Iowa Democrats: It's time to challenge ourselves

Ellen Goodmann Miller is a community and resource development specialist and political consultant.

I’m a fourth generation Iowa Democrat activist. One of my great grandfathers helped found the local carpenters, molders, and machinist unions in Dubuque and another ran for state senate in Union County. My mom was party chair when I was a kid and my siblings and I would spend Saturdays roaming the halls of the UAW Local 94 or in the legendary smoke-filled Riverside bowling alley.

I loved it. I loved being surrounded by working-class Iowans who valued fairness and community. These experiences instilled in me a commitment to service and to justice.   

Throughout my life, I’ve volunteered on and staffed many campaigns, recently on the political teams of the Biden-Harris campaign and State Representative Ras Smith’s gubernatorial campaign. And I’ve carried on the tradition of bringing my daughters with me into this world. For so long, I’ve taken pride in the values of the party and found a home among the people within it.

After my experience on Smith’s campaign, and as I’ve seen more clearly what we’re valuing as a party, I don’t feel the same pride I once did, nor am I clear on our vision for the future.

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