Living in Society

Election Week 2021

Trail walking at Lake Macbride State Park on Nov. 4, 2021.

It was a good week to be a Democrat. Unemployment was down as the Biden administration generated more jobs this year than the last three Republican presidents combined. CNBC reported:

Nonfarm payrolls increased by 531,000 in October, beating the estimate of 450,000.

The unemployment rate fell to 4.6%, a new pandemic low and better than expectations.

Wages rose 0.4% for the month and were up 4.9% from a year ago.

Leisure and hospitality led job creation, followed by professional and business services and manufacturing.

Job creation roars back in October as payrolls rise by 531,000 by Jeff Cox, Nov. 5, 2021.

Even cynical traders on Wall Street enjoyed the news, sending major indices to record highs.

Around midnight the U.S. House passed the bipartisan infrastructure bill the U.S. Senate passed on Aug. 10, alongside a framework for the Build Back Better Act which is the core of President Biden’s social agenda. Biden is walking the walk in getting things done in Washington. My member of the House voted against the measures.

Locally, the school board election confirmed what I had believed, that our community was happy with the status quo, returning two long-time incumbents and adding another female to the board. Cassie Rochholz has been supportive of the current direction of the board, so she fits right in. A positive outcome of the election is better gender equity with two females on the five-person board. In other good news, by reacting to the outbreak in October, the Solon Community School District reduced the number of COVID-19 cases in the school from 67 to zero in four weeks, KCRG reported. It would have been better if the district had prevented the outbreak by following the science of contagious diseases, yet the reaction of the superintendent and school nursing staff created a positive out of the disaster they made.

State Senator Joe Bolkcom announced he would not seek reelection to the State Senate in 2022. Joe is among the best Iowa Democrats and a leader when leadership is needed. When Democrats held a majority in the Iowa Senate, Bolkcom held the line against Republican efforts at hegemony. I lost track of how many conversations I’ve had with him over the years. He has been very responsive and on the right side of issues that matter. He will be missed when his term ends in 2023.Thank you Senator Joe Bolkcom!

Finally, my new House District #91 is having the first of what I hope will be many political events before the 2022 general election. On Veterans Day, the Iowa County Democrats will host U.S. Senate candidate and retired admiral Mike Franken at a meet and greet event in North English. I had to look on the map to see where that is, yet the hour drive to the event will help me get acquainted with the Iowa County political landscape. That’s important if we are to work together to elect a Democratic state representative.

We’ve had a good week so far. Let’s see what the weekend brings and keep it going!