An almost endorsement and a candidate forum

The Iowa CCI Action Fund has been up and running for nearly three years.

In our work to drive the public debate towards populist “people before profits, communities before corporations” policies and actions we decided it was high time to jump into the political arena in exciting ways.

The first place we wanted to explore was endorsing a candidate. So, we screened the candidates in the Senate-District 17 (SD-17) race. SD-17, formerly of Jack Hatch and a Democratic stronghold, is politically progressive: a good fit.

Iowa CCI Action Fund members decided it was time to find a progressive champion to continue representing SD-17. We were interested in candidates that lined up with us on the issues and shared our vision for a people first Iowa. A team of Iowa CCI Action Fund members met with each candidate individually. Next, the candidates met with groups of members that represented all of Iowa. Candidates were asked where they stood on the issues, their plan to win, and made sure if they were elected, they would co-govern with us.

Members voted. Neither candidate received a majority. This meant we could not endorse. But, SD-17 was still on our radar.

A candidate forum was the next step. We held the SD-17 Candidate Forum with the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). All three candidates were invited: Bisignano, Blake, and Chiodo. Chiodo said he could not attend because of a scheduling conflict.

About 80 folks attended – standing room only! “The forum was well attended, organized, and was issue-oriented. The issues need to be the focus and not personal attacks,” said CCI Action Fund member Barb Lang.

Bisignano and Blake agreed Iowa needs to abolish English as the state’s official language, provide more help for immigrant children in school, offer in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants raised in Iowa, allow undocumented immigrants to obtain Iowa driver’s licenses, end wage theft, increase wages for Iowa workers, and improve the quality of Iowa’s water.

Cheers to that!

These forums allow us to get more to the point and to say when a candidate is right or wrong. We want to impact the political process so that more candidates are running on our issues, more elected officials are governing as they campaign, and the work we do in elections sets ourselves up for bigger wins on our issues. This is an incredibly exciting step forward. We’re on our way.

Are you interested in holding a candidate forum locally this summer or fall? Contact Adam at, or 515.282.0484.


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