The upcoming election campaigns seem to be running campaign video ads, political ads filling up mailboxes, potential media biases for candidates, and candidate campaigns mudslinging against each other. As tension grows, it can be hard for a voter to remember to value and learn about a candidate’s campaign platform. A campaign platform that educates a voter to support a candidate based on the political issues they mutually agree with. Many campaign platforms for candidates can be found on the candidate’s website or social media page. In the United States this campaign season, it is important for students and eligible voter in both Iowa and Illinois to vote educated.
As we move closer to election day, Joma Short is a candidate running for Iowa state house of representatives. Joma Short is from the Rockford Illinois area and now resides in Clinton Iowa. Recently, I have had the honorable and unique experience to interview candidate Short. Joma Short has answered all my questions on current issues that relate to her political platform on her webpage. Inspired by the practice of giving credit where credit is due, I find it fitting to give a huge thank you to Joma Short’s sister Kemi Busker who helped facilitate this interview.
Will you help seek beneficial legislation for nonprofit organizations who feel forced to close their events and sales at times due to the amount of drug usage in the Clinton area?
“I would like to hear more about instances where this has happened and then look further into the root causes of the dilemma. Overall, I do know that there is a major drug problem in the area, and I see the effects that it has on families, children, education, mental illness, crime, and the economy. As I legislature I would definitely look at these issues, create strategic task forces to address the problem, and then if necessary, create a bill that would help rectify the issue.”
What is your political stance/opinion on pharmaceutical drug addictions in the community?
“I know that pharmaceutical drug abuse and addictions are real, and at times many people who are working professionals are addicts as well. I do not have a political stance on the problem, but I believe that this is something that needs to be addressed. Doctors, pharma companies, patients, and our local pharmacies should be held accountable for what they prescribe and what ailments are supposed to be healed or soothed. Our health system is a broken one that I believe has lost focus of keeping people healthy and improving their quality of life. In order to tackle this issue, we must take a step back and look at the root causes, the flow of finances within the system, and the moral responsibility of each party involved.”
Do you feel or think that illegal drugs or prescription drug addictions cause more harm to a community?
“I think both are harmful, but I see the outward effects of illegal drugs as being more harmful and detrimental to our communities. When illegal drugs are in use, they perpetuate more illegal activity; from drug trafficking to human trafficking and prostitution to child abuse, criminal activity, theft, assault, and violence. The measures taken to create the drug, distribute the drug, and then the effects on the addicts and the extreme measure they take to keep their supply coming all create negative effects and trauma to our community. Prescription drug abuse is also harmful and dangerous and has some overlap in cause and effect. Many prescribed medicines are sold on the street with a different name, but they cause some of the same effects as the other illegal drugs when abused. But overall due to the nature of manufacturing and distribution of the illegal drugs, it is more harmful in my opinion.”
How do you hope to lower crime rate in places such as Clinton Iowa to help create security for local businesses Representative?
“Great question! I plan to work closely with our local law enforcement agencies including both the Police Department and the Sheriff’s Office. I would look closely at the crimes that are being committed, the types of crime, the frequency of the crime, the time of day they are committed, and the location where they are committed. Many times, one crime feeds into another. I believe in looking at the root causes and first offense in the sequence of offenses. I would then create a task force composed of community leaders from all walks of life and areas of expertise along with law enforcement and together decide how we can best address the issues and heal our community. Hurt people hurt people. Broken people break things around them. Together we can provide rehabilitation programs, work study, and apprenticeships to help people rebuild their lives. Holistic programs that address people to heal emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually, economically, and academically are what is needed. We cannot keep putting band aids on people’s problems, shift them around from jails to hospitals, and then expect to see lasting change. To heal and restore a person I believe we need a holistic approach to restoration and rehabilitation.”
Many people in Iowa and Illinois drive to their jobs or have jobs that require them to commute on the job. Do you have any future interest in creating incentives for driver’s education, to promote a reduction of traffic accidents in Iowa for young drivers/all drivers?
“I am in favor of anything that would help make our community safer and improve our quality of life. Driver’s education is not at the top of my list as it pertains to addressing problems in our region, but if people see it as being necessary, I would take time to adequately address the issue.”
Would you consider creating an Iowa legislation or promoting programs that can help pregnant woman in domestic or abusive family situations, which may endanger an unborn child or children while in office?
“This is a wonderful question. Unfortunately, I know firsthand the hardships that mothers, babies, children, and pregnant women face concerning domestic abuse. A few years ago, I had a new born, a two year old, and I newly relocated to Iowa escaping an abusive spouse. I would not wish that on anyone. I had a hard time finding help and people that would actually protect us from our abuser. At one point I thought to myself, it’s a good thing that I have immediate family for support, a good head on my shoulders, a brand new vehicle, and money in my bank account, because if one of those things were missing my girls and I could have been in a far more terrible position. With all of that being said, I would more than happily work on creating programs that protect pregnant women fleeing or in danger from domestic abuse and unsafe living/ family situations. Pregnancy is one of the most special times of life, and it grieves me to think that women and their growing children are stressed and anxious during a time that is supposed to be peaceful and full of joy. I was given phone numbers to call that no one answered. I was given information that was outdated and inaccurate concerning getting orders of protection and legal help. So all things being said, I am completely in favor of helping fix this broken system as a state legislature.”
This interview with Joma Short is a series of questions that apply to her campaign. Her campaign webpage can be found in the link below. Both Iowa and Illinois voters do not forget to remember to research the issues that matter to you. Election day in November 3rd 2020 will be here before we know it.
Joma Short for Iowa weblink: http://jomaforiowahouse.com/