AmberGus

Three reasons Kim Reynolds should veto permitless carry

Amber Gustafson is a graduate student at Drake University, an Ankeny mom of three, and a gun safety advocate. -promoted by Laura Belin

Earlier this week, the Iowa Senate passed House File 756, a bill that would make handgun carry permits and background checks on unlicensed sales optional for residents of the state.

Having cleared the Iowa House on March 17, the bill now moves to Governor Kim Reynolds’ desk. At this writing, she has not signed it.

At a March 24 press conference, she waffled when asked about her plans for the bill, calling for a “holistic approach” to gun violence prevention.

Continue Reading...

What the Iowa Democratic Party needs to do ASAP

Amber Gustafson is a progressive activist and was the 2018 Democratic candidate in Iowa Senate district 19. -promoted by Laura Belin

Dear Fellow Iowa Democrats,

It’s a new year and with that comes new perspectives and new outlooks.

In November of 2020, I put my name forward to run for Iowa Democratic Party chair and with it I shared a plan to help our party regain our footing in our state. It was with determination and optimism that I stepped forward to offer my services to our party. But since my initial announcement, my family’s circumstances have come to bear on my plans for 2021.

It is with great regret that I have chosen to withdraw my name for consideration as chair of the Iowa Democratic Party.

Continue Reading...

Theresa Greenfield respects all Iowans

Earlier this month I was honored to cast my vote for Theresa Greenfield for U.S. Senate. Theresa has common sense and she will focus on concrete, pragmatic action to solve our biggest challenges: investing in infrastructure and education, expanding health care, taking urgent climate action, protecting women’s rights and ending gun violence.

Theresa stands out because she listens and respects the hard work and dignity of all Iowans. That’s how she’s earned the endorsement of 25 labor groups and grassroots progressive organizations like Giffords and the Brady Campaign. 

Continue Reading...

One suburban caucus chair's experience and what it means for Iowa

Amber Gustafson co-chaired her precinct caucus in Ankeny. -promoted by Laura Belin

I want to share my experience Monday night as a caucus co-chair at Crocker 1 Precinct in Polk County because the story of the caucuses as a chaotic dumpster fire has grown legs and is now running a cross-country ultra-marathon. Information has been scarce, and in that absence, lies, conspiracies and fake news are multiplying.

Perhaps my perspective will give you insight into one, regular, run-of-the-mill precinct and the challenges we faced – and also the reality of how hard we worked to make the caucus a success.

Continue Reading...

How Democrats can reach rural America, build relationships, create change

Second in a series of post-election commentaries by Amber Gustafson, who was the Democratic candidate in Iowa Senate district 19. -promoted by desmoinesdem

Remember the Hippos – A Parable

Once a non-profit organization decided to “help” a poor, rural village in a country in Africa. When the fresh-faced, idealistic, young European aid workers arrived, they noticed many things right away. They noticed that the people in the village were malnourished. They also noticed that the village had no fields, no vineyards, and no orchards.

The aid workers, full of compassion, saw that what the people of the village needed was food; and more than that, they needed to be taught how to farm.

Continue Reading...

Nobody asked for my opinion, but I’m giving it anyway (part 1)

Amber Gustafson was the Democratic candidate in Iowa Senate district 19. -promoted by desmoinesdem

Some Key Improvements Iowa Democratic Organizations Can Make Ahead of 2020

Okay, maybe a few people have asked for my opinion on what Iowa Democrats could have done better in 2018, and how we can be in a better position in 2020 to retake one or both of the houses of the state legislature, defeat Senator Joni Ernst, keep Representatives Dave Loebsack, Abby Finkenauer, and Cindy Axne, send Steve King packing, and help rid our country of the scourge of Donald Trump.

It has been about a month since I ran against and nearly defeated Iowa Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver in a district where he ran twice previously unopposed – and made him spend more than $500,000 defending his seat in a district with a distinct Republican registration advantage – while proudly running on a platform of protecting abortion rights and reducing gun violence.

Continue Reading...
View More...