Democrat and and Iowa Governor Candidate, John Norris, paid a visit to Perry’s La Poste where an eager crowd listened to Norris’ ideas and goals, followed by interaction from the crowd and Norris about policies and potential procedures.
Norris, an Iowa native, has held many positions in politics: Chief of Staff during Governor Vilsack’s term, Chair of the governor’s electric restructuring committee, Chair of the Iowa Utilities Board, Chief of Staff at the US Department of Agriculture in Washington D.C., Commissioner on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and later was appointed by President Obama to represent the United States on agriculture policy at the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization and World Food Program in Italy.
“I know I can do the job day one,” Norris told the crowd. “I’m trying to connect with rural Iowans so we can give them hope that they can have a better government that responds to their needs and listens and works for it.”
Norris spoke on change he wants to see in the way education, agriculture, mental health, minimum wages are handled. Some ideas include raising the minimum wage in the state so families can spend more time together in contrast to working additional jobs, working to become the number one state for education, and also utilizing biofuels and solar energy.
“If we want to families to come and live here, we want kids to know that they can get a quality education,” Norris said.
Norris discussed the ideas and values he grew up in.
“The love of land, the caring of neighbors, unity, hard work, honesty and transparency,” Norris said. “That’s what I want to do and that’s why I got in this race.”
During the question portion of the program, Norris was asked on his position of homeschooling in which funds are taken from public schools to those who home school. Today, there are no specific guidelines for homeschooling, as well as no accountability in regards to the progress of a student, or overall student success.
“I do think we should to be monitoring those children and make sure they’re getting certain achieved levels,” Norris said. “We have a responsibility to look after that child [a child who is home schooled] and that starts with not draining resources from public education.”
Members of the audience discussed the scenario in which home schooled children are sent back to public schools with less education, causing a large education gap in age.
“We cut this summer’s third grade reading program because they had mismanaged the budget,” Norris said. “That just doesn’t reflect Iowa values.”
“We want to attract the businesses that come here because they have quality workforce, they have access to health care, they have a quality environment that their families want to live in, and they understand that its part of our responsibility to help support that.”
Later in the event he was asked by a member in the audience how funding for his campaign was going. Norris first began his campaign trail in Storm Lake, Iowa, and expressed an interest in talking directly to smaller crowds in contrast to buying ads on a television screen.
“I feel good about where I’m at in this race,” Norris said. “It’s a long campaign and that’s why I’m doing things like this to get out and talk to people.”
Norris said the race has a lot of good candidates.
“Democrats - odds are generally stacked against us, and I think 2018 could be a good year.”