Meet Deb

My name is Deb VanderGaast, and I’m running for Iowa Senate to make Iowa a great place to live, work and raise a family again. I am a registered nurse and director of a child care center for children with special needs.

For many years, I have worked behind the scenes to advocate for families, people with disabilities, and people struggling just to survive. I believe Iowa thrives when the people that live here are thriving.

I pledge to serve all the people of Iowa, regardless of gender, race, sexual identity, socioeconomic status, creed, abilities or political affiliation. Everybody deserves to have a voice in our government, and I strive to ensure their voices are heard.

My Top Priorities in Des Moines:

  • Raise the Minimum Wage in Iowa to at least $10/hr
  • Support young families and Early Childhood programs
  • Increase funding for our schools so Iowa’s schools will the best in the nation again
  • Increase access to high quality, affordable childcare so parents of young children can return to the workforce and children enter school ready to learn
  • Ensure the early childhood workforce are fairly compensated so Iowa’s children have consistent and qualified caregivers
  • Restore local and school district control over health and safety decisions
  • Support public health measures and vaccination programs to help Iowans stay safe and healthy through the pandemic
  • Ensure all Iowans have access to affordable healthcare
  • Increase access to and affordability of higher education to help people advance careers and to ensure Iowa’s workforce needs are met
  • Protect and advance reproductive health rights and guarantee bodily autonomy for all Iowans
  • Fight for racial, social, and LGBTQ+ justice and equity
  • Invest in green energy production and creating green jobs
  • Invest in public infrastructure so Iowa’s highways and communities are safe and thriving
  • Ensuring public safety nets are available to help hard working Iowans survive temporary setbacks
  • Ensure voting rights are protected and repeal all of Iowa’s voter suppression laws
  • Ensuring a just and clear plan of social and economic recovery from the pandemic· Invest more funds in affordable housing and tenant rights
  • Legalize and decriminalize cannabis
Please share my campaign with your friends, family and professional contacts to help us restore a Democratic Majority in the Iowa Senate.
Community Service and Civil Appointments

Cedar County Democrats Central Committee, Social Media Administrator, 2017-present

Wrote multiple Iowa bill proposals, including the Epinephrine in Schools Act of 2015

IA Governor’s Childcare Taskforce, Expanding Childcare Assistance Eligibility Workgroup, 2021

Tipton Zoning Board of Adjustments, Chairperson, 2017-2022

Tipton School Improvement Advisory Committee, 2022

Cedar County Public Health, immunization clinics volunteer nurse

Tipton RAGBRAI Health and Safety Committee, 2008

Tipton Elementary Principal Interview Committee, 2022

Camp Courageous, volunteer & substitute nurse, 2021-2022

Center Ring Leaders 4-H Club, social media admin, junior camp & fair volunteer, 2014-2021

Author of the Cedar County Covid Report, 2020-2022

Member of Democratic Party Disability Caucus