Ohio congressman and presidential candidate Tim Ryan spoke in Council Bluffs for the first time Monday, focusing on a middle class “revolution.”

He talked to an audience of around 25 people, about different issues, including what he perceives as the need to bring in a “new” economy and get industries back to the United States.

Ryan, a congressman representing Ohio’s 13th District and Democratic presidential candidate, said he brought back millions of dollars to his district after he saw the “old economy was dying.”

“These problems are so deep, so structural that the only way out of this mess is if we have a chief executive, a President of the United States that is going to drive an economic policy that is going to (help) the middle class,” he said.

Ryan also spoke on a range of topics including education, innovation, mental health and others.

According to Ryan, his education plan will place a focus on more assistance for students with social and emotional needs, noting that early childhood traumas can affect the brain and nervous system.

Ryan said he had been asked about mental health at every stop he has made in Iowa, and that it is an issue prominent in both schools and communities due to the lack of resource availability.

Ryan’s wife is a teacher and a member of a teacher’s union, and he said he would be “pro-teacher” and “pro-union” as president.

To innovate, Ryan spoke about redeveloping older buildings like theaters or town squares and promote a robust arts program to build the culture within those communities.

Ryan said there are around 300,000 federal jobs in Washington D.C., and he wants to move more federal jobs into rural communities.

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Part of innovating and growing the middle class includes innovating industries, in particular renewable energy and technologies that are advancing, he said.

“There are going to be 30 million electric vehicles in the world by 2030,” he said. “I want those made in the United States.”

He stated China currently own 40 to 50 percent of the electric vehicle market already and he has seen multiple jobs move to China or outside of the country.

Ryan spoke on batteries being made in the United States, cars, wind power, solar power, nuclear power, as well as technology using artificial intelligence. He emphasized a need for the United States to develop and grow to advance as a nation, and be the recipient of whatever may come with those innovations.

“I don’t have any fairy dust to sprinkle across the industrial Midwest and say all of these problems are going to go away ... but I am going to roll up my sleeves with you, and with the community and we’re going to innovate this government.”

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