Cathy Glasson is a native Iowan, having grown up in Spencer, Iowa in a working class family.
While her parents may not have been college educated, they understood the value of their daughters education and, with a lot of hard work, were able to save up for her to go to nursing school at the University of Iowa.
It was through her upbringing and 20 years as an ICU nurse that she learned the struggles of the everyday Iowan and now she seeks to fix these struggles.
In pursuit of this goal, Glasson has helped organize and start unions for hospitals across the state, including the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinic, and still operates as the president of the unions she was elected to lead.
“I organized these unions so that those nurses and healthcare workers could have a voice on the job, so they could build a better future for them and their families, and I am very proud of that,” Glasson said.
She was driven to run for governor following the 2017 Iowa Legislative session.
“Seeing the state legislature cut collective bargaining rights from 184,000 Iowans, close mental health clinics, privatize the Medicaid system that works, defund planned parenthood and lower the minimum wage in counties that had raised it is why I am running," Glasson said. "I won’t sit back.”
As an everyday Iowan, Glasson does not consider herself a career politician, something she sees as a positive selling point for her campaign.
“Iowans are ready for change, I am a nurse, I am a union leader, I am an organizer. People don’t want a governor who will always put party and politics ahead of them; they just want someone who is like them, who understands the challenges they face everyday,” Glasson said.
Glasson believes that moving to the center is not the answer to the challenges many Iowans face which is why she has come forward with what she calls her “bold progressive plan.”
This plan would include universal single payer healthcare on the state level, a $15 minimum wage tied to inflation by 2019, fully funded K-12 education, tuition free community college and more.
While other gubernatorial candidates would reverse the collective bargaining changes made last year, Glasson said she would go a step further and expand the union rights in the state.
To her, the struggles of Iowans across the state are personal. As a single parent, she struggled with paying bills. This is what helped her form her opinions on unions and why she says unions are “the only way working people can get ahead.”
“With the low wage high costs economy in the state, I made sure to come out with a bold plan that will help those struggling Iowans,” Glasson said.
A fresh perspective is what Glasson says Iowa needs and she aims to do that through a non-traditional governing style.
“Rather than governing from the grass-tops I would govern from the grass-roots and give Iowan’s a voice in their government and a reason to go to the polls come Nov. 8,” Glasson said.
As a politician Glasson says her number one role would be to “improve the lives and livelihoods of her constituents and help Iowans get ahead.”
She plans to do this in a number of ways. In regards to Iowa’s education system, she would advocate for a 6 percent increase in funding for K-12 education and veto anything below 4 percent. She would also freeze tuition increases to regent universities to help students stay in Iowa.
To ensure Iowans have clean drinking water, Glasson would begin a complete moratorium on new factory farms until less than 100 waterways are polluted.
“We need to start holding corporate agribusiness accountable for polluting these waterways, they need to pay their fair share,” Glasson said.
Another priority of hers would be to fully fund the DNR and ensure that Iowa’s environment is kept safe.
Glasson said that her campaign can prove that ordinary folk can run for office, but she also wants to make it easier for any Iowan to run for office by doing campaign finance reform and push for “public funding of the election cycles.”
This grass-roots approach to campaigning and governing is why Glasson believes she is the best choice for Iowa.