Theresa Greenfield
4 min readMar 23, 2020


Theresa Greenfield’s Plan to Put Iowa Workers First While Combating COVID-19

Growing up on my family farm, my dad always used to say, “There are no boy jobs or girl jobs. Just jobs that need to get done.”

That couldn’t be any more true right now.

As the threat of the coronavirus grows, there are not Republican jobs or Democratic jobs in Washington. There are just jobs that need to get done to give Iowans a hand up during these uncertain times.

Like many of you, I’m growing even more frustrated that our government wasn’t prepared for this challenge, but this isn’t the time to point fingers or play political games.

The aid package Congress passed last week is an important step, and they should keep the focus on public health and safety. But we need to do much more.

Iowans are already being denied the testing they need and health care providers are sounding the alarm that they may not have the capacity to treat the growing number of sick people.

We must take urgent action to ramp up access to health care, tests, and medical supplies, along with direct economic relief for our workers, farmers, and small businesses. We do not need a bailout that only helps big corporations and CEOs line their pockets.

Now more than ever, our leaders must act with honesty and transparency by doing the right thing, but also not looking away from what’s wrong.

If I were in the U.S. Senate today, below are just some of the jobs that this scrappy farm girl would be fighting day-and-night to get done to combat this pandemic and put Iowa’s workers first.

This may seem like an uphill battle, but Iowans are tough and I know we can get through this if we put politics aside, keep looking out for our neighbors and pull together the same way we do in our small towns.



Prioritize Health & Safety: We need to dramatically ramp up manufacturing and distribution of free testing kits, ventilators and vital medical supplies like face masks, gloves and gowns. We should coordinate with the military to increase hospital beds in hard hit and rural areas.

We also need to look out for Iowans in small towns, where rural health care clinics face additional challenges. Nearly 18% of Iowa’s rural hospitals were already at high risk of closure. Let’s lift restrictions on the number of beds allowed in Critical Access Hospitals in rural Iowa, increase funding for rural hospitals and continue to boost telehealth services.

Workers MUST Come First: We need to enact urgent economic relief that goes directly into the pockets of Iowans in the form of crisis mitigation payments, focusing on hourly workers who have been laid off or seen their hours cut back, farmers facing unprecedented disruptions, and working families who are making sacrifices. That should also include expanded unemployment insurance benefits, student loan relief, food assistance, childcare for workers on the frontlines, and relief for workers at risk of losing their housing during this pandemic.

There’s also no excuse to not pass further expanded paid sick leave protections immediately. No one in Iowa should ever have to choose between going broke and staying home when they’re sick. And any economic measures must be done in a way that does not ultimately threaten critical earned benefits like Social Security and Medicare.

Give Small Businesses a Hand Up: Small businesses are tough and resilient — but they’re also struggling. We need to give small businesses a hand up with no-interest bridge loans and disaster relief payments to keep them afloat and help them look out for their workers to prevent massive job loss. We should also cut red tape that will make it easier for small businesses to adapt to these rapidly developing circumstances.

No Hand Outs to Big Corporations & CEOs Without Worker Protections: While our workers are suffering, the last thing we need is a bailout to big corporations that lines the pockets of their CEOs and shareholders. Once working families receive direct and urgent economic relief, any taxpayer dollars going toward economic relief must be tied to protecting jobs for workers and restricting executive bonuses and share buybacks. We need to keep our economy strong, but big corporations already have enough influence in Washington — and they should not gain special favors during this crisis on the backs of working families who are struggling.

Lead with Honesty and Transparency: During this crisis, it’s more important than ever that we work to restore faith in our government. It’s unacceptable that politicians in Washington ignored warning signs and downplayed COVID-19 to the public, but now is the time for leaders to act with honesty, transparency, and accountability. That includes clear reporting of tests and data that helps keep us safe. No backroom deals. No political games. And once this crisis is over, there should be an investigation into the troubling reports of politicians in Washington using their offices to look out for their own financial interests instead of our public health and safety.

Protect Voting Rights: During a crisis like this, it’s especially important that people are able to make their voices heard. We need to protect voting rights and make it easier to vote by mail, so all Iowans can cast their votes safely.



Theresa Greenfield

Farm kid, mom, Des Moines business leader, and candidate for U.S. Senate. Join our team at