A guest post from Cedar Rapids City Councilmember Dale Todd
These days, it seems like finger pointing has replaced solutions and results in Washington D.C. Democrats and Republicans are unable to agree on something as basic as the truth. We desperately need someone who can heal our divisions and unite this country. After listening to 20 candidates debate over two nights this past week, it is increasingly clear that Cory Booker is that leader.
I believe most government is local, which is why it is important to me to have an experienced municipal executive at the helm: he ran New Jersey’s largest city — Newark — during the Great Recession and managed to rein in the budget while boosting student outcomes, pragmatically combating climate change, and bringing in new development and union jobs for his community.
He’s an incredibly effective senator, helping to lead the way on the most consequential piece of bipartisan legislation – Criminal Justice Reform – of this presidency. He goes home each night to the low-income, inner city community where he lives and sees firsthand the challenges that communities across America struggle with.
But more than that, Cory is someone who understands that our nation and our democracy are stronger when people are engaged. At a time when too many people are tuning out because of how toxic our politics have become, Cory is calling for a revival of civic grace and our sense of shared destiny. At his events, Cory describes his approach to public service with an African proverb: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
And where does Cory want us to go together?
On the debate stage on Wednesday night, Cory made an impassioned and personal case for enacting common sense gun violence prevention. He took on this issue like a president should. While too many politicians have shied away from this topic, Cory showed that he’s not willing to compromise his values even in political headwinds. Cory made it clear that he’ll stand up for communities, like ours here in Cedar Rapids that has been plagued by this crisis.
And as communities across Iowa like Des Moines, Iowa City and Cedar Rapids struggle with the issue of gun violence, he showed that he knows how to get big things done.
For me, he was the only candidate in the debates that has the skills to go into inner city neighborhoods and develop solutions sorely needed to stem the tide of gun violence that we are seeing this summer. When the debate moderators pressed Cory on how he’d get his progressive agenda passed, he was able to point to his incredible success passing bipartisan criminal justice reform, a piece of legislation that restores hope for many black and brown communities who have been targeted by the misguided war on drugs. Imagine what he could do as president.
Cory has put forward many detailed policy proposals to make our country work better for families like yours and mine. His Baby Bonds program is an ambitious initiative to provide every American kid with a savings account that could be used to pay for college or buy a first home or seed a new business when they turn 18. This plan would lift millions out of poverty, virtually eliminate the racial wealth gap, and provide kids with a sturdy ladder to the American dream.
Iowa kids would no longer be forced to leave our state in search of better paying jobs to cover the cost of their student loans. They could start businesses in our small towns and provide more opportunities for their friends and neighbors. The nonsense idea that giving away all our money to corporations and wealthy special interests will help us all prosper has been thoroughly debunked. Cory knows that investing in our families here in Iowa will build a stronger economy and nation for us all.
Cory has big, bold dreams for a brighter future, his passion for change is contagious and he’s asking each and every one of us to be part of it. I hope you’ll join me in supporting Cory Booker for President in 2020.
by Dale Todd, Cedar Rapids City Councilmember