Archive for  January 4th 2019

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DES MOINES, IOWA — One hundred years ago, today would have been a fantasy for women in politics.  “Our right to vote was not just given to us, it was fought for,” said Melissa Gesing, Executive Director of the Iowa non-profit 50/50 In 2020 which was founded in 2010.  “The goal is to achieve gender equity in Iowa at the state and federal level by the year 2020 which is the anniversary of Women’s Suffrage.”

To achieve such a goal, the organization needed a female U.S. Senator.  Republican Joni Ernst checked that box in 2014.  Next a Governor and that glass ceiling was shattered this past election by Republican Kim Reynolds. Thursday, another need was met.  Two females in the U.S. House of Representatives made Democrats Cindy Axne and Abby Finkenauer the latest women to hurdle barriers that once seemed untouchable.  “It is very significant because we have two women with different backgrounds, different age groups who are showing others it can be done,” said Gesing.

Iowa women completing equity goals on the federal level but paving a road that remains under construction when it comes to female representation in the state house and senate.  Gesing said, “We are at twenty-nine percent of the state legislature being females so we have a little ways to go to achieve equity there but we are very excited.”

There may be gridlock in the upcoming session when it comes to hot button issues at the state capitol but 50/50 In 2020 believes when state leaders reach across the aisle to lift up their fellow female it creates a stronger Iowa.  “It’s really important for all voters to come together and realize that a representative government is a great thing.  We need more viewpoints and life experiences at the table,” said Gesing.

Iowa’s twenty-nine percent female state legislature as above the national average of twenty-eight percent.  The state of Nevada leads the country with 50.8% followed by Colorado at 45%.

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa–  An Ankeny man is facing charges after police say he attacked an Uber driver earlier this week.

Police say 23 year-old Patrick Kilmer and a woman got into an Uber they did not order, in the parking lot of the Homewood Suites Hilton Hotel, early New Year’s Day.  Officials say Kilmer punched the driver in the face twice.

Since they couldn’t track the suspect down with Uber records, West Des Moines Police turned to social media. Posting a surveillance photo of Kilmer and the woman on Facebook.  Hours later, he turned himself in.

Kilmer is charged with assault with intent to case injury and is now free on bond.

The incident is catching the attention of all metro Uber drivers. Some say they too have experienced assault from a customer.

“It is just a shame that we are providing this service to people and they still treat us like that,” Uber driver Stephen Snyder said.

Snyder says this type of conflict isn’t always preventable but says he takes steps to stay safe.

“Inside my car I normally have two dash cams one faces out,” Snyder said. “What I have always done is keep my doors locked, roll down the windows and double-check that the passenger matches the app”.

The driver suffered minor injuries, we reached out but have not heard back.

A witness declined comment.