Gillibrand Makes a Stop in Mason City

May 25, 2019 11:36 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democratic 2020 Presidential hopeful from New York was in Mason City Saturday afternoon.

The former corporate lawyer is campaigning on issues like defending Planned Parenthood, implementing more gun safety measures, taking care of first responders and keeping families together.


Iowa transplant Tahmyrah Lytel came out to see Gillibrand at her Meet and Greet at the Cabin Coffee Company.

“I try to make it out to all the presidential candidate events that I can. I think Iowa is really privileged to always be bombarded with the candidates,” she said.

Lytel wanted to hear what Senator Gillibrand had to say about her top issues.

"My biggest issues right now are the environment and social justice," she said.

Kathy Byrnes agreed the environment is her top priority.

"I'm a grandma I have three grandkids and I want them to have a safe world to live in," she said.

During a Q&A portion of the meet and greet she dressed as a penguin, urging Gillibrand to commit to the environment and make it a priority listed on her website.

"I do believe the greatest threat to humanity is global climate change. First and foremost on day one I will restore our moral leadership on the world stage and sign back on to the global climate accords," said Gillibrand.

She said she will also pass the Green New Deal and put a price on carbon.

"I will make sure they edit my website today so you see it right up front," she said.

Gillibrand said another top priority is fighting for women and families. She said she will work for paid family leave, invest in public education and stop sexual assault and harassment.

However, Lytel said she was upset over how Gillibrand handled Al Franken’s sexual harassment allegations.

In 2017, Gillibrand called for Senator Franken to step aside, posting in a statement on Facebook that reads in part:

“While Senator Franken is entitled to have the Ethics Committee conclude its review, I believe it would be better for our country if he sent a clear message that any kind of mistreatment of women in our society isn't acceptable by stepping aside to let someone else serve.”

Lytel said it should have been handled another way.

"As a survivor it is extremely diminishing for something that wasn't investigated. Nobody experienced any abuse or violence on their person and he was forced to step down," she said.

She hopes candidates across the board will consider how the country should handle sexual assault and harassment allegations going forward.

"I think Democrats need to focus on the real issues at hand," she said.


Talia Milavetz

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