Election 2020 Q&A: Dennis Evans
Iowa House of Representatives – District 50
Name: Dennis Evans
Residence: 501 Broad Street, Reinbeck, IA 50669
Profession: Retired Trust Officer
Education: Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education, Central College
Family: Married to wife Marilyn, four sons, 7 grandchildren
Experience: 40+ years of Banking
Website: www.evansforiowa.com, Like Us on Facebook, Follow Us on Twitter
1. What do you feel are the three most important issues Iowa will be facing during your term as a state representative? How do you plan to address those issues?
Healthcare: COVID-19 should be a top priority; it’s had a ripple effect and impacted all of us. Not only has COVID-19 directly affected the health of Iowans, it’s also had significant impact on our healthcare systems, nursing homes, and hospitals. There will be many implications from the virus that we are not even aware of yet and these will affect all of us for years to come. Ensuring that Iowans stay healthy will be dependent upon the cost of prescription drugs and insurance coverage of individuals with pre-existing conditions.
Economy: The economy is another area that requires our attention. COVID-19 has caused significant disruption to our economy, and my solution would be to support businesses with grants and tax benefits. Moreover, I support investing in our rural communities. I think Iowan’s are interested in supporting Main Street.
Education: As a former elementary teacher married to a retired special education teacher, I understand education. We need to address the compensation disparity that our teachers face and the funding that our public schools receive. Our schools have been underfunded by budgets supported by Speaker Grassley and COIVD-19 has added another significant challenge for our districts. I believe in fully funding our public schools so that they can provide the foundation in education our students deserve.
2. How would you work across the aisle with colleagues in the State House and what are you able to do to bring not only law makers, but also your constituents together during this challenging time in Iowa?
I spent my more than 40 year career in small hometown banks working with my clients and their families on issues such as taxes, qualifying for Medicaid/Medicare, and farm management. I have consistently demonstrated I am to collaborate with others, resolve conflict, and achieve desired outcomes. My financial experience and ability to connect with others is something I will offer my constituents as their representative.
3. What challenges do you see small, rural communities facing in 2020 as compared to cities and suburbs? What do you plan to do to help meet those challenges as a state representative?
As I have met with residents of this district, and as a grandparent myself, access to not only affordable childcare, but childcare itself, is a challenge. We need policies that make childcare affordable and pay a livable wage for those who work in this field.
We also need to strengthen technology infrastructure so that all Iowans have access to reliable high speed internet. The current pandemic has shown us the need for this as our students learn from home and many of us work remotely. We must not squander the opportunity to attract families opting to leave the hustle and bustle of the city for a slower pace in our rural communities. Additionally, this also allows our small town businesses to reach markets beyond our districts.
Promoting development in the rural communities in District 50 is a challenge. It’s no secret that many of our young people seek careers in larger cities within and beyond Iowa. There are numerous reasons for this-more career opportunities, higher wages, and more opportunities for recreation, and the list goes on. Our approach at economic development in rural Iowa must be to project the image and share the secret that we all know; this is a fantastic place to settle down, raise a family, have a career, own a business, and thrive!
Finally, we need to prioritize policies that strengthen Main Street and not Wall Street. Small business owners are struggling and I favor those policies that provide tax benefits and grant programs to those that are operating small business. I also firmly believe that government can’t solve all of our problems. If we want our rural communities to thrive, all of us must shop locally and support our local businesses or we simply will not have them in the future.
4. Why should voters in Grundy County vote for you on November 3rd?
I have experienced many of the challenges that rural Iowans have. I can relate to what it’s like to struggle, to experience loss at a young age, and to work hard every step of the way. I am qualified because I have lived experience. I have experiences as a husband, parent, and rural Iowan that are similar to most and feel that everyday Iowans should be who represent us in Des Moines. I have no political aspirations beyond the Iowa House and have no plan to become a career politician. My goal is to act in the best interest of the residents within the district.
I ask that you think about the qualities you want in your representative when you head to the polls.