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Sonya grew up on a family farm in eastern Iowa near the Amana Colonies in Iowa County.  The youngest of six children, Sonya bailed hay and castrated pigs alongside her brothers. Those experiences laid the groundwork for her strong work ethic.

“My family struggled through the farm crisis of the 1980s.  I was responsible for paying most of my tuition and room and board.  At times, I worked three jobs while maintaining a full-time class schedule.”

Sonya graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Journalism.  She quickly established herself as a fact-driven, truth-seeking anchor and reporter devoted to giving a voice to the voiceless and uncovering injustices.  She is the recipient of numerous Emmy, Edward R. Murrow, and Eric Sevareid awards.

“Iowans allowed me into their living rooms to bring them the news for nearly three decades. I am most proud of the stories that lead to real change and made a difference in Iowans’ day-to-day lives,” said Sonya.  “When the family of a boy with autism contacted me because he wasn’t getting the treatment he needed and legally deserved, I went to bat for him and took on his insurance company.  Soon after my story aired, the insurance company agreed to cover his treatment.  I was also instrumental in shutting down an organization that mistreated and neglected individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities.  By the following the money, I also exposed the state’s failure to track the tax dollars given to that organization.”

Sonya is now the Director of Communications for the Auditor of State Office and assists on performance and investigative reports conducted by the Auditor’s Office.

Sonya resides in West Des Moines with her partner, Luke Wilson, and their three dogs.  Sonya is an endurance athlete, completing multiple Ironman’s, marathons, and endurance bike races.  

Sonya believes in giving back to the community, serving on the Boards of Directors for the Alzheimer’s Association and the Ankeny YMCA, and being active in numerous philanthropic organizations, such as the Leukemia Lymphoma Society, Team Run Free, One Iowa, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Girls on the Run, Central Iowa Shelter and Services, and many more.

 
 
See if you live in the new house district 28
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Untrained Wisdom Episode 53: Iowa House Candidate Sonya Heitshusen

The Des Moines Register: Where the candidates for Iowa House District 28 stand on education, climate change and taxes

KCCI: Democrat Sonya Heitshusen on June 7 primary ballot for IA House District 28

 

“I’m running for the Iowa House because it’s time to turn the page on the bitter, divisive politics of today. We need new leaders who will listen to Iowans, gather the facts, and use their stories to bring meaningful change to their everyday lives. I'm committed to fighting for livable wages, affordable healthcare, returning Iowa’s educational system to number one in the country and clean air and water for every resident of Dallas County and every Iowan.”

Sonya's Priorities
Invest in Iowa Schools
We need to invest in our teachers, our public schools and most importantly our kids. Iowa was once first in the nation in education. We’re now middle of the pack, in large part because lawmakers have underfunded education for a decade.

I will support our educators and appropriate the necessary funds to
keep quality teachers in Iowa and attract new educators to the state.

Education is the foundation for every child’s future. We shouldn’t
skimp on it. Offering world-class education will strengthen our
families, our communities, our workforce, and our state.
Fight for Iowa's Working Families
We need to fight for laws and programs that protect working families and put them first – and not big corporations.

Poverty in America estimates the livable wage in Iowa is $23.88 per
hour. That’s for a family of four with both adults working. The
minimum wage in our state remains $7.25 per hour – the lowest of
any neighboring state while Illinois's minimum wage is $12 per hour and Minnesota's is $10 per hour. I would raise the minimum wage to help
struggling families, boost wages for all workers, and help combat the workforce crisis our state is facing. 

We also need to find innovative solutions to the childcare crisis.
Lack of childcare is preventing women in particular from joining the
workforce. More childcare options offered by the state and
employers will bolster our workforce and attract families to Iowa.
Fight for Women
We need to ensure women maintain reproductive rights. I will fight to keep reproductive healthcare between a woman and her doctor. Anything less will endanger the lives of women and harm already marginalized families and communities.

While Iowa women currently have a constitutional right to an abortion, Republicans have started the process of passing a constitutional amendment that would take away that right. I will fight any legislation to further restrict access to abortion.

I will also fight to close the gender pay gap. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Iowa dropped to 40th in the country in pay equity in 2020.

Iowa women deserve better. We need to address systemic biases andarchaic policies that are holding women back in pay and benefits.
Expand Healthcare Access
The Privatization of Medicaid is not working for many individuals, especially the most vulnerable Iowans. I assisted on
a report for the Auditor’s Office that showed an 890% increase in illegal denials of care by Managed Care Organizations in Iowa post-privatization. I’ve listened to disabled Iowans who can’t find caregivers to help them out of bed or make their meals. This is unacceptable. A society is judged by
how it treats its most vulnerable.

We must raise the bar, and we can do that by adequately paying healthcare providers for the essential services they deliver to people in their homes, hospitals, and long-term care facilities. We must hold the owners of long-term care facilities accountable. They should not be allowed to amass huge profits, largely from our tax dollars, while jeopardizing the
health and wellbeing of residents.

We must also provide incentives to attract healthcare providers to underserved areas in our state. That includes investments in affordable housing, reliable internet access, and student loan forgiveness for healthcare providers who commit to residing in underserved communities for a specified period.
Clean Up the Environment
We need to take measures to restore and protect Iowa’s land and natural resources for our farmers, our children, and future generations.

We must finally put money into the Iowa Natural Resources and Outdoor
Recreation Fund. Voters approved the creation of the fund in 2010 but the
legislature has not appropriated the money for it.

Meanwhile, a 2022 report by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources
lists more than 700 waterways that are so impaired, that they are not
suitable for fishing, swimming, or sources of drinking water. This will have
a particularly profound impact on Iowans as climate change creates new
environmental challenges.

Cleaning up our waterways would increase the potential for recreational
opportunities, and therefore increase tourism. In addition, it’s simply the
right thing to do.
 

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