FIRSTS in Iowa caucus: Mosques served as caucus sites; Muscatine woman organizes first-ever ASL Iowa caucus

Local News

Caucus goers check in at a caucus at Roosevelt High School, Monday, Feb. 3, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Iowa caucus 2020 is one that will be remembered for reasons other than the chaos it created surrounding the results.

5 mosques served as Iowa caucus sites for the first time in history

Iowa caucus 2020 will be remembered as the year when for the first time in history, five mosques in Des Moines served as satellite caucus sites.

Muscatine native organizes first-ever ASL Iowa caucus

Not only in Iowa, but in the nation, first-ever satellite caucus was organized in Des Moines. Gretchen Newman, who grew up in Muscatine and now lives in Des Moines, organized the caucus in American Sign Language.

Newman said, the process has “never been accessible to us even if we have an interpreter…. It’s too chaotic and too many people talking at the same time.”

Newman tried to caucus in the 1990s but left as she found the process “overwhelming.” In 2016, she participated in the entire process.

“I decided to organize the caucus when the opportunity for a satellite caucus was offered and I saw the chance for the deaf community to, for the first time, be completely involved in the process,” Newman added.

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