Friday, November 16, 2018

More good news from the election

It’s pretty awesome that there’s still good news coming from the recent US elections, and today I learned of another: Zach Wahls was elected as a State Senator for Iowa’s Senate District 37. He first stood out in 2011 when he stood up for his family. Now he can stand up for all the families of Iowa.

Zach rocketed to fame in 2011 when, as a 19-year-old engineering student at the University of Iowa, he testified to the Iowa State Senate when that body was considering an amendment to the Iowa Constitution to ban same-gender couples marrying. It was a speech that captured the attention of people all over the country:

It was an awesome speech, but tempered by the fact that it was even necessary. The amendment passed the Iowa House, which was controlled by Republicans, a few days later, but Democrats in the Iowa Senate vowed to block the amendment, which they did. Obergefell v. Hodges made the whole issue moot in 2015.

In April 2012, his book, My Two Moms: Lessons of Love, Strength, and What Makes a Family was published. In June, Zach, an Eagle Scout, founded Scouts for Equality to lobby the Boy Scouts of America to change its anti-gay policies.

That same year, Zach said:
To be clear, I don't consider myself an ally. I might be [a] straight cisgender man, but in my mind, I am a member of the LGBT community. I know the last thing that anyone wants is to add another letter to the acronym, but we need to make sure as a movement we're making a place for what we call "queer-spawn" to function and to be part of the community. Because even though I'm not gay, I do know what it's like to be hated for who I am. And I do know what it's like to be in the closet, and like every other member of the LGBT community, I did not have a choice in this. I was born into this movement.
In December 2017, Zach announced that he would run for the Iowa State Senate in a seat being vacated by a Republican state senator, who was not running for re-election. He won the Democratic Primary on June 5, the same day he received his Masters Degree in Public Policy from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.

In the General Election campaign, his issues included health care, education, workers’ rights, and natural resources, among others. He won the election to the four-year term on November 8, flipping the seat from Red to Blue.

Like most people, I was thoroughly impressed by Zach’s testimony in 2011, and it didn’t surprise me that he’d run for office, nor that he’d won the election. My surprise was just because I hadn’t heard anything about it until today. It’s a very nice surprise.

In the years ahead, we’ll be seeing more from Zach, who is now 27. I have no idea how far he could go, or even what he wants to do, but we need far more politicians like him. I’m very happy that he’s one of them.

The photo above is from the media kit which was made available through Zach’s campaign website.

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