Friday Morning Meet & Greet with Kat Taylor
DES MOINES, IA—On an unseasonably warm Friday in Iowa on Nov. 15, Kat Taylor hosted a meet and greet at Mars Café in the Drake Neighborhood of Des Moines. Kat Taylor, a graduate of Harvard and Stanford, is the wife of Democratic Presidential Candidate Tom Steyer. Like Steyer, Taylor is active in social justice and environmental causes and has dedicated her remaining life to giving back. For her meet and greet, she wore a gray sheath dress that showed off her impressively muscular arms with a wreath tattoo on her right arm. Despite being a hedge fund manager and billionaire, her appearance easily fits into the Des Moines landscape.
Taylor started the conversation at the noisy cafe by greeting the group of approximately six students and five community members and telling the “meet-cute” story of how she met her husband—who she emphasized was her first and only partner—while training for a marathon in graduate school. She said that she fell in love with him almost immediately because after he asked her out to breakfast he said, “I’ll spot you this time, and you can get me next time.” Taylor said that interaction, despite Steyer already being financially successful, made her realize how dedicated to women’s equality he was.
Taylor likely told the story to warm up the small gathering, introduce her husband, and make the couple appear “just like us” rather than billionaires. Then, Taylor described her background in finance and her current focus on TomKat Ranch Educational Foundation before going into what Steyer would do in office.
She started by explaining that on Steyer’s first day in office, he would call a national referendum for what she said Americans want most—gun reform. Then, in the first 100 days, he would declare a national state of emergency for climate change and ask for the passage of the Green New Deal; if it didn’t pass in the first 100 days, he would use an executive order to begin reducing climate change. Related to climate, she said Steyer would rejoin the global order addressing climate, such as the Paris Accord, and ensure America takes the lead on addressing climate change. To do this, Steyer would also bring in China, one of the world’s top polluters.
Taylor explained that all of Steyer’s plans fit within his idea of the “five rights for all Americans,” including the right to clean air and water, healthcare, a living wage, freedom from voter suppression, and learning. When she mentioned that Steyer believed in universal healthcare, one concerned woman next to Taylor asked, “with Des Moines being a hub for the insurance industry, what will happen to their jobs?” Kat replied that the need for educated insurance industry employees would still be needed and that their jobs may move slightly.
One of the claims Taylor made that stood out for its boldness was her claim that “we’d have less wars overall” with Steyer as president because he is in favor of international collaboration. Less boldly, she said Steyer would end the China-U.S. isolationism in favor of a collaborative, globalized relationship.
Overall, Taylor was a strong advocate for her husband, speaking calmly and personably to the variety of college students and seniors seated around the table. Unlike her husband, she is less vociferous and more peaceful, while remaining knowledgeable about each position. With her calmness, confident personality, and ability to connect with many types of people, she constitutes a true asset for Steyer in Iowa.
After the event, all attendees were invited to the Steyer Des Moines headquarters in nearby Beaverdale to learn about the campaign and volunteer opportunities and to eat a free catered Panera lunch.