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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Ivy Schuster, local progressive, sets sights on open Iowa Senate seat


Ivy Schuster, a new Democratic candidate for the Iowa senate, hopes to use her position to advance issues, such as those facing women, in the state of Iowa.

“Women being the minority in the legislature, there’s a lot of women’s issues that don’t get talked about or thought about,” Schuster said. She referred to the College’s Period Day Rally in October of 2019 as drawing her attention to the issue surrounding access to feminine hygiene products.

“Iowa is one of the states that still has taxation on feminine hygiene products, and it’s a luxury tax,” Schuster said. “They’re also not covered by any of the welfare programs. … How is that not a necessity?”

In addition to this specific goal, Schuster hopes to work on “making sure we have quality, affordable childcare, and to make sure those childcare providers and teachers are paid a competitive and fair wage because they’re doing a really important job.” She said this issue is especially salient to her as a mother of two, including two-year old Artie, who accompanies her to many of her campaign events, and to her interview with The S&B.

Schuster said her involvement with organizations like the League of Women Voters and She Counts inspired her focus on women’s issues, as well as inspiring her to run in the first place. “With those experiences, I had gotten to see, kind of, behind the veil at the Capitol and gotten to know our current legislators,” she said. “I’m just like, I could totally see myself doing this and really making a difference for my community.”

Schuster also works for the College at Information Technology Services. “I’m the training specialist. I work mostly with staff and faculty for training them on the new systems that we have on campus. … I’d like to see that expanded to include working with students more because that’s definitely the component I’m missing most,” she said.

Prior to this position, Schuster worked in the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, “supporting the music department, working with the faculty to get eReserves up, and different things to support the classes they’re doing.” However, she said her favorite part of this role was working with students, “helping them navigate different systems through the music department, whether it’s like helping them apply for scholarships or setting up their senior recital program.”

Working and being a mother keeps her busy, so Schuster said she is grateful for her campaign staff. “I have a team of local folks,” she said. “I don’t have any professional coming in to help out. I have a friend doing my Facebook and website stuff. … I have a fellow that’s helping me write speeches. … I have someone helping with fundraising … and then just a team of volunteers who are filling in the blanks.”

Given that the current State Senator, Tim Kapuchin (R), will not seek reelection, Schuster will be up against a brand-new Republican challenger this year. She’ll still need to work hard to take on the Republicans, given that Kapucian won the district by 26 percentage points in 2016. Schuster said her strategy for overcoming this gap is “talking to people and making that one-on-one connection.”

“Having [a] base of friendly support, I think, is going to make me braver and stronger to go out and talk to people that on big ideology we might be different,” Schuster said, adding, “I’m ready to make those connections.”

Schuster encourages students hoping to get involved with her campaign to go to her website at and sign up to volunteer.

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