Greetings. My name is Jon Green and I'm running to be the next Johnson County Supervisor.
I was born in Wyoming, and both how I talk and how I present myself might give you pause. But make no mistake: I'm rural Iowa. I've lived most of my life in the Lone Tree area. My paternal grandparents, themselves multigenerational Iowans, met at a roller rink in Nichols, and I now live in Lone Tree in the house they built. More on me in a minute.
First, please let me tell you about my previous public service.
My education is in journalism. In 2009, I was a newspaper reporter when Wyoming's Democratic Governor, Dave Freudenthal, hired me as his press secretary. I'm grateful to Dave, but imagine working for Senator Joe Manchin. I got out of politics for a while.
When Bernie Sanders ran for President in 2016, I was ready to re-engage. Elected to the State Central Committee, I'm damned proud of working to change state party rules so those who don't identify as male or female can run for state party seats without having to misgender themselves.
I was attending a Lone Tree City Council meeting in 2017, when the Mayor berated an elderly couple who came asking for help. So I ran for Mayor, and won. During my term I pushed to get our employees a living wage, launched a working group with the Iowa Women's Foundation to bring affordable childcare to town, and met with the Community Broadband Action Network to find ways to better our Internet connectivity options.
I held performance reviews for staff (the first in years), updated job descriptions and policies that hadn't been touched since the early 90s, and asked the Council to diminish the Mayor's power by hiring a City Administrator. While I didn't get everything I tried for, I made a significant difference.
Here's why I'm asking for you to support me to be your next Supervisor. Johnson County is doing better than anywhere else in Iowa, but we can and must do more. The pandemic has been a terrible gut punch for too many of us, but we now have the chance to put something better in the old world's place. The police murder of so many Black people in this country causes all people of conscience to cry out, but also has reinvigorated the Civil Rights movement in this country unlike anything in generations.
President Biden calls upon us to "build back better." Let us meet not just the challenge of his rhetoric, but the opportunity of our time. For Biden to be successful federally, we must ourselves be ambitious locally. So many of the profound difficulties the Democratic Party now confronts spring from our disinterest in local politics, and especially rural and small town concerns. Today, I ask you to refocus on the here, on the now.
- Johnson County will receive $29 million from the American Rescue Plan. We must ensure those who need, receive. We can't just shovel money - let's invest in those whose needs are greatest, even if they aren't politically connected.
- We must ensure we're doing everything we can to continue building affordable communities. It isn't just housing. It's transportation. Childcare. Education. Access to good food.
- Without abolishing policing as we know it in America, "Black Lives Matter" is an empty slogan. We don't need more reform. We need a rethink.
None of that is easy. That's why it is important.
A little more about myself. I went to West Liberty schools from kindergarten through sixth grade when we lived in Nichols. Things weren't so good back then. I got bullied, badly. I lost some teeth. I open-enrolled in Lone Tree schools and then moved here, graduating from high school in 2001. I attended both the University of Iowa and Morningside College in Sioux City, earning my journalism BA from Morningside in 2007.
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