My Mom is My Inspiration

I’m Deb VanderGaast. I’m a nurse and a childcare director, and I’m running for Iowa Senate District 41 to make Iowa a great place to live, work and raise a family and to make Iowa schools the best in the nation again. To help you understand better who I am, I’d like to introduce you to my mom. She is my inspiration in what I do. She became a nurse in 1961, and at 80 years-old, she is still caring for people as a volunteer disaster nurse for the American Red Cross. I proudly followed in her footsteps when I became a nurse. 
My mom is also the inspiration for my political career. She ran for school board when I was in 6th grade, and I helped her with door knocking. She won easily because of her caring nature. She took time at each house to listen to people about their concerns. She even gave people rides to their polling place on election day. She demonstrated to me the true meaning of caring and public service. I am who I am today because of my mom.

Nursing and childcare are both caring professions, but they are also very science and data-driven professions. Ideally, being an elected legislator should be the same. Science and data should be used to make decisions that will have the most positive impact for the majority of the people you serve, but we cannot let them be the only things that drive our decision-making process. We have to remember that our decisions affect thousands of people, and we need to care about how their lives are impacted by our decisions.

One thing is evident: we need caring people representing us in Des Moines. We can clearly see from the bills introduced this year, that the Iowa Republicans don’t care if a transgender child is excluded and bullied at school.
They don’t care if teachers are quitting and Iowa schools are failing.
They don’t care if a farmer’s land is taken by eminent domain for corporate profits.
They don’t care if tax cuts for the wealthy will result in cuts in services for everyone else. 
They don’t care if a means-tested welfare system traps people in poverty.  
They don’t care if a low-income person can’t go to work if they are forced to sell their car to qualify for help feeding their family.
They don’t care if small businesses can’t find workers because the workforce can’t find affordable housing or affordable childcare.
They don’t care if the people that care for our children and our elderly are paid poverty wages. 
They also don’t care if their anti-mask and anti-vaccine policies will result in thousands of people getting sick and possibly having disabling long-term symptoms or death.
They don’t care if nurses and doctors are burning-out under the tremendous strain of a pandemic our leaders refuse to control.
They don’t care about our polluted rivers or global warming.

The things they do seem to care about are partisan conspiracy theories and big campaign contributions from rich donors and special interest groups. The Republicans just don’t seem to care about us. I want to go to Des Moines to change the culture of our government to a culture of caring, and I need your help to do that. As a professional that relies on science and data,

I have researched and analyzed what it will take for me to win the election for Iowa Senate District 41. Based on past voter turnout and registered voters in the district, I need 2,334 votes to win the primary election and 13,433 votes to win the general election. To earn that many votes, I need to reach a lot of people and show them how much I care for them and how hard I will work to make their lives better.

That kind of reach requires time, resources and money. Can you pitch in $10, $20 or $50 today to help me go to Des Moines to make positive changes for Iowa?