This is a special newsletter for me to write this week. Yesterday, I was elected by my colleagues to be the next Speaker of the Iowa House of Representatives. I will now follow in the footsteps of my father, Del Stromer, who served as the speaker in the 1980’s while also blazing a new trail as the first woman to serve as speaker in Iowa history.
I have never been more humbled than I am by those who have given me this amazing opportunity. While you were not a part of the vote for speaker, you are the ones that made it a possibility.
I have benefited so much from the guidance of those in our communities and I have cherished the ideas and concerns you have shared with me that have then influenced the decisions made at the Capitol.
The legislative process works best when it is driven by the input of everyday Iowans, not its politicians. That has always been true of my time as your state representative and I will encourage all in the Iowa House to embrace it.
While I will not officially assume the role of speaker until the beginning of session on January 11th, I will be spending the fall working with you and my colleagues to identify the legislative priorities for next year.
This should include leaders on both side of the aisle working in good faith to agree on addressing education needs in the first weeks of session. It should also include a focus on policies that make state government an enabler of growth and opportunity.
I would like to see our government spend less time protecting the way things are and instead work to identify how things can be better. Our world is changing at a rapid pace and Iowans should expect us to help create pathways for innovation, not barriers.
I am optimistic about what lies ahead for Iowa and I am excited to have a unique role to help it realize the bright future that awaits. I would encourage all of you to keep engaging in the process. As the Speaker of the House, I will be glad to see your ideas in action next session.
If you have any questions or comments, you can reach me at Linda.Upmeyer@legis.iowa.gov or 515-281-4618.