Susan Leonard

Plymouth County Democrats, 9/1/2017 Edition 1, Volume 8

Tell me about your family:

I grew up on a farm about five miles south of Merrill, Iowa. I met my husband Mark when I was living in the San Francisco Bay area. He is originally from Berkeley, California. We moved to Merrill in 1991 and have two children. Our daughter Casey is in her fourth year as an art teacher in the Mid-Prairie District (just outside Iowa City). Our son Sam just finished his last deployment in the U.S. Navy and will complete his service to the Navy in December 2017. He runs the nuclear reactor on a fast attack submarine, the U.S.S. Santa Fe, based in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Susan Leonard
Susan Leonard, Precinct Committee Person for Plymouth County’s 7th Precinct, Chair of the Website Subcommittee

Tell me about your hobbies or interests:

One of my favorite hobbies is gardening, and I also enjoy doing arts and crafts projects. Both Mark and I enjoy cooking and entertaining. We appreciate many types of ethnic foods and delight in learning to prepare new dishes.

Tell me about your educational and occupational history:

I graduated from Le Mars Community High School and then attended Iowa State University; Laney College in Oakland, CA; San Francisco State University; and graduated from Oregon State University in Health and Human Sciences. I worked as a house painter and in interior design and publishing in California. Upon returning to Iowa I worked in the Student Services Office of Teikyo Westmar University. In 1994 I started working at the Siouxland Medical Education Foundation family medicine residency program as the Education Coordinator. The program is affiliated with the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine and supported by the two Sioux City hospitals. I retired in June 2016. Since retiring I have become involved as a volunteer with the Mary J. Treglia Community House in Sioux City, which strives to serve the needs of the immigrant population in Siouxland through education, services, advocacy, and celebration of diversity.

Tell me about your involvement with the Democratic Party:

I’ve identified as a Democrat since I was first able to vote. I campaigned in most presidential elections, starting with Senator George McGovern’s run in the 1972 election. Since retiring I find that I have more time to be involved in political activities beyond presidential elections.

Tell me something not many people know about you:

I have earned the credential of Master Gardener through the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Office, although I may never actually consider myself a master but rather an undefeated amateur! Also, I recently sought and obtained ordination after being asked by two friends to officiate at their wedding.

Tell me what you’re most proud of:

I am most proud of my children, Casey and Sam. Both are bright, caring, respectful young people who are committed to using their time and talents to make the world a better place.

Who is your biggest hero, past or present?

Dr. Wangari Maathai, a 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner, is a Kenyan who started the Green Belt Movement. Through her work as an environmentalist over 30 million trees were planted across Kenya. She also worked throughout her life against political oppression and suffered greatly for her views but persisted until her death.

How long have you been active in your favorite causes and/or community in Iowa:

I am currently active with both the Plymouth County and Woodbury County Democrats; am on the planning committee for Siouxland Progressive Women; and am a member of Sioux City NOW, the Siouxland Pride Alliance, and the Sioux City Chapter of the NAACP. I am most passionate about working for social justice issues effecting the less privileged and oppressed members of our society. I continue to work to increase my awareness of my privilege as a member of the “white” class and the responsibility that privilege carries to do all I can to right societal injustices. I try to live by the creed “to whom much is given, much is expected.”

Tell me your favorite quote:

I have so many that it is difficult to pick one. My favorite at the moment is from Alice Walker: “Whenever you are creating beauty around you, you are restoring your own soul.”

To meet Susan and many other interesting Plymouth County Democrats, come to our monthly meetings, held the third Monday of the month (locations announced via email, on KLEM 1410 AM, and in the Le Mars Daily Sentinel)

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