This election cycle, The S&B is endorsing three women who we believe will bring progressive Iowa values to Washington: Monica Vernon to represent the Iowa 1st Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives and Patty Judge to represent Iowa in the U.S. Senate and Hillary Clinton for the Presidency. These women have a strong track record of supporting access to reproductive care for women across Iowa and the nation, an important issue to The S&B staff so soon after Central Iowa Family Planning was forced to close its doors due to lack of government support. Monica Vernon, Patty Judge and Hillary Clinton have all proven their commitment not only to the Democratic Party, but to the public good, and we are confident that both Iowa and America would prosper under their leadership.
Monica Vernon for the House
Cedar Rapids Councilwoman Monica Vernon has continually impressed our editorial staff with her ability to lead. In stark contrast to her competitor, incumbent Rod Blum, Vernon has worked consistently across partisan lines to implement effective policy, particularly when she spearheaded the recovery effort of Cedar Rapids after the destructive flood in 2008. Under her leadership, the local government formed partnerships with labor unions, NGOs and businesses to implement a restoration strategy that sparked economic growth from a dire situation.
Vernon is one of those few leaders who has both the ideological drive to inspire and the commitment and political skills to see her visions through. Her dedication to women and families was realized when she opened a 1.7 million dollar shelter for the homeless in Cedar Rapids, helping to alleviate the strain that both the flood and the economic crisis put on Iowan families. Through all of this, she was also able to keep environmental issues in the forefront of her mind, even when faced with tough economic decisions.
We are heartened that such an effective and progressive leader is willing to step up to challenge Blum this year, and we hope that we will be able to soon call Monica Vernon our congresswomen.
For Senate, The S&B is proud to endorse Patty Judge against long-time Senator Chuck Grassley. Judge has worked tirelessly in numerous state government positions for Iowans — most prominently as Lieutenant Governor from 2006 until 2010, where she also demonstrated effective leadership in the face of the devastating 2008 floods. We are encouraged by Judge’s policy platform, which focuses on issues of health, with a focus on reproductive care. This is especially important in light of her opponent, who was willing to shut down our government to defund Planned Parenthood.
Throughout her career, Judge has worked to provide affordable care for women and families. She supports the enactment of the Paycheck Fairness Act, which addresses the gender wage gap and has not been implemented due to opposition in the Senate. Judge promises that, if elected, she will fight to get it passed and lead the charge to increase minimum wage to 15 dollars per hour.
Grassley has become a staple of Iowa politics despite not fighting for Iowan rights to enjoy a full Supreme Court. He was one of the most prominent members of the Senate Judiciary Committee that refused to hear a vote for Merrick Garland, in strong contradiction to past precedent and his duties as a Senator.
We support Patty Judge’s dedication to fair labor practices by raising the minimum wage and ending the gender pay gap. We are excited to endorse such a qualified candidate passionate about issues that affect Iowans everyday.
Hillary Rodham Clinton
In terms of a presidential candidate, we felt like an endorsement this season might be a little redundant. The danger of a Donald Trump presidency has pulled endorsements for Hillary Clinton from the vast majority of national publications, and there was some talk in our newsroom as to whether there was any benefit to adding The S&B to this already extensive list. However, it is rare for voters to have the opportunity to elect someone with Hillary Clinton’s impressive track record and ambitious goals.
The S&B particularly supports Clinton’s dedication to providing equal opportunities to families — from her work eliminating segregation in schools as the First Lady of Arkansas to helping 8 million children access health insurance when she championed the Children’s Health Insurance Program as First Lady of the United States. As President, the former Secretary has promised to restructure the developments in healthcare that President Obama started as well as to ensure that women and mothers receive the care they need, no matter where they are in life.
In the aftermath of 9/11, Hillary fought for first responders and secured 21 billion dollars to support their families and jumpstarted legislation that would reduce healthcare costs for first responders in the decades to come. More than Clinton’s past and her proven ability to get things done, The S&B is excited by the policies she has proposed. As college students, we are so excited by and impressed with Clinton’s dedication to making community college free and ensuring that students four-year schools graduate with no debt.
In one sense, our endorsement is a repudiation of Trump. From the beginning of his campaign, he has created and exploited racial tensions for his own political gain. His plans for a “wall,” forced mass deportations and ban on Muslim immigrants drags our country back to the ugly nativist movements of the 1920s and has already unleashed a Pandora’s Box of politicized white nationalism that will be hard to stuff back in. Beyond that, we believe that it is reprehensible that the Republican Party has stood by its endorsement of Trump after evidence came to light that he has sexually assaulted women. As this paper considers itself to be a staunch ally in the fight to end sexual assault on campus, we would consider anything but a strong, unequivocal denouncement of this sexual predator to be a moral failing on our part.
The fact that Clinton is immensely more qualified, but still has to earnestly compete against a failed businessman who is a compulsive liar, grating narcissist and sexual predator is a blown-up satire of the kind of challenges that successful, intelligent women face every day in the classroom.
Clinton has continuously proved her dedication to vulnerable populations and working families, from her days at the Children’s Defense Fund until her most recent position as Secretary of State. She is one of the most qualified presidential candidates in recent memory, and we believe her experience will be an invaluable resource during her service in the Oval Office.
The editorial staff at the S&B is proud to offer our endorsement to these three women in their bid for public service. We are confident that Grinnellians, Iowans and Americans will all benefit if all three are selected to serve.