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Weekly Update for March 22, 2019

Ways to take action for clean water, climate action, and racial justice in Iowa 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...

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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 issues...

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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...

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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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More power grabs from utility companies are on the way

Iowa’s two largest, for-profit, monopoly energy utilities, MidAmerican Energy and Alliant Energy, are at it again.  There are already two greedy utility power-grab proposals in the works at the Iowa Statehouse. The first: Senate Study Bill 1036 (SSB 1036) This bill aims to undermine the independence and expertise of the Iowa Attorney General’s Office of Consumer Advocate (OCA). The OCA are the people’s lawyers. They work to represent us – Iowa utility customers – on utility costs and provide oversight on Iowa’s monopoly utilities. Utilities don’t like OCA’s oversight power – or any oversight, really – as it can get in the way of their policy attempts to line their already deep profit pockets.I encourage you to give Bleeding Heartland’s coverage of SSB 1036 a read: Key GOP lawmaker seeking to gut Iowa’s consumer advocate. In...

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