As we approach the end of the year and the Thanksgiving holiday, I want to express my thanks to the folks of Iowa’s Third Congressional District. I’m thankful I have the great honor of representing you in the United States Congress. There is nothing I enjoy more than traveling to each of the 16 counties in the Third District every month and speaking with you, your friends and neighbors from all walks of life.

Across the district, there are everyday Iowans doing extraordinary things. There are young people investing time and money into efforts to fix up a local park and small businesses owners donating profits to a local food pantry. There are families volunteering at an animal shelter and teachers going the extra mile to help their students.

When I meet with my fellow Iowans, I listen to their thoughts, hear about their struggles and successes, and I value their insights ideas. Iowans consistently work together and come up with commonsense solutions to the challenges facing our communities. Folks share their ideas with me and I strive to take them to Congress so we can apply this common sense to our federal government.

I am thankful for all of the folks who reach out to me by phone, email, letters, and fax. I’m thankful to those who come to my town halls and open office hours. The folks of the Third District are my bosses and I listen to what you are saying and sometimes we don’t always agree. But whether you are a Democrat, a Republican, or you don’t choose to identify with a party, I value our dialogue and conversations.

Recently, I held my 10th Annual Youth Leadership Summit in the Iowa State Capitol building. One of the students said the best ideas come from listening to and engaging with folks from all backgrounds. I couldn’t agree more. I do my best to listen to and engage with as many folks as I can.

I did this when writing the Water Quality Conservation Act. I pulled together folks from academia, rural areas, urban areas, farmers, conservationists, and other stakeholders to determine how we can work together to protect our water’s health and enhance the quality of our soil. That’s just one example of me acting because of what I heard from Iowans. Through honest and creative discussions, we were able to find a way for communities across the country to develop their own solutions to an issue affecting us all.

Collaborations like these are what our country was built upon, and I am thankful I have the honor and privilege of living in this great country and the chance to serve you in Congress. Thanksgiving is an opportunity for all of us to pause from our busy lives, gather with family and friends, and give thanks. Give thanks for having each other. Give thanks to our veterans and active duty soldiers. And to give thanks for the privilege of living in this great country.

I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. May God bless you and your family, Iowa, and the United States of America.

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