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Sydney J. Gangestad

Sydney is an attorney and lobbyist with over seven years of public policy experience. In her various policy roles, she has developed a fundamental understanding of the legislative process and a non-partisan and bi-partisan approach to lobbying to help advance clients’ legislative agendas.  

Sydney represents client interests at the Iowa legislature and executive branch. She assists in developing their legislative agendas and is active at the Capitol during session advocating for clients, and garnering support from legislators and other entities with similar interests. 

As policy is made to implement legislation, Sydney represents clients before regulatory committees and testifies as needed in state agency hearings, and board and commission meetings. 

Sydney also provides clients policy analysis and has experience educating constituency groups to inform members about changes that will impact them in proposed or new legislation.  


Prior to joining Davis Brown, Sydney served as the Special Counsel and Legislative Liaison for the Iowa Judicial Branch where she represented the interests of the Iowa judiciary before the legislative and executive branches. She assisted the State Court Administrator and the Iowa Supreme Court in policy development for the state court system.  

During the legislative session and the interim, Sydney maintained regular communications with the legislature, providing updates about the court system and responding to legislative inquiries. She identified, analyzed, and responded to all bills that related to the Iowa Court System— typically around one-third of all bills introduced each legislative session.  

She lobbied to advance the legislative agenda of the judicial branch, including policy requests, and to secure full funding for the Iowa Court and Juvenile Court Systems. She communicated regularly with associations and organizations representing members of the judiciary/bar and justice interests and coordinated efforts among these groups to advance the agenda of the judicial branch. 

Grassroots Advocacy 
At the judicial branch, Sydney spearheaded the development and implementation of grassroots strategies, which aided the branch in developing meaningful, productive relationships.  She advanced the judicial branch agenda through regular, consistent, and trusted communications as well as the valued relationships she developed.

Over the course of her career Sydney has: 

  • Drafted and filed judicial branch bills with the General Assembly including a complete update of the Juries chapter (Iowa Code chapter 607A), comprehensive juvenile records reform (Iowa chapter 232), revisions to the shorthand reporters chapter (Iowa Code chapter 602) 
  • Advocated for full funding of the Iowa Judicial Branch before the General Assembly
  • Advocated for service dollars for Juvenile Court Services before the General Assembly 
  • Secured full appropriation for the state share of the Polk County Justice Center 
  • Developed and implemented grassroots strategies for the Iowa Judicial Branch 
  • Proposed a redraft of Iowa Code section 16.92 (Mortgage Release), which was passed unanimously by both chambers and signed by the Governor
  • Was part of the team that advanced legislation that ultimately led to massive reform related to juvenile court records