In a rare turn of events, Rep. Rod Blum will be holding four town hall meetings next week in the 1St Congressional District.

Here’s the details:

  • May 8th at 7pm: Dubuque Senior High School Nora Gym, 1800 Clarke Drive, Dubuque
  • May 9th at 7pm: Kirkwood Community College Johnson Hall Gym, 6301 Kirkwood Boulevard SW, Cedar Rapids
  • May 10th at 7pm: Cedar Falls High School Gym, 1015 Division Street, Cedar Falls
  • May 11th at 12pm: Marshalltown Community College Babe Harder Gym, 3700 South Center Street, Marshalltown

Rep. Rod Blum has been avoiding his constituents like the plague, but finally emerged to hold some town halls in the district. But not without quite a few requirements from you (**ie, read this**):

  • You must register for the town hall at https://blum.house.gov/townhall
  • You must bring a photo ID, if your photo ID does not reflect your current 1st District address, please bring a utility bill or statement reflecting your current 1st District address along with your photo ID.
  • Information listed on ID must match the information provided on RSVP.
  • Children under 16 will be admitted without ID but still require RSVP.
  • Doors will open 60 minutes prior to events
  • No backpacks, signs, banners, or artificial noisemakers will be allowed into the event.

Attend a town hall and ask a question about issues you care about the most!

>>Also, we’ve heard that Medicaid and SNAP benefits (also known as food stamps) could be on the chopping block during this Congress.

If you’re able to meet Rep. Blum’s stringent requirements to exercise democracy, ask if he stands with his constituents or big money corporations that prioritize profits over our health and safety.

For more information or to run a question past us just shoot us an email or give us a call the office at 515-282-0484!

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Letter to the Editor Printed in the Des Moines Register 4/15/2017

President Donald Trump is violating our country’s basic democratic principle of transparency — and Rep. David Young is helping him get away with it.

During a February town hall, Rep. Young told us that when “you run for president, you’re president, you should release your tax returns. It’s a distraction and I think the American people should know.” Yet just a few days later, Rep. Young went back to Washington and voted against a resolution that would force Trump to release his tax returns from the past 10 years.

Rep. Young’s two-faced position on Trump’s tax returns is cynical even for a politician — and dangerous for our democracy. One of the most important constitutional responsibilities of Congress is to serve as a check on the president. Yet, despite the fact that the FBI is investigating the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, Rep. Young won’t stand up and ensure that the American people have a full understanding of their president’s potential conflicts of interest.

The American people need a full and complete picture of Trump’s income and investments to know all the possible ways he could make money off the presidency. That’s why I’ll be joining the Des Moines Tax March on Saturday, April 15. Our leaders — starting with Trump and Rep. Young — are accountable to the American people. Instead of hiding the truth and working in the shadows, Rep. Young should stand with his constituents and demand that Trump immediately release his tax returns.

— Adam Mason, State Policy Organizing Director at Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement

 

FIND A TAX MARCH NEAR YOU: https://taxmarch.org/local-marches/

 

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Senators Grassley and Ernst will be holding town hall meetings on April 18 and April 20.

Town halls are a great opportunity to raise our issues and hold elected officials accountable back home in their districts. It’s our job to remind them that they work for we the people, not big corporations and Wall St. that want to cut our safety net to line their already wealthy pockets.

Sen. Ernst’s town hall will be Tuesday, April 18:

  • 1pm: Wall Lake Community Center, 101 Boyer St, Wall Lake

Sen. Grassley’s two town halls will be:

  • Tuesday, April 18: 2:30pm at Keokuk County Courthouse, 101 S. Main St., Sigourney
  • Thursday, April 20: 10am at Iowa State Bank, 500 Audubon St., Sac City

Attend a town hall and ask a question about issues you care about the most!  We’ve heard that Medicaid and SNAP benefits (also known as food stamps) could be on the chopping block during this Congress.  Here’s a few talking points if you’re able to ask a question on one of these issues:

  • Our Medicaid should be controlled by us, it is here to take care of our family, friends, and neighbors, it should not exist to line the pockets of private corporations with our tax dollars.
  • The average monthly SNAP benefit in Iowa is $108 dollars and for every dollar spent on SNAP, it generates $1.80 in economic activity in the state.
  • Block-granting these programs doesn’t provide “flexibility” to states – it’s a benefit cut.  Block granting eliminates the ability for these programs to respond to increased need that results from rising poverty and unemployment during economic downturns.

For more information or to run a question past us, call the office at 515-282-0484!

Next Monday, March 20 – two of the biggest issues we are fighting at the Statehouse will see action at three metro-area city council meetings.

It’s critical that we mobilize our members to pressure the city councils in Ankeny, Des Moines, and West Des Moines to stand with everyday people, not corporate power.

Can you attend one of these meetings next Monday?

  • Ankeny’s city council is trying to opt out of Polk County’s increased minimum wage ordinance that goes into effect April 1. Essentially they’ll vote on lowering wages. That’s not right; living wages are good for everyone. We’re meeting at 5 pm at City Hall – details and RSVP here
  • Des Moines City Council (thanks to your pressure) will take a public vote on support for HF 484, the bad corporate-power grab bill to dismantle Des Moines Water Works. We want them to stand with ratepayers – NOT Farm Bureau who is playing politics with our precious water. We’re meeting at 4:30 at the *new/temporary* council location – details and RSVP here
  • West Des Moines city council will review their potential support of HF 484, the bill to dismantle DMWW, for the first time. We’re meeting at 5 pm at City Hall – details and RSVP here

 

Today, CCI members celebrate as Black Hawk County becomes the 5th Iowa county taking proactive steps forwards in raising the wage across the state.

The Black Hawk County Board of Supervisors voted on January 31st  to establish a task force to look into raising the minimum wage. The measure was approved 4-1, with only Supervisor Linda Laylin voting against creating the task force. With this vote Black Hawk County has the potential to join Johnson, Linn, and Polk Counties in passing a county-wide minimum wage increase.

This vote by the Supervisors comes as some state legislators discuss introducing and passing a minimum wage preemption bill. A preemption bill would strip Iowa counties of local control of the minimum wage in their communities and lower wages in counties that have already passed ordinances back down to the state and federal level of $7.25/hr.

The Black Hawk County Supervisors are acting on the minimum wage issue for the same reason other counties across the state have – lack of initiative by the state legislature and growing poverty in their communities. “The simple fact of the matter is the federal and state governments haven’t acted since 2007, and we have folks living here with stagnant wages. Low wages keep Black Hawk County residents in poverty and out of home ownership, which lowers the property tax revenue for the county,” said Supervisor Schwartz.

Next steps

Each Supervisor will have the opportunity to appoint two members to the task force. A timeline for the task force has not been laid out yet, but some Supervisors on the board encouraged Supervisors to make their appointments within two weeks.

Congratulations to the residents of Black Hawk County on this first step towards a living wage! As the taskforce moves forward on raising the wage, we’ll continue to keep you updated on ways YOU can plug into this fight.

Learn more:

Join the Fight!

  • Ready to take action? Contact us to learn how to get actively involved in this fight. !Hablamos español!
  • Join as an Iowa CCI member
  • Sign up for our email Action List
  • Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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We have an exciting win for worker justice in Iowa to share with you!

After four months of organizing, nearly 30 workers voted YES to join the DMI American Postal Workers Union (APWU) Local 44.

In July, a group of workers from PAE in Urbandale came to Iowa CCI to organize and improve their working environment. PAE – a subcontractor for the US Postal Service – was cutting benefits, freezing wages, increasing production rates, and retaliating against long-time employees.

A group of 18 workers – mostly women, mostly Latina – met weekly to develop organizing strategies to take back their workplace. Week after week more workers joined with us.

We teamed up with DMI APWU Local 44 organizers in Des Moines to prepare workers to take all the necessary steps to form a union – the most powerful move to secure worker rights and fair treatment.

Last Friday afternoon, they officially won their union in a HUGE landslide vote!

It’s been exciting to see the courage of these workers who – true to CCI style – aren’t ones to stand by and just let things happen. They talked, they acted and they got things done – making their workplace better for all.

In the battle for an economy that truly works for everyone, not just the wealthy few, I think you’ll agree that this is an exciting win. And, the work has just begun. Stay tuned as these workers negotiate – and win – their first union contract.

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