cjforiowa

We live here, too: Dirt road Democrats in the arena

Former Republican C.J. Petersen on the values and issues that drove him to run for the Iowa Senate and become the new chair of the Carroll County Democrats. -promoted by Laura Belin

In the fall of 2010, I knocked on the door of a 70-year-old woman in rural Grundy Center, Iowa. I was there on a mission: get Terry Branstad and Kim Reynolds elected governor and lieutenant governor of Iowa.

The woman was kind, and we discussed the issues of the day–jobs, health care, and her feeling that our state and nation were on the wrong track. “Trust me,” I told her. “Terry Branstad and Kim Reynolds are ready to lead Iowa’s comeback.”

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Remembering Stonewall in western Iowa

C.J. Petersen: There’s a stereotype out there that western Iowans are intolerant, bigoted, or just plain dumb. That couldn’t be further from the truth. -promoted by Laura Belin

My name is C.J. Petersen. I work in sales, I’m a health care and substance abuse treatment advocate—and I’m an alcoholic. I’m also the only openly-LGBTQ Democratic nominee for the Iowa Senate this year, running in District 6 (Audubon, Buena Vista, Carroll, eastern Crawford, and Sac counties).

While I don’t drink anymore, and have been blessed by God with nearly three years of continuous sobriety, I am mindful of queer bars’ role in the history of my community’s struggle for full equality. It wasn’t all that long ago that it was illegal to be openly-LGBTQ in most parts of our country.

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Why I hope you’ll vote by mail in the Democratic primary

C.J. Petersen is the Democratic candidate in Iowa Senate district 6 (Buena Vista, Sac, Carroll, and Audubon counties, and part of Crawford County). -promoted by Laura Belin

Ronald Reagan once said that he believed politics to be the second oldest profession, going on to joke that it bears a “striking resemblance to the first.” (This is enough to conjure images of Terry Branstad in a garter, showing a little leg at an Iowa Farm Bureau dinner, but I digress.)

The point is that too often, politicians forget who they’re supposed to be representing.

One study even showed the public’s opinions have a “near-zero impact” on their representatives’ decision-making. That is not how a democracy is supposed to work.

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