Staff Snapshots | Bridget Godes
Nov. 3, 2022 | State Legislatures News | Print
Hometown: DeWitt, Iowa
Role: Research Analyst, Iowa Senate
Years of legislative service: 21
One thing she loves about her state: “I love our fall season – it’s beautiful here in Iowa.”
Why did you choose to work at the Legislature?
I had started my career working on state legislative campaigns. I enjoyed the work, but I was most interested in policy and communications work. When a job with the Iowa Senate Democratic research staff became available, I was encouraged to apply by one of the legislators and a staffer I had worked with on the campaign side. It was the best decision to move to the official side and get to work on policy development for legislators.
What skill or talent are you most proud of?
I am proud of my working relationships with nonpartisan staff, agency staff and my partisan staff counterparts. Even though we are living in increasing politically strident times, I still see a shared desire from most staff to do their best to assist the legislative process with integrity and professionalism. There are very few people who get the privilege of seeing the legislative process up close and personal, and despite all political ire these days, it still gives me a great sense of purpose and pride working for Iowa’s Senate.
What’s the best advice you were ever given?
The best (and longest lasting) change is usually frustratingly slow and incremental in nature. Keep your eyes on the big picture and relish in the small victories that will help people.
Who or what inspires you?
Most every teacher I’ve had or worked with has inspired me to do the best I can to assist in the education policy and appropriations work I do for senators and their constituents. My grandmother taught in a one-room schoolhouse on the same gravel road where I grew up. My aunt was a teacher and my mother taught both elementary and high school special education. While the family teaching track stopped with me, I was raised to respect and admire teachers. I hope that what I do to assist senators in developing educational policy and making hard appropriations decisions honors that teacher history in my family and respects and helps all current Iowa teachers.
What are you currently reading/listening to/watching?
I’m currently reading “More than Words,” by Kirsten Anderson, about a former legislative staffer’s experience with sexual harassment in the Iowa Legislature. It’s a great resource book. I’m almost always listening to The Avett Brothers, and I’m currently watching (binging) “Only Murders in the Building.”
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
For its “Staff Snapshots” series, State Legislatures News is asking legislative staff about their role in the legislature. If you’d like to suggest a staffer for this series, please email Holly South at NCSL.