2020 has been all kinds of isolating. COVID-19 has forced us to physically distance ourselves from the people and activities we love. The upcoming election has exacerbated divisions among us. The August derecho that hit Iowa caused us to live off the grid for days and weeks (with many individuals who have yet to recover).
During this time, it’s easy to feel alone and unseen. Something that has given me hope has been following and supporting the congressional campaign of J.D. Scholten.
Again and again, I have seen Scholten show up for this district. Whether it’s grabbing a saw and hopping in the car to help our neighbors clear tree limbs the week after the derecho, or packing parking lots for socially distanced rallies in all 374 (!) towns in Iowa’s 4th district, Scholten shows up.
He even drives his own RV (Sioux City Sue) and sleeps at campsites to meet Iowans where they are. During his Ames parking lot rally, we got to talking, and he mentioned he liked my pin, a small, Iowa-shaped flag pin I had gotten for free at an Iowa Cubs game. I told him he could have it, and he excitedly took it, assuring me he’d be wearing it for his upcoming debate. It’s a small thing, and it has nothing to do with policy or party, but it shows me he will always proudly put IA-04 first once he is in Washington.
While his opponent repeatedly declines debate invitations, Scholten never turns down an opportunity to speak to the people of this district, and having visited nearly every town in it, he knows what matters to us and what we need to make it through these difficult times.
It shows he’s here for us, not big-dollar donors and Washington elites. These days, it’s easy to allow ourselves to remain isolated and divided, but I urge you to look to Scholten for inspiration on how to show up for one another and as an indication of how he’ll show up for us when we get him to Washington.
Abigail Boyd is a third-year graduate student in food science and human nutrition.