Hundreds protest corporate Branstad agenda

Kicking the legislative session off in a people-powered way

Starting with Hugh’s great op-ed on Monday, our action-packed day at the Capitol yesterday helped kick-off the legislative session in a people-powerful way.

Three hundred family farmers, retired teachers, students, organized workers, and everyday people from all walks of life mobilized to provide the needed counterweight to the corporate agenda Gov. Branstad laid out in his “Condition of the State” address.

Joined by our friends from the Iowa Federation of Labor, Iowa AFSCME, and the Iowa Teamsters, we lifted up a “People First” agenda that promotes good government that puts the common good before corporate greed.

Our “Money Out, People In:  Kickoff at the Capitol” highlights:

  • Hundreds of Iowans standing together. This year we asked attendees to write down their vision for Iowa and displayed it for all to see in the Capitol rotunda. Click here to see what your fellow members had to say.
  • Hallways lined on both sides with Iowans chanting “put people first” all the way from when  Branstad exited his ceremonial office all the way to the doors of the House chambers where he made his speech.
  • New Senate President Pam Jochum headlining our rally where CCI and union leaders delivered rebuttal to Gov. Branstad’s address.
  • Productive meetings with key legislators from both parties, including:
    • Department of Management Director David Roederer on the state budget;
    • Health and Human Services Committee Budget Subcommittee chair, Senator Jack Hatch on expanding Medicaid;
    • Agriculture and Natural Resources Budget Subcommitee chair, Representative Jack Drake on DNR funding and factory farm enforcement;
    • Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Joe Seng on DNR funding and factory farm enforcement;;
    • Senate State Government Committee chair Jeff Danielson on stopping voter disenfranchisement efforts;
    • Senate Education Committee Chair Herman Quirmbach on a corporate tax transparency bill;
    • House Labor Committee Chair Greg Forristall on cracking down on wage theft and funding more Workforce Development inspectors; and
    • Senate Ways and Means Committee chair Joe Bolkcom.
  • Members packed the DNR’s Environmental Protection Commission meeting and gave some of the most moving, powerful testimony about the impacts of factory farms I’ve ever heard, right before the commission voted to approve a new “hands-off” rule proposed by the Iowa Association of Business and Industry to weaken enforcement of environmental laws (a vote we, unfortunatley, expected).

I really liked what Iowa City member Bryson Dean had to say near the end of the day:

“You’ve got to show up. You’ve got to show up and let them know that you’re watching and paying attention to what they’re doing. It’s so important.”

We learned a lot from the day. We know there’s a lot of work to be done pushing good bills and blocking bad ones. We’ll continue to have a strong presence throughout the session.

Next steps

Starting Monday we’ll be sending weekly legislative updates on issues you care about with ways your call or email can have the biggest impact. Sign up for our email updates today.

But today, I hope you’ll click here to see photo highlights from the day and chip in $20 (or more if possible) to help ensure a needed people’s voice on issues you care about at the Statehouse this session.

Thanks for all you do.

 

Join the fight

  • Contact us for more information
  • Join as an Iowa CCI Action Fund member today or chip in $20 to support our organizing on this issue.
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