U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer of Iowa spoke with AFSCME Secretary-Treasurer Elissa McBride and Next Wave Coordinator Adrian Williams about her support for collective bargaining and why young people should be politically active. Their conversation came during the latest edition of Ideas@AFSCME, AFSCME’s Facebook Live speaker series.
Finkenauer was elected to represent Iowa’s First Congressional District in November 2018 at age 29. She started the discussion Monday by describing her family's union background, which included her father, who was a union pipefitter, and her mother, a retired school district secretary. Finkenauer attributes much of her passion for labor and bipartisan cooperation in Congress to her upbringing in a union family.
The congresswoman described her family’s wide-ranging political debates that would occur after church on Sunday at her grandparents' house.
“I learned so much during those conversations,” she said, referring to debates between her grandfather and opposing uncles. She learned very early that, “even though I was a young girl, I had every right to a seat at the table as the grown men. Even though we would disagree … we would hug each other at the end of the night and say, ‘Love you, see you next week.’ I remember thinking to myself that that’s how public policy should be.”