Hello!  I'm Dan Fessler, and I'm running to be the State Rep of the 42nd district, which is about half of West Des Moines.

I think there are a couple characteristics about myself that have brought me here today.  One: I love learning about everyone I meet.  And the more you learn about people, the more you care about their lives and wanting to help them.  Two: I'm incredibly proud to be an Iowan.  We really are exceptional in so many areas, and I want to do all I can to ensure that never changes.  Those two things together make me want to serve and help the countless people I have been lucky enough to meet over the course of my life and this campaign.

I come from a big family.  Five sisters and four brothers.  That’s an impressively-sized family, but what’s even more impressive is that they almost all still live in Iowa.  The reason that's amazing is because we’re losing countless graduates and professionals to other states.  We're only raising the next great generation, but not reaping the reward of being the focus of their influence and hard work.  Too many attend our great schools then take their talent elsewhere.  When I was in the third grade, our teacher asked us who wanted to live in Iowa when they grew up.  Only one nerdy kid raised his hand... me!  That's disappointing.  I think if we keep more of our graduates and creative individuals, Iowa has the potential to be a place of even greater innovation and opportunities.

There are certainly ways for us to ensure we don't suffer from "brain drain".  I'm of the opinion that every individual has something they are meant to do.  There's some capacity in which they can make the biggest impact on the world.  Maybe I watched too many Disney movies as a kid.  We need to make sure those opportunities to reach our potential exist within our state or some of our greatest talent will look for those opportunities elsewhere. That’s going to take people in the state legislature who are willing to invest in Iowa.

I'm also a big believer that a society can be measured by how it treats it’s most vulnerable.  I grew up with a sister that has Down syndrome.  My mother is such a saint she adopted two more boys with Down syndrome from Ukraine.  

Those of you that know my family, know that disability issues are close to our heart.  Children with disabilities are challenging.  As a sibling to one sister and two brothers with an intellectual disability, I have learned a great deal about the virtues of patience, kindness and even the importance of having a sense of humor.  There’s a place in my hometown of Clear Lake called Opportunity Village.  It’s a non-profit organization that serves as an assisted living center for people with intellectual disabilities.  It represents the very best of Iowans.  Places like this need to have our state’s support in any way possible.  Recently, there has been a trend of declining support for these organizations and we need to reverse that.

We live in one of the fastest-growing communities in Iowa.  I want to be part of the dedicated citizens that make sure it grows in a way that keeps our Iowa values and opens opportunities for the future.  Our great state doesn't need an overhaul, just some fine-tuning.  To do that, we need people who have the right ideas and a lot of motivation.  I believe I’m one of those people and I hope I can earn your support.