In The News

Weekly Update for March 22, 2019

Happy Spring! That means warmer weather, more rain (and flooding), and more debate at the Iowa Statehouse. Our hearts go out to communities reeling from the widespread flood devastation. It’s a reminder of the power of nature and, unfortunately, of what is becoming a new normal. Many Nebraska and Iowa farmers are already at a disadvantage because they’re close to the financial breaking point. The price tag for this catastrophic record flooding in the Midwest will likely be over $1 billion when agricultural losses are included, according to some experts.   And, things are made worse by the toxic combination of flood waters and factory farms. You’ve been sending and sharing images that show how this flooding future and factory farms don’t mix.    Members in Story Co. have images of flooded fields where a 5,000-head hog factory and manure pit will be built. Some of these fields drain into a creek behind Story County homes...

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How did your legislator vote on the new Ag-gag bill?

Take a look at the voting records from the House and the Senate:

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How can we use the caucuses to push for what we need?

We’re getting a bad case of caucus fever! Here’s why: we as Iowans have more power than anyone in the country to make bold policy solutions politically possible. For the next year, the eyes of the nation will be on our state. Candidates will be angling for our support, the press will be tracking every local story, and voters across the country will hear about our interactions with candidates. That’s why we see it as our duty to seize the amazing opportunity of the 2020 caucuses to push for the policies we need, like: The Green New Deal Medicare for All A Factory Farm Moratorium But we need your help to think through how exactly we make the most of this opportunity. That’s why we’re holding meetings with CCI Action members around the state, including in your community!  All the details are below. Please RSVP here to let us know you can make it! 2020 Caucus Strategy Session6:30pm-8pm, Tuesday,...

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Weekly Update: March 8 – First Funnel!

The first funnel frenzy at the Iowa Statehouse has passed.Today marks the deadline when a bill must pass out of at least one committee to be eligible for further debate. That means many of our People and Planet First priorities are technically done for the session. But the week didn’t pass without some big push back.  A bill being backed by the Iowa Farm Bureau – House File 542 and Senate File 548 (formerly Senate Study Bill 1221) – met tough opposition when over 200 everyday folks turned out to pack sub-committee and committee hearings on the bill. These bills would end some of the critical programs that help individuals and local governments move land into conservation. Why is Iowa Farm Bureau pushing this? (Don’t they love tax breaks and voluntary incentives for programs?) The truth is Farm Bureau won’t be happy until every acre in Iowa is being mined for everything it can produce, and programs like these – that support conservation – are a threat...

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Legislative Update for February 22, 2019

Things are picking up at the Iowa Statehouse. Bills are being introduced (over 100 on Thursday alone), sub-committees and committees are starting to meet, discuss, and debate, and groups are holding their lobby days (see our “Attend an Event” section below). Our bill establishing a single-payer healthcare system for Iowa was introduced (House File 96)! Here are a few more GOOD bills that caught our eye this week: Establishing a “Crude-Oil Fee” on pipelines (like DAPL) to help cover the costs of future spills (House File 44);Establishing Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) for food (House File 58);Getting rid of Iowa’s (Steve King’s) “English Only” law (House File 70) and introducing an Iowa Dream Act (House File 101);Several bills expanding voting (electronic registration, automatic registration, vote-by-mail, and restoring voting rights);Repealing Iowa’s pre-emption of local wage and worker ordinances...

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Weekly Update: Feb. 22, 2019

What a week! Yesterday, I got to spend the day with 75 clean water fighters at the Capitol. It was great to stand beside so many people, from across the state, to lobby for our shared future.  Our big push of the day was lobbying for House File 203, our factory farm moratorium bill. Together we lobbied over 15 key legislators and held a press rally with two of our bill sponsors and Des Moines Water Works’ Bill Stowe. And, over 100 of you weighed in from home by calling Rep. Dean Fisher (R- Tama Co) asking him to assign HF 203 to a sub-committee. Thank you!  Tuesday was a big day for members in Story County. In the afternoon, we supported Story Co. Supervisor’s appeal of a factory farm permit before the DNR’s Environmental Protection Commission (EPC). In the evening, 150 of you turned out to a meeting where the Board of Supervisors voted to become the 25th county in the state to pass a resolution calling for changes to how Iowa...

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Find a legislative forum in your area

Throughout the session, usually on Saturdays, state legislators hold short meetings (or “coffees”) with constituents in their home districts. This is an important space to engage with your legislator face-to-face, raise up issues important to you, and call on them to stand on the side of the people.

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Sample bird dogging questions for candidates

What is bird dogging? Presidential candidates are flocking to Iowa to court our vote. But where do they stand on our issues? Bird dogging candidates is an effective way to find out where they stand on the issues and shape the national debate. Read this guide by Matthew Covington and let the bird dogging begin! 1. Will you support the Green New Deal? Catastrophic climate change is rapidly destroying our climate, and the clock is ticking. With leading reports saying we have less than 12 years to address this global problem, the Green New Deal is a bold framework for us to start tackling the problem head on. We want a 100% just transition (100% renewable energy for 100% of the people), a jobs guarantee, and we want the Green New Deal to include rural communities and ag as part of the solution. 2. Will you support a moratorium on factory farms and stronger oversight of “big Ag” for clean water? Iowa is deep within a water crisis – we have 750 impaired waterways...

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What is bird dogging?

Presidential candidates are flocking to Iowa to court our vote. But where do they stand on our issues? Bird dogging candidates is an effective way to find out where they stand on the issues and shape the national debate. Read this guide and let the bird dogging begin! When you’re ready, we have three starter bird dogging questions to take to your next event. What is bird dogging? To bird dog something means to seek out, to follow and watch carefully. When used in the context of campaigning, it means to seek out and attend candidate events and ask them specific questions on key issues you care about. The beauty of bird dogging: Imagine the impact we could have if candidates are hearing the same questions multiple times from hundreds of people. By raising the same issue at multiple campaign events, we can get candidates to address our issues. And, when candidates address our issues, it is more likely that media and other Iowans will pick up on it as well. By bird...

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Weekly Updates for February 15, 2019

Things really picked up this week at the Statehouse. With three weeks until the first funnel, we saw more than 1,000 files and study bills introduced. Among the issues legislators are looking at over the next few weeks are traffic cameras, sports betting, and those nasty Medicaid and SNAP work requirements we told you about last week. Yesterday, a team of members were at the Capitol to weigh in on the work requirement bills during the subcommittee meeting. The results: we found that Republican legislators pushing the bills didn’t understand them or the impact they could have. Even the corporate lobbyist from Opportunity Solutions Project (a right wing think tank from Florida) couldn’t explain how the bill would function as law or how many people it would affect.  Notice what’s missing on the above list of bills? Ending privatized Medicaid and getting profits out of healthcare, a moratorium on factory farms or anything to do with clean water, and...

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