Social workers for social change

Social work professors Brad Cavanagh and Nancy Fett discuss their campaigns for the Iowa House of Representatives

Brad Cavanagh
Upcoming Event
What: Conversation and Q&A
Where: Loras College Pub
When: Thursday, Feb. 22, at 7 p.m.
Contact: 563-663-7317 or
Lorian: What district are you running in?
Brad: District 99 as a Democrat.

Lorian: Why are you running for office?
Brad: I believe very strongly in the idea of a representative democracy. I really believe that we are our government and that we should elect people who are going to speak for us.

Lorian: How has your background influenced this decision?
Brad: I’m a social worker. Part of social work is paying very close attention to the ways policies affect the people I work with. We’re seeking to be a voice for the most vulnerable, and watching laws and legislation has been essential to achieving that.

Lorian: Which issues are most important to you?
Brad: The number one priority for me in this process is listening to what people are telling me and taking on those issues as the most important. The things I’m hearing the most right now are Education. Another issue is health care; people are very concerned about the fact that Medicaid has been privatized in Iowa. Medicaid is not meeting the needs that they and their family members have.

Lorian: What is your favorite part about running for office?
Brad: I love talking to people. As a social worker, I did lots of home visits. Canvassing is like a massive home visit schedule. I love that fact that people
trust me with their hopes and desires and that they trust me enough to share with me. Just running is a true honor.

Lorian: What would you like students to know about your campaign and the importance of this process?
Brad: The most important thing any college student can do is vote. Most of all, I want students to know that good people can run for office and win. Good people can govern well. And I really believe we can have more of that if people pay close attention and work to get the best people in office.


Nancy Fett
Upcoming Event
What: Open House
Where: 10561 Skylark Drive Peosta, IA
When: Friday, Feb. 16, from 5-7 p.m.

Lorian: What district are you running in?
Nancy: District 57 as a Democrat.

Lorian: Why are you running for office?
Nancy: I’m running for office because now is our time to stand for what we believe our government is supposed to be doing: taking care of the people of Iowa.

Lorian: When did you first become interested in politics?
Nancy: I have always paid attention to what is going on in the world, but it wasn’t until after college when I started working in the social work field that I really started to see how government impacts peoples’ lives.

Lorian: How have you prepared for this campaign?
Nancy: I have prepared for the campaign by seeking a lot of input, doing a lot of reading and talking with a lot of my community about what they see is important and what they would like to see change.

Lorian: Which issues are most important to you?
Nancy: One of the most near and dear issues to me is education. In the last seven out of eight years, our commitment to public schools has been the worst in Iowa history. Our mental health system sends more people to prison than we do to hospitals. We have four percent of the psych beds we need in Iowa. Iowa is screaming for help, and this administration is actively working to cut further services.

Lorian: What has been the most rewarding part of this experience?
Nancy: So far, the most rewarding part that I have enjoyed and feel is the most rewarding part of this entire process is meeting people from my district. We are neighbors and we will only benefit by knowing more people in our community.

Lorian: Do you have any suggestions for students seeking to take part in their local/state government?
Nancy: If you aren’t registered to vote—register and then VOTE in every election you can! Let legislators know what you are interested in … and educate legislators about your issues.


Due to technological difficulties, articles from the Feb. 15 issue were posted late. The Lorian apologizes for the late update.

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Written By :

Maria Teets is a staff writer for The Lorian.

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