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The People’s Voice: The convention is over but our activism is not.

From left to right: Shundrea Trotty, Patty Lovera, Varshini Prakash, and Sarita Gupta discuss the importance of grassroots politics and their optimism for the future. DES MOINES, IA – Hundreds of members of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement Action Fund (CCI) gathered downtown on Saturday to participate in CCI’s 2019 annual convention, The People’s Voice. The convention brought together existing and new members to hear from an all-female panel discussion. Leaders in caregiving, anti-factory farms, climate, and racial justice discussed the importance of these issues and offered ways people can take action and deepen our grassroots activism. “We must rely on people, not politicians and corporations, to make a positive change,” said Varshini Prakash, co-founder of the Sunrise Movement. “During the Great Depression one year saw two million people protest and 400,000 workers strike for a day or more. We need that kind of social...

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Weekly Update for March 29, 2019

It’s been a BIG WEEK! Monday: Leaders from our Racial Justice team turned out more than 100 people to pack the Des Moines City Council meeting to keep pushing our ordinance to ban racial profiling by the DMPD. Wednesday: We sued the state of Iowa for failing to protect our rivers, lakes and streams from factory farms and corporate monopolies that run our food systems and continue to pollute our water. This week: Presidential hopefuls also weighed in on the future of agriculture, with Senator Warren setting forth a proposal to break up big ag and Senator Sanders publishing an op-ed promising to fight for farmers. Their announcements come in advance of Saturday’s presidential forum in Storm Lake. People’s voices – through the forum, Iowa’s role in the caucus, and your bird-dogging – are making these candidates speak about issues we care about. We need to continue to push all of the candidates to include a moratorium on factory...

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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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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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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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