Our beloved colleague Stephen Dykstra passed away on May 3. Stephen was our communication associate — his responsibilities included this website — so if it seems unusually drab, his absence is why.
Stephen was a consistently positive presence at Common Good Iowa — eager to pitch in on any task, try out a new program or test a new strategy. He played a key role rolling out our new brand following the merger of the Child and Family Policy Center and the Iowa Policy Project last year. Our website, social media, publications — Stephen's fingers were on all of them.
Did we mention positive? In any given meeting on any given issue, you could count on Stephen to ask, "Is there anything good we can say about this?" Alas, given the tenor of recent legislative sessions his colleagues sometimes struggled to come up with something, but he never stopped pushing us to try. We needed that.
Beyond all that, he anchored our shop's social connections. He and Natalie Veldhouse organized Common Good Iowa's March Madness tournament, and he hosted a series of activities (Choose your own Adventure PowerPoints and 1993 trivia contests among them) during our early-pandemic virtual happy hours.
Our hearts are broken.
You can read more about Stephen here. We send our love and healing thoughts to his parents Mike and Anna and his siblings, Leah, Julia and Thomas.