Rita Hart is the farmer, retired teacher, and former state senator who is running for the congressional seat vacated by Congressman Loebsack who is retiring. Hart reminds us of the importance of going beyond listening to the loudest voices in the room and taking the step of looking at all sides of an issue. Hart and several siblings were raised by a
mother who, due to a health condition, never spoke above a whisper. Thus she learned to lean in and listen.
Living in Hart’s state senate district I have witnessed this in action. I would like to highlight a couple of those occasions. She established listening sessions in each of the communities in her district to discuss how their economies might be strengthened. She recognizes the need to examine the challenges of each community separately in order to best build our economy from the ground up. I attended two of these town hall meetings and heard the good
ideas that came from each of them.
A water quality summit was also organized by Hart during her time as a state senator. This was truly an example of bringing in all sides of an issue. She assembled three panels of speakers including her fellow farmers, hydrologists, flood control experts, scientists from our state universities, municipal employees, etc.
I have gotten to know Rita Hart through my volunteer work as we share many common interests. I have seen her spot somebody she has not met yet, walk across the room or a front yard, and introduce herself saying “Hello, I’m Rita Hart. What issues are important to you?” As she served in the state senate she was well known for arriving at the Capitol early in order to work on matters brought to her attention by her constituents. The Second District of Iowa would be well served by electing Rita Hart to Congress.