# Rob Barron



Why I support Gabe De La Cerda for Iowa House district 36

Rob Barron served on the Des Moines school board from 2013 to 2021 and is the founder of the Latino Political Network.

My name is Rob Barron and I am proud to endorse Gabe De La Cerda to be the next state representative in Iowa House district 36. I grew up on 49th Street, right in the heart of the district, in the house my dad still owns. When I ran my first campaign for school board, voters in the district put me over the top. Now I hope you will give your vote to my friend Gabe.

I have known Gabe for more than ten years and have always trusted him to fight hard for kids, the elderly, and working-class folks. He serves on the Iowa Democratic Party’s State Central Committee, has been a union member, and is currently a social worker and father. He is also one of a growing line of Latinos who have raised their hands to run for office.

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Louisa Dykstra for Des Moines School Board

Republican policies on education funding and working conditions for teachers have inspired many newly-engaged Iowa activists to run in tomorrow’s school board elections.

School board members don’t control the budget, but they decide what programs to cut or spare when resources are scarce. They influence contract negotiations, so can mitigate the harm Iowa’s new collective bargaining law will do to educators. Winning non-partisan, local races can also help build the Democratic bench, as many successful candidates for the Iowa House and Senate previously served on a school board.

Turnout for school board elections is typically low in the absence of some hot-button local issue, like this year’s Iowa City school bond proposal. A handful of voters may determine the outcome. Rob Barron won his at-large seat on the Des Moines School Board by just 28 votes in 2013.

Three progressives are seeking the two at-large seats on the Des Moines board this year: the incumbent Barron and first-time candidates Louisa Dykstra and Kyrstin Delagardelle Shelley.

I’m encouraging my friends in the Des Moines district to cast one of their votes for Dykstra.

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Why I am working with the Latino Political Network

Thanks to Hazel Posada for sharing her experience with the Latino Political Network. -promoted by desmoinesdem

My name is Hazel Posada and I currently reside in Des Moines, Iowa. I am student at Des Moines Area Community College and I work full time. I am very passionate about human rights and social justice and helping people in my community the most I can. I’m developing myself personally and professionally as a participant of the class of 2017 Latina Leadership Initiative of Greater Des Moines.

I am the daughter of immigrant parents who came to this country in the early 1990’s for an opportunity to a better life and a shot at the American dream. My father fled his country of El Salvador from the aftermath of the Civil War between military-led government and political organizations. My mother migrated from Mexico to the U.S. looking for a better quality of life and to escape poverty and government corruption. They have taught me to never give up and always work hard to achieve my goals. Both of them are very supportive in my career goals and push me to be a role model citizen in my community.

Through the Latina Leadership Initiative, I chose to work with Rob Barron and Omar Padilla from the Latino Political Network (LPN) for my community service project. I have always been interested in engaging socially in my community and bringing people together, but the mission and goal of LPN is what brought me to join this organization.

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Breaking Iowa Democratic hearts, Hillary Clinton picks Tim Kaine for VP

Hillary Clinton’s campaign announced a few minutes ago that U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a former mayor of Richmond and governor of Virginia, willge the Democratic candidate for vice president. Kaine’s been the front-runner for the job all along, by virtue of his extensive political experience, stature in a swing state, good ties with the business community, and fluency in Spanish.

I suspect that the Bernie Sanders endorsement last week, combined with the mostly disastrous Republican National Convention, gave Clinton confidence to make a “safe” choice, rather than someone who would excite our party’s base, like Senator Elizabeth Warren or even Senator Cory Booker. Too bad Ohio has a Republican governor, otherwise Senator Sherrod Brown would have been an ideal running mate. Some pundits are calling Kaine a “governing pick,” someone Clinton feels comfortable working with for the next four or eight years, as opposed to the person who can do the most to boost her campaign over the next four months.

Of all the people Clinton was considering, Kaine arouses the most antipathy from the Sanders wing for various reasons. His vocal support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement is just one of the problems. Kaine’s defenders point to his perfect voting record in the Senate on reproductive rights and LGBT equality, his near-perfect record on labor issues, his background as a civil rights attorney, and numerous accomplishments as governor. He is not outside the Democratic Party’s mainstream. On the other hand, the Progressive Punch database ranks Kaine the 40th most progressive among the 46 current senators who caucus with Democrats.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack was repeatedly named in news reports and commentaries about Clinton’s short list. He’s got an inspiring personal story and developed a tremendous grasp of public policy over his long career in local, state and federal government. By all accounts, he and Clinton get along very well, having been acquainted since Clinton became friends with Christie Vilsack’s brother Tom Bell during the 1970s. Like Kaine, he has a reputation for making few mistakes. I regret that Clinton didn’t choose Vilsack, though I would have been equally happy with Labor Secretary Tom Perez.

No one is more disappointed tonight than the Iowa Democrats who know Vilsack best. Sometimes in politics, you hear how so-and-so big shot elected official was a nightmare to work for. You never hear those stories about Vilsack. On the contrary, the former Vilsack staffers I know rave about how knowledgeable, thorough, caring, engaging, and funny he was.

Then First Lady Clinton came through for Vilsack at a critical time during his underdog 1998 gubernatorial campaign. I have no doubt she will tap him for an important job if she is elected president. Iowans will see plenty of Vilsack on the trail this fall as a supporter of Clinton and down-ticket candidates.

Any thoughts about Kaine or the presidential race generally are welcome in this thread.

UPDATE: Added below some comments from Iowa Democrats to the Des Moines Register’s Jason Noble and Brianne Pfannenstiel.

SECOND UPDATE: Embedded below the video from the first joint campaign appearance by Clinton and Kaine, in Miami on July 23. His stump speech is worth watching in full; it was remarkably well constructed and delivered. I see more clearly now what this “happy warrior” could bring to the ticket. He wove together personal details, policy accomplishments, and a clear contrast between Clinton’s vision for the country and Donald Trump’s. I didn’t know much about Kaine’s legal work to combat housing discrimination, or that he and his wife sent their kids to public schools. If he does as well at the DNC on Wednesday night, Republicans should be worried.

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