TanyaKeith

All I wanted was to scream at a billionaire

Tanya Keith is a Democratic activist in Des Moines and author of the recently published Soccer Stars on the Pitch. -promoted by Laura Belin

I am the Cory Booker precinct captain for my precinct in the River Bend neighborhood of Des Moines. When I heard he dropped out last Monday morning, I was gutted. Senator Booker was a unique candidate of hope in a sometimes angry field.

I was so firmly in his camp, I told people I didn’t need a second choice, I only needed to work hard to make him viable in my precinct. So after he left the race, I was lost, and I decided to go yell at a billionaire.

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Don't make Iowa families suffer through a constitutional amendment on abortion

Tanya Keith of Des Moines spoke to the Iowa Senate subcommittee considering Senate Joint Resolution 21 on January 16. -promoted by Laura Belin

The Iowa Senate Republican majority has proposed amending Iowa’s constitution to state that the document “does not secure or protect a right to abortion or require the funding of abortion.” I believe this is wrong on so many levels. But State Senator Jake Chapman refused to allow me to speak more than two minutes at the subcommittee meeting he chaired, even though I was the only person testifying with a personal story.

I encourage you to watch my testimony, but I hope you will honor my story by also reading the full text of what I wanted to say. I find it disgusting that this issue was pushed out of subcommittee so quickly, and that Chapman clearly has no interest in hearing from Iowans about it. Here is the video:

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A Jew, a German, and 2 Ames residents meet outside a Steve King event

Tanya Keith‘s first-person account from Representative Steve King’s November 1 appearance in Des Moines. -promoted by desmoinesdem

On Tuesday, I got a Facebook wall post from a friend of mine in California that said, “Go get em Tanya and call him out on his anti-Semitism.” The post included a link to a Des Moines Partnership event: “2018 Candidate Forum with Congressman Steve King.”

I live in Des Moines, outside Iowa’s fourth Congressional district. I am well known for not ever being a fan of King–especially lately, as a Jew who used to live on the edge of Squirrel Hill while attending Carnegie Mellon University. I had an appointment until 11:30 am on the day of the event, but I sat smoldering in disgust that the Partnership would give a platform to a racist who uses anti-Semitic language.

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Urban blight....a photo essay

Tanya Keith makes her case for the local option sales tax on the Polk County ballot. Cross-posted from the Hat Trick Renovation blog. -promoted by desmoinesdem

When we first moved into River Bend, I owned a baby shop downtown called Simply for Giggles. We had only lived here a couple weeks when I realized I had to close my store because I wanted to spend more time with my family, and in my neighborhood. I feel so comfortable and happy in this place, it made me sad to go to work every day. I also realized that this neighborhood needed my skill set. I love to take risks, I have a degree in Interior Design, and I’ve done construction. There were so many houses in my neighborhood….heck…on my block, that needed a champion. Hat Trick Renovation is the continuation of that idea.

My work gives me a heightened awareness of the urban blight problem Des Moines means to address with the 1 percent sales tax vote on Measure A this Tuesday, March 6th. City Council member Josh Mandelbaum wrote a great breakdown of how I feel about the measure elsewhere on Bleeding Heartland. One of the biggest reasons I’m voting yes is I hate getting to the store and realizing I’ve left my 30-40 percent off coupon at home. I want roughly 1/3 of this money to come from outside the county.

But that’s getting ahead of myself. I’ve seen many people pose the question that we don’t need this money in the first place. We just need to belt tighten. This view is so out of sync with my daily worldview, I had to take people on a visual tour of what I see every day to show why I feel voting yes is the least regressive option. Des Moines’ urban core needs our help, and this sales tax is the lowest impact way to help those neighborhoods.

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Save the Iowa State Historic Tax Credit

Adapted from a post Tanya Keith wrote for Hat Trick Renovation, the blog for her company, where she works to restore historic houses in the urban core of Des Moines. -promoted by desmoinesdem

The current version of the Iowa Senate tax bill would reduce the Iowa State Historic Tax Credit from $45 million to $35 million, starting next fiscal year, and repeal the tax credit in 2025. That would be a huge loss for neighborhoods and main streets in Iowa. Many of our projects at Hat Trick Renovation are only viable because of state historic tax credits. Often older buildings need so much work, it can cost more to restore them than the building will eventually be worth. However, once restored, these buildings become beautiful, irreplaceable structures that will last far longer than modern day construction.

Not only are tax credits a vital part of our work in saving historic buildings in Des Moines, they are also good for the financial health of our state.

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How a "pre-existing condition" almost wrecked my perfectly healthy family

The author is a longtime personal friend. I can confirm this post accurately conveys what happened to her family. -promoted by desmoinesdem

I never worried about pre-existing conditions before the fall of 2008. We were young, healthy, and gainfully employed with employer-provided health insurance. What was there to worry about? It’s a little painful to admit how self-centered and over-confident I was, but there it is. Just keep a job with insurance or be sure to make COBRA payments and there was no problem. At the time, my husband was an engineer in working as a VP in manufacturing, and I owned two stores. Oh to be young, financially secure, and over-confident!

Then one day in September, I stopped to fill a prescription for my daughter’s eye drops and the pharmacist told me my insurance had been cancelled.

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