Calls for War on Poverty
On Monday, January 20th Jonathan R. Narcisse, an editor and publisher, former Des Moines School Board Director and former Co-Chair of the Polk County Democratic Party, announced his entry into the 2014 Democratic Party gubernatorial race.
Narcisse, affirming his love of Iowa and faith in Iowans, called for bold action throughout his announcement.
Invoking images of Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty Narcisse announced it would be the highest priority of his administration to end poverty in Iowa. "We have the means to end poverty in this state what we have lacked is the will" stated Narcisse.
To accomplish this Narcisse again invoked images from Johnson's historic speech including embracing the principles of "efficient, honest and frugal government." Narcisse stated by eliminating waste, creating greater efficiencies and ending the fraudulent practice of funding students that do not exist, resources would be freed up to invest in education - especially vocational and technical education, early childhood education and post-secondary education.
Narcisse also stressed the importance of restoring integrity to governance in Iowa and justice to working class Iowans.
"Last night at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration in Des Moines Pastor Bobby Young recalled attending court and observing a profound disparity in justice. An affluent youth caught with a half-pound of dope was fined $3,000. An urban youth with a joint was sentenced to a year.
This type of disparity in justice is common place and the price tag is crippling. Narcisse pledged to make the restoration of justice for all Iowans a high priority.
Narcisse also stressed the importance of ending crony capitalism and white collar welfare, shifting instead to the rebuilding of our economy the right way. This includes moving towards full employment, dignity and ending the practice of taxing working Iowans to hand the money over to political allies and cronies.
Narcisse shared the story of a young woman working at Hardees in Des Moines he encountered at 3:47 a.m. in April of 2010. She discussed having to buy a prom dress for her eldest daughter, her infant daughter and having to go to her second job at 8:00 a.m.
"Why should we tax her overtime, or raise her gas taxes when she's barely making it especially when we are going to turn around and give the money to film credit schemes or an Orascom to create jobs that cost a million dollars each? Instead of raising her taxes and giving it the well connected we should be discounting her taxes and the taxes of all Iowans" Narcisse stated.
"Let her keep her money and she will build the economy the right way as will other Iowans," saidNarcisse.
Narcisse did share two actions he would take his first day in office. The first would be to empower a process to save public pensions in Iowa. "The ruling by a federal judge in Detroit is very telling. We must act now to fix the public pension system in Iowa especially IPERS. We must make it actuarially sound, sustainable and honor our commitment to the men and women who served us faithfully including those who taught our children, ran into burning buildings and made our streets safe.
The second would be to restore trust in governance by ordering a process be created within thirty days to initiate forensic audits of state and local government. "When I was on the school board we had a contractor billing us for time that didn't exist; we were paying for their bottled water and cell phones. This happens throughout Iowa. Corruption is a problem. The lack of accountability is a problem. My administration day one would make divesting in corruption and restoring accountability a top priority.
Narcisse concluded by stating he doesn't have all the answers. "My job as governor is not to have all the answers but to surround myself with people smarter than me regardless of their political affiliation who will place the interests of taxpayers, our citizens, our families and especially our children above personal and political ambitions and agendas."