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Candidate Ras Smith With Insight on "Back the Blue" Law, Juneteenth, & His Main Goals for Iowa

Siouxland Public Media/Sheila Brummer

Ras Smith who is running as a Democrat for Iowa Governor says current Governor Kim Reynolds needs to work for the people. The 33-year-old, three-term state representative from Waterloo visited Sioux City last night.

Smith gained prominence by helping broker a police accountability law that passed unanimously after the murder of George Floyd. 

Since then, he has been critical of priorities passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature, including the new “Back the Blue” bill signed into law by Governor Kim Reynolds on Thursday, June 17.

“The Governor said she was going to push for anti-racial profiling legislation, and I haven’t seen it, and she committed to doing that. We need a governor who has our back, not just brown and Black Iowans, but all Iowans.”

The new law makes rioting a felony instead of a misdemeanor and increases penalties for blocking streets and highways. It also makes it harder to sue and win lawsuits against police.

Smith made his comments to Siouxland Public Media last night at an event organized by the Woodbury County Democratic Party at Jackson Street Brewing. His visit also came the same day President Joe Biden signed a law declaring Juneteenth a Federal Holiday, a move Smith says is bittersweet, torn, and long overdue. 

“I’m appreciative of the process, but also understand there is so much more work to be done. I don’t want folks to become complacent. It’s just the beginning of acknowledging how important liberation is for all of us, especially for us brought here who were brought here and enslaved.” 

You can hear more with Smith in an interview Friday afternoon at 4:44 pm during “All Things Considered.”

Credit Anna Disterhaupt for Siouxland Public Media
Democratic Candidate for Governor and State Representative Ras Smith of Waterloo with Sioux City State Representative Chris Hall at Jackson Street Brewing on July 17, 2021


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