While it did not pass, her stance disregards the reproductive rights and autonomy of individuals in our district.
- House File 508: Stoltenberg aimed to undermine the recognition of same-sex marriages, disregarding the principles of equality and inclusivity that our community values.
- House File 190: Stoltenberg's attempt to remove gender identity from the Iowa Civil Rights Code shows a lack of understanding and empathy towards the struggles faced by transgender and gender non-conforming individuals.
While Stoltenberg highlights the "successes" of the session, such as The Student First Act, it is important to critically examine the potential consequences of these policies. While choice in education is a worthy goal in theory, it is crucial to ensure that public schools receive adequate funding and support, rather than diverting resources away from them.
Stoltenberg has expressed disappointment regarding the bill to protect landowner rights, which passed the House but did not advance in the Senate. The legislature must strike a balance between supporting industries and safeguarding private property rights. Her failure to effectively advocate for this bill reflects a lack of leadership and an inability to deliver tangible results.
House District 81 deserves a representative who will prioritize the well-being and rights of all constituents. It is time for a change that embraces inclusivity, supports our public education system, protects reproductive rights, and upholds the values of equality and fairness.
Top photo of State Representative Luana Stoltenberg was cropped from a picture posted to her official Facebook page in December 2022.