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Cindy Axne is an Iowan, a small business owner, parent, community activist, and U.S. Representative from Iowa’s Third Congressional District.
Cindy is a fifth-generation Iowan who grew up on the south side of Des Moines. Cindy’s childhood included weekends and summers spent on her maternal grandparents’ farm in Warren County, 4-H activities, and playing 6-on-6 basketball for the Valley High Tigers. After graduating from Valley High in Des Moines, Cindy received a bachelor’s in journalism from the University of Iowa. After undergrad, Cindy worked in strategic planning and leadership development for the Tribune Company in Chicago while earning an MBA from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University.
In 2007, when her older son started kindergarten, Cindy learned that full-day kindergarten was not available to every child in West Des Moines public schools, with eligibility determined by a lottery. Cindy was outraged at the inequity of the system and concerned that students were being shortchanged. She spent the following academic year advocating and negotiating with principals, the school board and the superintendent. After nearly a year, her efforts paid off and full-day kindergarten was made available to all students in the district.
Cindy is active in her church, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, and serves as a mentor with the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center at the University of Iowa. She lives in West Des Moines with John and their teenage sons, Gunnar and Rafe.
Every day, I’m hearing from Iowans struggling to make ends meet due to the rising costs of gas and food. These issues are urgent and time-sensitive, which is why I’m doing everything in my power to lower costs for Iowans.
In Washington, I’m focused on creating real, bipartisan, commonsense solutions that will drive prices down and help Iowans keep money in their pockets, all while supporting our agricultural communities.
Cindy is a 5th generation Iowan who grew up spending summers helping her grandparents farm soybeans, corn and hogs in Warren County. Cindy is proud to serve as a voice for Iowa farmers and rural communities as a member of the House Agriculture Committee. Agriculture is not only an economic driver and job creator in our state, but Iowa’s farmers and producers feed people here at home and around the world. Cindy knows that ensuring our agriculture industry thrives is not only beneficial for Iowa’s economy, but the entire country.
As a member of the Agriculture Committee, Cindy will work on policies to ensure trade agreements benefit Iowa farmers, open new markets for exports, expand access to rural broadband and invest in innovative technologies to help Iowa farmers become more efficient and remain globally competitive.
Economy and Jobs
Cindy ran for Congress to serve as a voice for hardworking Iowans and middle-class families, not to protect corporations and the wealthiest Americans.
As a small business owner, Cindy knows that we need to make it easier for our entrepreneurs and small business owners to succeed. Cindy knows when we help our small businesses, we help our communities and our families.
Cindy knows firsthand how red tape and government bureaucracy can stifle innovation and job growth. In Congress, she will look at ways to cut burdensome regulations and make it easier for entrepreneurs to access capital to create jobs across the state.
Whether you live in a metro area or a rural town, Cindy believes every Iowan should have access to a good-paying job. Cindy will invest in communities to expand 21st century economic opportunity in rural and metro areas.
As a public -school graduate and mom of two boys in West Des Moines public schools, Cindy knows that a quality K-12 education is crucial to success.
When Cindy and her husband were getting ready to put their oldest son in kindergarten, they learned there was a lottery system in West Des Moines that determined which children could attend full-day kindergarten. She was outraged at the inequity in the system and spent the next year working with the school board to expand full-day kindergarten for every child in West Des Moines. In Washington, Cindy will fight to make sure children across Iowa and the country have access to full-day kindergarten.
As a former Division Administrator at the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Cindy recognizes the importance of conserving our environment, protecting our natural resources, and building resiliency to the effects of climate change.
At the Department of Management, Cindy directed the Governor’s Leadership Agenda for Energy Efficiency and Clean Environment where she helped bring Iowa’s wind energy industry to scale. Iowa is now a national leader in clean and renewable energy production.
Cindy knows that helping our renewable fuel producers become more competitive in the market will create jobs, protect our environment and strengthen our national security.
Cindy is committed to supporting investment and innovation in our clean and renewable fuel industry to drive economic development and job growth, move us towards a cleaner environment and reduce our reliance on foreign oil.
Cindy has seen firsthand the devastation that worsening floods, storms, and other effects of climate change are already having on Iowa. While working to curb greenhouse gas emissions and halt the growing threat of a warming planet, Cindy knows that we must also build up community and agricultural resiliency to withstand the new realities of our environment.
Cindy spent a decade at the State of Iowa directing initiatives to help over twenty state agencies improve government services while saving Iowa taxpayers tens of millions of dollars.
Cindy is bringing the same approach to Washington by working on policies to make the federal government work better for less. Cindy has already introduced two pieces of legislation to root out waste, fraud and abuse in Washington. Cindy will focus on prioritizing ways to save taxpayer dollars, bring much-needed transparency in government spending and hold Washington accountable.
Cindy’s top priority in Congress is working to fix our broken health care system so that every Iowan has access to quality, affordable health care. Cindy will never let Washington go back to a time when Iowans with pre-existing conditions could be denied care.
In Congress, Cindy is committed to working with Democratic and Republican colleagues to put forward practical, bipartisan solutions to reduce costs, increase choice for consumers, lower the costs of prescription drugs, expand coverage across Iowa and streamline regulations for small businesses.
As a member of the Affordable and Accessible Health Care Task Force, Cindy is committed to advancing practical, bipartisan policies to improve our healthcare system.
Cindy will fight to make sure that every senior can retire with dignity. Cindy believes that Social Security and Medicare are promises we made to our seniors who worked hard and earned these benefits. Cindy will fight in Washington to stop attempts to cut benefits for current and future retirees and attempts to privatize Medicare and Social Security.
Cindy believes we owe no greater debt than to the men and women, and their families, who have served our country.
In Congress, Cindy will continue to fight to make sure Washington takes care of all of our veterans and their families. She will look at policies to ensure that veterans have the skills they need for good-paying jobs and access to quality, affordable health care.
College Affordability and Skills Training
Cindy knows that we need to make college more affordable and help those currently strapped with student loan debt. College graduates owe more than $1.5 trillion in student loans nationwide. In Iowa, 65% of college students graduate with student loans, with an average of almost $30,000 of debt.
Cindy knows that our student loan crisis isn’t just hurting Iowa students, it’s hurting our economy. Iowans crippled with student loan debt are less likely to buy a home, start a small business, or even start a family. Cindy knows that we need to help recent graduates repay their loans.
Cindy also knows that college isn’t the only path to success. Cindy will make sure every Iowan has the skills they need for a good-paying job. Cindy knows that in today’s economy, investing in workforce development and lifelong learning helps grow our economy and create jobs.
In Congress, Cindy will focus on expanding access to community colleges and trade schools, as well as strengthening on-the-job training so every Iowan can compete in this economy and meet their professional goals.