Weekly updated for July 8, 2019

In last Monday’s email, we asked you to spend time reflecting on why you do the movement work you do. 

I had some time to do that myself and was reminded that there are two sides to every coin.

As we celebrated independence, we also must recognize the land we live on is stolen land, unceded by indigenous people. As many of us enjoyed a little extra time off for the 4th of July, many more people did not. We recognize this country was built on slavery and exploitation of immigrant labor, and that a handful of very wealthy individuals continues to profit off the labor of poor and working class people. 

And even as we celebrate the US Women’s Soccer victory, we also must recognize the gender-based systemic oppressions that show up in their story and in the stories of other women and gender nonconforming people, including pay inequity, and unpaid labor.

So we are called to this work for many reasons and we recognize that all our struggles are linked. We take comfort that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice”, and our work is to grab hold of that arc and help it on its way. 

Read on for ways to grab hold in the coming weeks. 

Take Action

Show up to support banning racial profiling in Des Moines

The Des Moines Human & Civil Rights Commission will meet this Thursday to report on the City Council’s response to our calls for a racial profiling ordinance. 

The Commission meets Thursday, July 11, 2019 at 4:30pm in the Richard A. Clark Municipal Center located at 1551 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Pkwy, Des Moines, IA 50315.

This is such an important fight. We need a policing system that builds our communities, not tears them apart. It has been tough to get the city to agree to an ordinance with the teeth big enough to affect the system. 

That’s why we’ve been showing up to meetings, sending letters, and calling our City Councilmembers for over a year. We need an ordinance with teeth. The proposal we developed with hundreds of community members would: 

–  Ban racial profiling
–  Prohibit pretextual stops (when officers stop a car for one reason but then use it to investigate something else)
–  Make data collection and disclosure on all Des Moines police traffic stops mandatory
–  Create a citizens’ review board to review resident complaints
–  Require implicit bias and de-escalation training for police
–  Make marijuana possession the lowest law enforcement priority for Des Moines police

We won’t back down until we get the changes we need for our communities!

Don’t let debt stifle rural progress toward 100% renewable energy 

Are you are a member of a rural electric cooperative (REC) in Iowa? Did you know that many RECs are locked into long term contracts with coal power contracts? In many cases, these contracts are preventing RECs from transitioning to renewable energy for their members. 

As we transition our world to one that works with environmental systems, not against them, we can act to get RECs freed from ties with coal.

Check out this article in The Cedar Rapids Gazette to learn more. And contact our climate organizer Matt (matto@iowacci.org) if you’re an REC member and are interested in finding out if your REC is locked into a coal contract.

Sunrise Seth needs a homestay

The Sunrise Movement is the national youth-led group which has been bringing the Green New Deal into national conversation over the last year. CCI co-hosted a town hall with Sunrise at Drake University back in April, which brought 450 people together with lots of energy to push for action on the climate crisis.  

Sunrise is setting up a movement house in Iowa later this summer where 6-7 young people will live and work through the 2020 elections. These young people will be working to engage voters on climate justice issues . Sunrise has recently hired Seth Woody as state director, who will direct the work of the movement house folks.

Seth is looking for temporary housing for himself until he gets the movement house set up and ready to operate. 

Would you be willing to let Seth stay at your house for 1-2 weeks? Do you have an extra room he could use? We’re hoping to line up several CCI families that he can stay with while he’s working to get the movement house set up.

Email cciaction@cciaction.org if you have room for Seth this summer.

Blow the whistle on beach closings

Clean water is a human right – to drink, to cook with, to play in. It’s not right that industrial agriculture has made our water unsafe to enjoy on this very hot upcoming weekend when many of us want to boat, fish, and swim.

And as the Iowa DNR continues to change its policies about beach closings and testing, it can be hard to know what beaches are safe.

Keep your eyes peeled for beach postings, share them on social media and tag us, or send photos to us at iowacci@iowacci.org. We have voices to speak out when we are injured. Lifting up how we are hurt when we cannot use our public waterways helps make the issue of clean water more visible and keeps everyone safe! 

Help us poster the town!

Our 2019 People’s Voice convention is now less than a month away! Next week we’ll need help to get posters up in Des Moines, Ames, Iowa City, and all over the state. 

Call the office or send us an email with your location and we’ll set you up with a pack of posters to hang.

It really helps get the word out, so call us at 515-282-0484 or email cciaction@cciaction.org. 

More events

A (*) denotes events sponsored by CCI.

*July 11, 4:30pm – Des Moines Human & Civil Rights Commission Meeting in the Richard A. Clark Municipal Center located at 1551 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Pkwy, Des Moines

*July 27 – The People’s Voice – CCI Action Annual Convention – register and read more here

*September 21 – The Iowa People’s Presidential Forum – RSVP here

Are you ready to make your voice heard?

We believe in an Iowa where every person lives a joyful, healthy, fulfilling life—regardless of where they live, what they look like, or what their background is. But, we know our communities are under constant pressure and attack from extreme weather events spurred by climate change, factory farms, over policing, and lack of healthcare.

We’re tired of hearing our health, our water, and our lives must be compromised or balanced with the industries willing to trade those things for profit. We’re ready to tell a new story and write a new future. Are you?

Join us Saturday, July 27! 

What We’re Reading

A collection of current links from CCI members and staff.

– State Auditor Rob Sand warned the Iowa Department of Human Services on June 26 that service cuts to two quadriplegic Iowans indicate that Amerigroup and UnitedHealthcare “have failed to comply” with their state contracts. Read more on Bleeding Heartland 

– The farm debt crisis of the 1980s never completely went away and has now resurfaced with a vengeance. U.S. agriculture needs a 21st century New Deal. Read more on theconversation.com

– Iowa protestors continue to demand an end to detention centers at the U.S.-Mexico border. Read more on KCCI.com.

– Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal—who favors creating a national single-payer system that ensures healthcare as a human right for all Americans—responded critically on Saturday to 2020 presidential primary front-runner Joe Biden’s recent comments about labor unions and employer-based health insurance. Read more on CommonDreams.org.

Thanks for all you do. Hope to see you at one of these great upcoming events! 

Adam Mason
State Policy Organizing Director

P.S. This cartoon is on point:

Via seedsofunity: “Your tweet, your rant, your creative or academic work, no matter how eloquent or correct cannot have a social impact unless it’s tied to organization. Build unity and organization with your neighbors, your coworkers, classmates so that we can build the power to alter this reality. Cartoon from the New Yorker.”

This is CCI Action’s newsletter, send on Mondays or Fridays. Get news and updates on ways to take action in Iowa on issues like Medicare for All, racial justice, environmental justice by joining our newsletter.

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