By Matt McCoy
Polk County Board of Supervisors
Exclusive Op-Ed for GoGuide Magazine
Many Iowans were disappointed with the most recent General Election results in this past November in Iowa. Hopes were high that Iowa democrats would capture control of the majority, breaking up the trifecta controlling the Iowa House, Iowa Senate, and Governorship. Obviously, the ramifications of this concentrated power are far-reaching and could impact already marginalized communities even more. Iowa’s LGBTQ community has benefited by having a strong anti-discrimination law that protects individuals’ rights in employment, housing, and public accommodations. The Iowa business community were strong supporters of this legislation when it passed into law in 2007. I feel any effort to attack this community will be met with strong resistance from the Iowa business community. Efforts to ban conversion therapy, expand Iowa’s Hate Crime Statute to include transexuals, or broaden Iowa’s anti-bullying legislation will likely be met with resistance from Christian conservatives who have taken a strong stand against these efforts in the past.
Reproductive rights are clearly under attack in Iowa. The efforts to expand personhood definitions, pass Constitutional Amendments banning abortion, and to limit access to family planning is squarely on the agenda of the GOP majority. I expect efforts to push the Courts to the right are well underway, and Governor Reynolds is working hard to ensure anti-choice justices are appointed to erode reproductive freedoms further.
On a brighter note, just about 70% of Iowa’s population now reside in about a dozen counties in Iowa. The next census and redistricting could have a dramatic impact on the number of legislative seats that will be gained in urban and suburban districts, which tend to favor more Democratic candidates. As this change occurs, I believe that Democrats will be favored to pick up a majority in either the Iowa House or Senate. This could happen as soon as 2022 and offers hope to candidates who are considering a run to help shape a more inclusive, progressive, and balanced Iowa.
Editors Note: McCoy served two terms in the Iowa House and seven terms in the Iowa Senate and currently represents the 5th District and is Chair of the Polk County Board of Supervisors McCoy.