Iowa Senate candidate Janice Weiner visits UI to discuss priorities

Just hours after filing to be on the ballot, Janice Weiner visited the University of Iowa to meet with the University Democrats and share her priorities if she makes it to the Statehouse.


Gabby Drees

Janice Weiner poses for a portrait Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021.

Lauren White, Politics Reporter

Janice Weiner, an Iowa City City Councilor and candidate for Iowa Senate district 45, University of Iowa Democrats Wednesday night her priorities include affordable child care, funding education, and climate solutions. 

Weiner said that these priorities can all lead to the larger goal of attracting more Iowans to the state. She said she wants to work with moderate Republicans in order to get Democratic priorities across while they are in the minority. 

“I want to think big, you know? When we get the majority back, what would we really like to do?” Weiner said. 

Earlier in the day, Weiner officially filed to be on the ballot for the 2022 election. 

Weiner is a current Iowa City City Council member and previously worked as a foreign affairs official for the federal government where she served multiple terms overseas. She said her background in different elected positions gives her a unique lens into policymaking that would benefit her time in the Senate. 

Senate District 45 is made up of most of urban Iowa City including the university, and Weiner said she would advocate for the UI by keeping close contact with the local government and the university’s student governments to discuss their needs. 

Attendants at the meeting told Weiner that their concerns were with affordable student housing, mental health services, and retaining educators in the state. 

Another concern that students brought up was the newest Iowa tax cut. Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a flat tax rate into law this week, and Weiner said that the law has the potential to bankrupt the state. 

Weiner said even though she will benefit from the tax cuts as retirement income will no longer be taxed, she wishes funding and tax breaks could be reallocated to other areas so that state income is not reduced. 

“I would much rather that instead of protecting my tax income, they say ‘We’re gonna find a way to help retirees with their property tax burden’, so that they can stay in their houses,” Weiner said. “Because most of us … just want to contribute. But property taxes ended up being a serious burden.” 

Weiner said that working as a foreign official with people across the aisle helped her to practice listening to everyone, even when she doesn’t agree with them. 

“I think what makes me different is my perspective,” Weiner said. “I hear from different places and I’ve seen how helpful it can be for people to work together.”