Liz Mathis: Public Officials Need To Tell The Truth, Over And Over

Photo by Nia Wilder

By Nikoel Hytrek

November 6, 2022

State Sen. Liz Mathis laid out the biggest issues she’s heard about from Iowans and how she’d work on them if elected to represent Iowa’s 2nd District in the US House.

At the Don’t Sleep on Iowa forum hosted by Starting Line, she talked about how her experience as an Iowa reporter translates now to the Iowa State Senate and how all of that experience would transfer to the US House.

“The skill sets of a reporter are very similar. The sets are very similar to those of a legislator: listening, a lot of writing, there’s a lot of writing, and just being curious about things and problem solving,” she said. “I mean, even as a journalist you know that when you put something out there, people are listening and they want that information to help them advance their life.”

Mathis is the Democratic candidate running against Rep. Ashley Hinson, who was elected in 2020.

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On the topic of listening to people, Mathis said that’s what gives her an idea of what Iowans care about and what she would need to work on in Congress.

That includes abortion, workers’ rights, and spreading the truth in an effort to cut through the disinformation.

For abortion, Mathis pointed out how Republicans in the Iowa Legislature worked to pass an amendment saying women don’t have the constitutional right to abortion in the state. To combat that, she said, it has to be guaranteed federally.

“First, codify Roe, that’s it. Codify Roe,” Mathis said. “That’s why it’s so very important for you to elect people who are supporting the reproductive rights of women. That this [proposed amendment] should not be in the state’s constitution. That you should have access to your own health care.”

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Mathis also reminded people that Hinson has put her support behind a national abortion ban that would take that right away.

Protecting workers is another important issue Mathis has heard about. The best way to do it, she said, is to pass the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act), which expands the ability of workers to organize and negotiate with their employers for better treatment.

She said she’s seen how dedicated union workers are, and how much support they have, when she’s visited striking John Deere, UAW and Ingredion workers on the line.

“Sometimes it takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears to try to get unions started, to get people to realize that these are good things,” Mathis said. “I mean, good wages, good benefits, time off that you deserve because you’ve worked hard. Those are all good things and the PRO Act definitely will protect that federally.”

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To get all of this done, Mathis recognized the need to fight against disinformation. To do that, she said, requires people to tell the truth and to keep repeating that truth. She referred back to her experience as a journalist to illustrate.

“As a journalist, you need to work, and you are working at telling the truth, which you always do. But you have to keep telling them, telling them and tell them again, and at a certain point, it’s going to break through,” she said. “I have hope that it will. Some people may just never get it. They may never understand. But don’t let them into office. Don’t let them in the office.”

 

Nikoel Hytrek
11/6/22

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Have a story idea or something I should know? Email me at [email protected]. You can also DM me on Twitter at @n_hytrek

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  • Nikoel Hytrek

    Nikoel Hytrek is Iowa Starting Line’s longest-serving reporter. She covers LGBTQ issues, abortion rights and all topics of interest to Iowans. Her biggest goal is to help connect the dots between policy and people’s real lives. If you have story ideas or tips, send them over to [email protected].

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