This article was updated 11:47 a.m. CST 01/18/2023
On January 10, 2023, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds delivered her Condition of the State address. If you haven’t watched or listened to the address, here’s a link to the entire speech.
A good portion of Gov. Reynolds’ speech covered education reform. Landus is committed to keeping rural communities viable, and as we know, local schools keep a community sustainable. In the next few editions of Rural Matters, we’ll be diving deeper into topics like education and eminent domain. While we seek the appropriate policies to allocate effort and support, we invite you to engage in state and municipal-level politics — because the person that ultimately decides what’s best for your community is you.
We all know that we should vote, and we know the importance of voting, but civic engagement goes much further than casting a ballot. Your local, state, and federal leaders are public servants for you. If you were running a business (and... if you’re a farmer, you’re running a business), you’d want your employees to be working hard for you. They should be accountable, have integrity, and have the company’s best interest in mind when conducting business. Your legislators are no different — they’re employees of your community. They’re here to work for you and represent your voice and interests at the legislative discussion tables.
To hold them accountable, it’s up to us to let them know what we want, what’s critical for our families, our communities and our businesses. But how do we do that? Legislators are people, and they have their own communication styles. Some prefer to send out tweets, Facebook posts, or newsletters. Some welcome phone calls and appear at town hall-style meetings. Regardless of how they communicate with their constituents, they all want to hear from you and are required to field concerns and questions you have.
STEP 1: The first step to contacting your legislators is to know your legislators. Thanks to legis.iowa.gov, this step has never been easier. Plug your address into this search bar, and it lists out your representatives at the state and federal level and their contact information. However, politics don’t end at the state house level, local elections for your city council and county commissioners happen every year. To contact these officials, visit your county and city websites — typically under the government tab.
STEP 2: After you know who you’re talking to, it’s also important to know what topics you’re concerned or passionate about. All bills at the state level can be tracked on the legis.iowa.gov site using the bill tracking tool. You can find voting records, committee assignments, and watch legislators debate bills live — all on legis.iowa.gov.
An educated community often leads to a successful and more prosperous one. As Landus continues to invest in rural communities and their political interests, we encourage our farmer-owners to continue to follow news about what’s going on in their communities.
Working together on rural matters.