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About Rob


Rob X. Barron is the co-founder of the Latino Political Network, a non-partisan organization which serves to educate and empower Latinos to serve at all levels of elected office throughout Iowa. Additionally, he is the Special Assistant to Grand View University President Kent Henning for Government and Community Relations.  In that role he represents Grand View before elected officials and bureaucrats and works to build relationships with the community on behalf of Grand View students, faculty, and staff.

He previously worked for NextGen Climate Action and U.S. Senator Tom Harkin.  For the last six years of his work for Senator Harkin he served as Senator Harkin’s State Staff Director. Prior to starting that position, he worked for four years as Senator Harkin’s education policy advisor in Washington, D.C., where he was responsible for work on education legislation at all levels, from early childhood education to higher education.

During the school year, he volunteers weekly at Monroe Elementary School for the Everybody Wins program. Everybody Wins pairs volunteers with elementary students in a mentoring program in order to increase reading fluency, comprehension and academic confidence. Rob has read with students in the Des Moines and Washington programs since 2002.  Rob is also a member of the 2014 class of the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute.

Rob is a Des Moines native. He and his wife Angela Matsuoka, an art educator employed by the Iowa Department of Education, live in the Beaverdale neighborhood with their son, Javy. Rob is a graduate of Des Moines Roosevelt High School and Grinnell College. He also attended Hanawalt Elementary School, Merrill Middle School, Central Academy and Lincoln High School.  Rob received his B.A. in Political Science from Grinnell College.


Trivia (All updated from four years ago!)


Favorite spots around DSM:  I would still gladly eat my way through my hometown, and Angela and I are thrilled that Javy is a little foodie just like us.  I will always go out of my way to support a locally-owned business, so I always enjoy eating at the wide-array of taco trucks around the city, including Tacos Degollados at MLK and University, and Taqueria Los Pinos, by my office at Grand View University.  An Baratta's remains a must-eat place for our family. 

Kansas City Royals:  Four years ago when I ran my first campaign I almost had to apologize for lacking the common sense to root for a perennial loser like the Royals.  Four years has changed a lot!  I got to take my dad to our first World Series game (Game 2 of the 2014 World Series).  And I was in the stadium for all 14 innings of Game 1 of the 2015 World Series.  I'm a loyal fan and I always will be. 


What fatherhood has taught me:  I now know that everything I have learned, experienced, and continue to achieve prepares me to be the best father and role model for my son.  As Javy grows up and builds a clearer and fully formed sense of self, I hope to teach him through my actions to be a compassionate, engaged and resilient individual and community member.  Today, I am sure of this:  There is no better day than one that starts and ends with a kiss to my son as he wakes in the morning and falls asleep at night.  This is such an amazing time for us as a family and I am treasuring every minute of it.  (I wrote this paragraph at the beginning of the first campaign and nothing has changed in the last four years.)


Beaverdale: Angela and I are so happy to have found a home in Beaverdale.  We love our neighbors and friends.  It's a great neighborhood to walk through, especially when you want some ice cream, a cup of coffee, or a slice of pizza (did I mention that we love to eat!)


Barron for School Board
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