Ruth Ann Gaines

State Representative for District 32

May 2, 2014

This week the Constituant of the week is Fawn’s Restaurant. Located at 1107 E. University, Fawn, the owner, offers delicious Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine to her customers. Fawn is very outgoing and contributes to the welcoming and cozy atmosphere of the restaurant.

April 25, 2014

A new feature of the newsletter is “Constituent of the Week”, which features a noteworthy person in my district. This week’s constituent is Archie Cook.


Archie Cook teaches at North High School. He teaches history and psychology classes from grades 9-12. He is one of the two coaches for the North High School Academic Decathlon team who in 2012 placed 1st in the regional completion held at Drake University. The team placed 3rd in the state last year. Archie is a graduate of Drake University and has taught at North all 18 years of his teaching career. Archie is married with 2 children and two grandchildren. He is a former speech student of Representative Gaines at DMACC.

April 18, 2014

A new feature of the newsletter is “Constituent of the Week”, which features a noteworthy person in my district. This week’s constituent is Vidal Spaine.


Vidal Spaine is a special education resource teacher at Des Moines East High School, where he has taught since 1997. Born in Freetown, Sierra Leon, which is a country in West Africa, Vidal has been a resident of the US for over 20 years. Vidal received his BA in the former Soviet Union and his MA from Concordia University in California. Vidal belongs to many organizations including Des Moines Sister Cities and American Councils through which he sponsors foreign exchange students. Vidal also teaches ELL at Des Moines Area Community College and diversity courses through Heartland AEA 11 in Johnston, Iowa. Also, Vidal travels to Thailand every summer where he teaches English to junior high school students. Vidal has two children and two grandchildren.

April 11, 2014

A new feature of the newsletter is “Constituent of the Week”, which features a noteworthy person in my district. This week’s constituent is Jennifer Medina.


Jennifer Medina graduated from East High School in 1990.  In 1994, Jennifer graduated from Grand View College with a Secondary Education degree with the endorsement of speech, theatre, and communication.  In 1995, Medina moved to Sioux City where she substitute taught and served as the building manager for the Sioux City Community Theatre. In the late 1990's she served on the board of The Drama Workshop in Des Moines.  She then produced, directed, and acted in plays for the Workshop, The Iowa Shakespeare Project and in the larger Des Moines community.  In 2001 Medina was hired by Tom Lee to be East's speech and debate coach and teacher.  Coach Medina is serving on the West Iowa Board for the National Forensic League, has qualified EHS to nationals 6 times, and has been recognized as a Diamond Coach by the National Forensic League.

April 4, 2014

A new feature of the newsletter is “Constituent of the Week”, which features a noteworthy person in my district. This week’s constituent is Andrea Jansa.


Andrea works as a Research Analyst with the Iowa House of Representatives Democratic Caucus, with a focus on the Iowa administrative budget, along with natural resources and transportation issues.

Outside of work Andrea serves on the boards of the Junior League of Des Moines, Lead Like a Lady, Orchard Place Foundation, Des Moines Parks and Recreation, DAWN's List, and the Young Professionals Connection of Des Moines. She is also involved as a mentor at Orchard Place and stays involved with the Des Moines Tri Delta Alumnae Chapter, New Leaders Council, and various Democratic groups. Andrea was a member of the 2013 Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute and was honored as a Des Moines Business Record Forty Under 40 Honoree in 2014.
A graduate of the University of Iowa, Andrea has lived in Des Moines since 2008 and is currently engaged to be married to Grant in November 2014. An avid runner, Andrea also enjoys cooking, gardening, visiting family in Cedar Rapids, and trying to keep up with her book club.

March 21, 2014

A new feature of the newsletter is “Constituent of the Week”, which features a noteworthy person in my district. This week’s constituent is Ken Sagar.


Prior to becoming President in February 2008, Sagar served as Secretary-Treasurer of the Federation from August 1997 to January 31, 2008. Before that, he was Business Manager/Financial Secretary of IBEW, Local Union 204 from 1985 through 1997. He served as President of the Iowa Utility Workers Conference from 1987 to 1997 and as President of the Iowa State Conference, IBEW from 1989 to 1997. From 1975 to 1985 he was an employee of Iowa Electric Light and Power Company at the Sutherland Generation Station near Marshalltown. Sagar is married and has two daughters, three sons and one grandchild.