By Madeleine Neal
An attorney, 37-year-old Sen. Nate Boulton, D-Des Moines, has also taught at the Drake University law school, Simpson College, and William Penn University.
Boulton spoke with The Daily Iowan on Wednesday during a campaign stop in Iowa City.
Why he’s running:
“Having a front-row seat to this last legislative session was pretty strong motivation. It was very disappointing to see the track that our state is on at this point. We’ve gone seven-consecutive years underfunding our schools … here at [the University of] Iowa and at Iowa State [University], you’ve seen proposals to increase tuition by 7 percent per year for five years as a result of the state not meeting its commitments to higher education.
We’ve watched as corporate coupons have exploded, causing our state to go through massive midyear budget cuts, going through rainy-day funds, at a time when the economy is stable and growing. And we saw an attack on working families — you know, workplace rights were being stripped away as opposed to increasing the quality of life for working Iowans. So as we watch that agenda play through, it was strong motivation to stand up and do something more than what I was doing in the Senate.”
“I think it’s about growing Iowa’s economy sustainably in the right way for the long-term future, and that starts with education as a priority in the state … for years, we have always held out as Iowans that education is a top priority — having world-class public education in the state has been a fundamental Iowa value, and I think that helps us get the skilled, educated, productive workforce we need for Iowa to be outstanding in the changing economy ahead.
That’s the right way to build our economy — is to value our workforce, to make sure we’re educating our students so they can reach their full potential, so we have that skilled workforce that we need … It just comes down to responsible budgeting to get there.”
“Certainly when we see school-board elections, local elections, we always see lower turnouts — which is unfortunate, because that’s where your vote has the most impact on your community … What we’ve got to make sure that we do a good job of in this 2018 election is talking to Iowans about just how important this governor’s race will be in their daily lives. When you look at a lot of communities across the state, both in terms of our small and midsize communities, in terms of communities like students who are seeing these budget cuts and these missed priorities affecting their daily lives; we have to make sure they understand that and get out and vote to make a change.”
“I’ve been invested in education throughout my life — I went to college to be a high-school government and history teacher, that was my original plan … so I’m committed to not only our pre-K-12 system, but I’ve spent time as an adjunct professor in the higher-education levels — it’s been important for me to support our education system that way as well.”
What Boulton wants voters to know:
“I think it’s my background as an advocate, you know, what I’ve down through my entire career — as an attorney, standing up for people’s rights and making sure that workers are valued in the workplace. My work as an advocate in terms of my work in the Senate advocating for a better education system in the state and promoting workplace protections and quality of life — I think that’s really what defined me in my career, and I think that’s what Iowans need right now.”