Archives for posts with tag: #iowa

Montclair Student Diplomat, JP Conques, & his political blog on Huffington Post, explains  why he fears that simply defeating Trump at the ballot box will not be enough to stem the tide of emboldened racism & bigotry that seems to have affected our society at large. — Read More —


As the world celebrates International Women’s Day on March 8 every year, we remember the women who have made a difference in our families, communities, and the world at large. This holiday has its roots in the socialist/political events of the early 20th Century primarily in Europe and Russia when women first demanded equal rights, suffrage, and protested sexual discrimination.

In 1975, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed March 8 a “UN Day for Women’s Rights and Peace,” and the commemoration also became more popular in the West as it took on more human rights, economic, political, and social achievements. This year’s IWD’s theme is “Equality for Women Is Progress for All.” Says the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon:  “Countries with more gender equality have better economic growth. Companies with more women leaders perform better. Peace agreements that include women are more durable. Parliaments with more women enact more legislation on key social issues such as health, education, anti-discrimination and child support. The evidence is clear: equality for women means progress for all.”

In the past few months, I have had the good fortune to become acquainted with a young woman who personifies International Women’s Day and its ideals to make the world a better place. She is a catalyst for change in taking on critical human rights, environmental, education, job, and social issues.  

Anesa Kajtazovic came to America’s heartland from war-torn Bosnia & Herzegovina as a young girl with her family 17 years ago, with nothing more than hopes and dreams. Her destiny and determination (graduated from college in 3 years with a double major) has carried her from an immigrant to the youngest woman (24 years) ever to be elected to the Iowa State House of Representatives. She is now running as a candidate for Congress.

Her energetic vision is a Real Progress, Real Progressive platform that includes measures that afford an opportunity for all to reach their dreams. She champions equal pay, jobs creation in Iowa, education, immigration reform, an extension of unemployment insurance, renewable energy, preserving natural resources, access to quality and affordable health care for all Iowans, and campaign finance reform laws.  Her political platform agenda is inclusive, fresh, and progressive:

SOCIAL SECURITY—  She calls for the expansion of Social Security benefits, not cuts to the program that is a vital lifeline for our seniors.

LGBT EQUALITY— In Congress, she will protect and promote equality. That includes equal rights for all and protection from discrimination in schools and in the workplace.

WOMEN’S RIGHTS— Women have an economic right to equal pay for equal work and a right for access to a full spectrum of reproductive healthcare options.

ENVIRONMENT— She will work toward ending dependence on foreign oil and move our country toward energy independence by investing in clean, renewable energy.

CAMPAIGN FINANCE— She is a champion for campaign finance reform. Our elected officials should be a representation of the people, not big corporations.

While fully assimilated into the American lifestyle, Anesa has never forgotten her roots and cultural identity. That was evident very much last weekend when Bosnia & Herzegovina celebrated its Independence Day, (March 1, 1992).  Ambassador Muhamed (Mo) Sacirbey and I drove to Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Chicago, Illinois, to partake in events within the Bosniak communities at the Bosnian/American Cultural Centers in each city.  Anesa Kajtazovic had driven from Iowa to Chicago to make an address to the community and discuss her platform. It was a proud day for me and Ambassador Mo to hear such a fresh vision and determination from a young member of the Bosnian diaspora. It made us proud to be Americans.  Although I won’t be able to vote in the Iowa elections, Anesa Kajtazovic has my vote for International Women’s Day.