Where I come from

I am a long-time resident of Carlisle and Warren County. I was raised from a young age in Grinnell on what my father optimistically called a “gentleman’s farm”. In truth, that run down little four square with the soft floors and drafty windows was what my folks could afford due to having a young family to raise and what must have seemed like insurmountable medical bills thanks to a relatively rare illness my mother developed. The handful of turkeys, chickens, and cattle we raised along with a small garden we grew was how our family fed ourselves. I learned early on that a strong work ethic, grit, determination, and being decent to each other especially during hard times was the only way our situation could improve.

I carried those values to college and eventually into my career in the building trades and as an author on the topic of grassroots activism in rural Iowa. While attending Indian Hills in Ottumwa and graduating with a degree in Criminal Justice, I married my college sweetheart and we had a daughter. I have worked full time in our family-owned local construction business since 2008 and I am a huge believer in the trades and understand that a strong work ethic and outside of the box thinking leads to success.


“I’m running for State Senate because I understand what public service and rolling up one’s sleeves to get a job done actually means. I also believe in compassion and common sense. There are absolutely pragmatic ideas as Iowans we all embrace. If we agree on so much as neighbors, then why hasn’t our current State Senator been reflecting those values? My plan is to actually listen to and interact with my fellow neighbors in District 11, something that’s sorely been missing for us in current representation. I have, and will continue to fight for our local schools, small businesses, and family farms so there’s a level playing field for all in our communities.”

I’m a proud blue-collar small-town business woman who knows that the only way for anyone to accomplish big goals is to communicate with everyone, foster a sense of community, and always act with intention, purpose, and Iowa values. Due to my rural grassroots organizing experience, I have been featured in the New Yorker, WHOTV13, quoted in the Chicago Tribune, been a speaker at the Soul Craft Summit about rural organizing and am the author of, “Boots on the Ground, a grassroots tale…” a book about making pragmatic and positive change in rural communities.

I currently live in Carlisle with my husband of 26 years, Aaron.

Lisa Fleishman for Iowa Senate District 11