Post-election thanks and thoughts


I wanted to take a moment to say thank you for all your generous support during my 2015 campaign for the ICCSD school board. Your help in all its various forms meant so much to me. I especially want to thank Mike Carberry, who was a valued advisor throughout the nine months that led up to the election, and Rod Sullivan, who also gave me sage council going back over much of the last two years. To the Iowa City Fed, the ICEA, Press-Citizen and Gazette, thank you for endorsing my candidacy. Your support helped me believe I was on the right track, listening, and prepared to fight the good fight.

And finally, to my wife, Theresa, and my children, who sweat with me as we canvassed and worked hard throughout the campaign–thank you and I love you. The campaign was hard on you and I know I owe you a great debt.

I’m a little heartbroken that I wasn’t elected. Well OK, maybe a lot. I had so many thoughts on how I could help bring positive change to the the board and the district. I had plans and ideas I looked forward to sharing with new colleagues. I was excited to be part of a team who would work hard to do right by every child, every family, and every teacher. I’m confident the board as selected will move those goals forward. I congratulate each new member on their selection and I know they will do a great job. I’m truly sad I won’t be there with them.

I don’t know what the future holds for me in terms of public service. Right now, I have a finished novel to revise and submit and two others to complete. I have a new collection of songs to finish, rehearse, and record. I have my work. I look forward to spending time with my family.

I entered the race with two goals. Of course, I wanted run and win; I wanted to be elected and do what I could to aid our community. But my second, more personal goal, was to run and be more true to myself, to stay away from negativity and in-fighting and do what I could to unite and inspire. I hope I was able to do that. I’m proud of how I ran. I’m hopeful that our shared conversations will move us forward.

Thank you all for your passion and dedication to public education. Please continue to believe and question. Take nothing for granted.

I hope these next two years will help repair what divides us. We are blessed to live in a district so ardent about education. Let’s direct that passion toward progress. Let’s do what’s right and just. Let’s have to courage to listen to all voices and assess with dispassionate eyes. Let’s leave our battlements and embrace our shared goals. Let’s do it for our children and those still to come.

Public education is the gift we give our children and our future. Let’s be worthy stewards of that gift.

Thank you again for your support.


Jason Lewis

Election Day Info Blast!

Find your polling place quickly:

Attention students (from the auditors office):

We’ve heard reports that some mis-information went out to students about what they need to do to register and vote today.

To do an election day registration, go to your SCHOOL poling place, NOT our office. You’ll need ID and proof of address. Details here. We’ll need printed paper copies of your stuff; pulling it up on your phone doesn’t count unfortunately.

People who are already registered can do a change of address at the polls. Bring ID and go to the school polling place for your NEW address.

Why I’m running for our school board. Please vote on 9/8.

A short video about why I’m running for school board.

Here’s a transcript of the video:

Hi, my name is Jason Lewis. I’m a candidate for one of the four four-seats on the Iowa city community school district board of education. I’m here today to humbly ask for one of you four votes.

Why are you running for school board? I get that question a lot, lately. I’ll answer simply: Howard Vollberg.

Mr. Vollberg was my choir teacher in high school. I was a confused, depressed kid. I was adopted. My parents were divorced, my father was out of the picture, and our family struggled to get by on the salary my mother drew as a secretary. The only thing I cared about was music. I entered Mr. Vollberg’s Concert Choir class as a sophomore skeptical of this man who flailed and lunged at his students while directing. A lot of kids laughed at him, but no one could deny his passion.

Over the next three years, Mr. Vollberg gave me chances to build my skills. He believed in me in a way no one had before. He gave me rides home from after-school All-State Choir rehearsals. He created a chamber choir. He staged musicals. Mr. Vollberg turned a light on for me. Not many people in my family went to college. Mr. Vollberg got me university catalogs. He helped me find a voice teacher. He arranged auditions and ultimately I received a scholarship to West Virginia University.

Without Howard Vollberg, I wouldn’t be who I am today. He showed me I could be more. He changed my life. That’s what teachers do.

Now I’m a parent I’ve seem the great work our teachers do. I’ve seen the light com on for my children through the love and hard work of teachers.

I’m running for school board because every student deserves the best education we can provide. Every student  the chance to have a Howard Vollberg in their lives.

Amidst the budget concerns and building plans, it’s sometimes easy to forget that schools are about teachers and students and the magic of the classroom. We need a school board that will help us remember.

There are a lot of candidates in this race. All of them have something to offer. I offer you my passion and commitment to our school. I’m a writer, a musician, a teach, husband and father. I believe in our schools

I don’t know everything — but I am ready to serve. I’m eager to listen, learn and lead. I ask for your vote so I can honor the memory of Howard Vollberg, who meant so much to me, but also to honor the teachers and staff who mean so much to our children and our community.

Voting information : Where, When, and How

The election is just 12 days away. I’m working hard putting up yard signs, knocking on doors and attending events. i wanted to put this post together so you all can have the info you need to get to the polls on September 8th.

Here’s a link to the Johnson County Auditor’s website with info on where your polling place is.

BIG NOTE: Your polling place for the schools election is likely different from your general election polling place. Please check out the site to be sure you know where.

Here’s the auditor’s web page with all the other info you might need to know about the school district election, including early voting deadlines (Sept. 4 at the auditors office) and how to get registered to vote.

If you have any questions about any of this, don’t hesitate to contact the folks at the auditors office. They’re good folks and very helpful.

Thanks for being active in your community.

Iowa City Federation of Labor Endorses Jason T. Lewis for School Board

Jason T. Lewis, candidate for ICCSD Board Directors, has received the endorsement of the Iowa City Federation of Labor for the 2015 election cycle. Jesse Case, president of the Iowa City Federation of Labor, said Wednesday, “Jason will be a great addition to the school board. He brings a voice for working families to the board table and will be a champion for accountability and transparency in the district.”

Lewis had this to say about the news of his endorsement: “I’m honored to have the endorsement of the ICFL. Working families deserve representation at all levels of government and I look forward to being an advocate for labor on the school board. Every worker in our schools—teachers, custodial staff, secretaries and everyone in between—cares for our children and their education. Those workers deserve our thanks and our support.”

Lewis is a parent of a 6th grader at Mark Twain Elementary and a 8th grader at Southeast Jr. High. He has served as the PTO president of Mark Twain Elementary, and has served on several ICCSD committees, including a recent task force that explored the best practices for launching magnet schools in the district. He is the Director of the Writing and Humanities Program at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. In addition, Jason and his wife, Theresa, are licensed foster parents and are advocates for youth throughout the community.

JTL Door Knocking and Event Schedule for 7/9-7/18/15

Mann and Lincoln areas
Bourlag and Coralville Central areas  
Kirkwood and Van Allen areas
7/18 & 20/15
Shimek and Lemme areas
Hoover area

More dates to come in late-July/August. Please visit for up-to-date info.

If you’d like me to stop by your home, call 319.594.9304 or email

Enough is enough. Stop playing politics with our children’s future.

Our children are worth more, not less. They are worth every penny the Governor is trying to take from them as well as a chunk of the near-$400 million Des Moines has socked away while telling us there’s no money.

Iowa once ranked number one in per-student funding. Now? 35th. It’s time for a vocal, educated, high-profile community like ours to make its voice heard on this issue and many others that have sold out our children’s chance at the best possible education we can provide. Tell Brandstad, “No more!” Sign this petition and join me throughout the campaign season and onward into the next four years.

One of my goals as a board member is to be part of a growing chorus of caring people from our area and around the state who will no longer stand for watching our children suffer while the Governor plays politics with their future. Will you join me?

Sign the petition: