WHEN:   April 14, 2012, 10 am-4 pm

WHERE: Des Moines Central Library

WHY:      Because we need a movement of fearless truth tellers

 

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LINKS:     Logistics      Agenda      Speakers      Buzz

Información en Español

Community, faith, and labor organizations from around the country are calling for a renewed movement of direct action targeting the nation’s most abusive corporations.

We’re calling it the 99% Spring.

The 99% Spring was launched Feb. 15 with this letter signed by over 40 movement leaders and organizations.

This movement will launch in Iowa on April 14. We will join 100,000 people who will gather together across the country that week for a series of trainings, teach-ins, and direct action.

In the spirit of the freedom schools of the civil rights movement and the roving lecturers of the populist movement, we will train ourselves in a new vision for our economy and in the practice of non-violent direct action as a means of realizing this vision.

There is no road to a fair economy and true democracy that does not include going toe-to-toe with abusive corporations.

RSVP online today or contact us at 515-255-0800.

**lunch will be available for $10/person**

 

These Iowans are ready for April 14. Are you?

 

“All social movements in history – from biblical times, to the suffragettes, to the labor movement, to the civil rights – have two things in common: everyday people taking big risks in their own lives and massive non-violent resistance.”

-Nationally-known labor organizer Stephen Lerner to the packed room of CCI members (left) March 14.

 

 

SHARE THE NEWS of this exciting event with your networks by clicking “Like” or “Tweet” below. #99Spring

Salvador Lara’s story has been gaining attention throughout the state with several newspaper articles and hundreds of phone calls and letters on his behalf.  It has brought attention the dark side of President Obama’s immigration program “Secure Communities” and the need for the DREAM Act and humane immigration reform.

Two newspapers ran feature articles:

Times Republican: Support for Salvador: Friends back MHS grad facing deportation

Des Moines Register: Scores in Marshalltown back illegal immigrant who faces big price for a small crime

The Des Moines Register wrote a great staff editorial:

[box] People like Lara show need for reform

He came to U.S. as a child but now faces deportation

Salvador Lara was 14 when his sister brought him to Iowa from the streets of Mexico City.

He didn’t realize he was here illegally. Even children who do understand their immigration status likely don’t understand the implications for the future.

They attend school and play sports and earn money mowing lawns. They go about the business of childhood just like their peers. Then they grow up. And things get more complicated.

You need to prove your identity to move forward in life. Without proper documentation, like a Social Security card or birth certificate, you cannot get some jobs or a driver’s permit or financial aid for college. You realize you have to lie to build any kind of normal life. You tolerate being wronged by landlords or employers or neighbors because you don’t want to come to anyone’s attention.

Though you consider the United States your home, you are forced to live in the shadows as an adult. The fear of deportation always hangs over your head.

Salvador Lara, now 25, has lived in Marshalltown since coming to the U.S.. He is now in the Marshall County Jail facing deportation to Mexico.

His story, recently detailed on the front page of The Des Moines Register, is yet another example of the devastation caused by this country’s immigration laws and Congress’ refusal to enact reform.

Changing immigration law isn’t only about providing people a legal way to enter the United States and work. It’s not just about patrolling the border to catch those sneaking across. It’s about creating a path for people brought to this country illegally as children to gain legal status and remain.

Many Washington lawmakers say they sympathize with people like Lara. Unfortunately, they don’t support policies to help them. The U.S. government has, in some ways, made matters worse with initiatives like Secure Communities.

The program allows police to compare the fingerprints of people in local jails against a federal immigration database. Public support is widespread when people with extensive criminal records are nabbed.

But Lara wasn’t a felon. He didn’t have a lengthy record. Instead, he was charged with fifth-degree theft after he picked up and kept a money bag that he found in a parking lot.

He was fined $85. But he was snared by the Secure Communities program. Now he waits to join the nearly 170,000 other people in this country who have been deported since the program’s inception.

More than 150 people in Marshalltown have written letters or called immigration authorities on Lara’s behalf. His high school teachers remember him as a leader dedicated to learning English. He’s been a soccer coach and a caregiver for a dying family member and has worked in restaurants.

He said he refused to buy fake papers to help him get a job in a meatpacking plant because he didn’t want to steal anyone’s identity. “If you’re going to commit a crime to get a job, I’d rather not do it,” he said.

Being deported means he will have to leave his family and the country he knows best and go back to Mexico, where he says he doesn’t have family.

Lara is not a bad person. He is yet another example of why humane and sensible immigration reform is overdue.

– Des Moines Register Staff Editorial, March 2, 2012 [/box]

 

Pass these stories on to your friends and family! They are good examples of why we need human immigration reform, not unforgiving enforcement-only programs.

We have some good news for you!

Local factory farm owner Ryan Roberts officially withdrew his plans to expand his KK Finishers – Penn Township – factory farm site.  This win comes after a month of hard work. Members worked together to organize opposition, expose the problems with his plan and move the county supervisors to ultimately vote to deny the site.

Here is just some of what local Iowa CCI members did:

  • In December we had great attendance at the first public hearing with the supervisors on the two proposed Robertson factory farm sites.
  • We got the County Supervisors to re-score the matrix for one of the sites based on problems we identified.
  • We held a meeting with top DNR officials who agreed to look into our concerns about “double dipping”  on  their manure management plans on the Brighton Finisher site.
  • The supervisors listened to us and removed “points” on the matrix application for Robertson’s KK Finishers site, essentially ensuring that the application will be rejected.

Working with all of you in Jefferson County has really reminded me of what I love about Iowa CCI – everyday people, refusing to sit back and let things happen. That, paired with the organizing assistance and research assistance members get from our staff, is a powerful force that can’t be beaten!

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement has a long history of working with local communities, like yours, to stop factory farm construction and working at the state and national level to put people and our environment before factory farm polluters.

Massive principal reduction beyond the scope of Miller’s settlement is needed

 

Iowa AG Tom Miller announced today the end of his investigation into the mortgage and foreclosure practices of the largest mortgage servicers. This settlement is the first step in what is shaping up to be a long fight to stabilize the economy through massive principal reduction.

While many are giving this settlement a glowing review, we know it is a drop in the bucket compared to the ongoing mortgage crisis – and is chump change compared to the excessive bonus pool of these same big banks.

Despite its flaws, the settlement announced today is stronger than it would have otherwise been thanks to direct pressure from grassroots groups across the country – like you.

Here’s our breakdown of the AG settlement, agreed to by 49 out of 50 state Attorneys General (Oklahoma being the only holdout):

The Good:

  • The settlement does not release the banks from criminal prosecution, and NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s investigation into financial fraud will be able to move forward. Iowa CCI and the New Bottom Line have been fighting to keep options for future investigations open for a long time.

The Bad:

  • Homeowners who were victims of wrongful foreclosures will receive just $2,000. Compared to what these families lost and continued to struggle with today, this really isn’t much.

The Ugly:

  • The principal reduction piece of this settlement is very, very small. The banks here have committed to just $17 billion in principal reduction. Compared to the $700 billion underwater mortgage problem, this is absolutely minuscule.

What comes next?

The housing market isn’t going to reset itself, and if the housing market isn’t reset we won’t see any real economic recovery for a long time.  We will continue to:

  • Be a part of the nationwide fight for massive principal reduction – at least $300 billion. Read our Iowa Underwater report to learn how principal reductions are a win/win for everyone.
  • Confront corporate power at the big banks’ shareholder meetings this spring.
  • Keep pressure on President Obama and AG Schneiderman’s investigation to make sure they do the right thing as well.

This is an important fight, and the future of homeownership in America and the stability of our local economies will depend on what happens in the next few months.

Be a part of the movement for an economy that works for all – join as an Iowa CCI member today!

Keep checking this website for more information, and click “Like” and “Tweet” below to spread our message far and wide!

 

Salvador Lara came to the United States when he was 14 years old to live with his sister’s family in Marshalltown, Iowa, and has been an active member of his community ever since.

He was detained by ICE two weeks ago in Marshalltown, Iowa and is being held in Marshall County Jail. If Salvador was deported he would have no family and no community to go back to.

Last year the Obama Administration directed Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to make deportations of young people who could qualify for the DREAM Act a low priority.

ICE Director John Morton needs to hear that Salvador Lara’s community and future is here in the United States and he should not be deported!

Salvador needs your help!

Join others in calling to John Morton, Director of ICE and tell him to follow Obama’s directive and not deport Salvador.

 

Iowa CCI supports the DREAM Act – a bill that would give immigrant students the opportunity to study and work in the United States. Salvador was an active leader of CCI’s Dream Team. He met with Senator Grassley and other legislators and engaged his peers to support the DREAM Act in 2010. Instead of deportation, young immigrants with full potential like Salvador should be able to further their education and use their skills to improve our communities. For more information on the DREAM Act, click here.

More about Salvador:

Salvador lives with his sister’s family in Marshalltown, Iowa and is an important part of his nieces and nephews’ lives. He went to Marshalltown High School and after graduation attended Marshalltown Community College until his family could not afford to send him to school anymore.

After leaving college Salvador continued to be an active member of the Marshalltown community. He volunteers his time to coach 6th through 8th grade soccer teams at the local school and also volunteered at the Marshalltown Public Library. He worked with Latina girls to form the first all-latina soccer team in Marshalltown by helping them raise money for uniforms and coach the team.

Your calls will make the difference!

Click here to make the call

 

Calls are faster and more effective, so please make a call. Once you’ve made the call please contact us by emailing Ruth Schultz at ruth @ iowacci.org so we can track how many calls we’ve generated.

 

If you would like to write a letter send it to:

Director John Morton

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

500 12th St., SW

Washington, D.C. 20536

 

Please spread far and wide with your friends on facebook, twitter, and through email!

A new and exciting campaign is being launched this week across the country.

It is no secret that the largest corporations in the country – the Wells Fargos, the Wal-Marts, and the Verizons – are undermining our democracy, poisoning our environment and widening the gap between rich and poor.

The question is, are you ready to do something more to confront corporate power? Something big. Something that will take all of us.

Iowa CCI is joining with thousands of workers, retirees, families fighting foreclosure, the unemployed, students, immigrants and environmentalists to confront abusive corporate power head on. This is an unprecedented group of national organizing networks coming together to demand corporate accountability at shareholder meetings this spring.

Our demands are precise and simple: corporations must pay their fair share of taxes, treat workers fairly, provide principal reduction to protect homeowners, pledge to keep money out of the election, and shift investments away from abusive private prisons and fossil fuels and into job creation and renewable energy.

Will you pledge to be a part of building this movement of and for the 99 percent?

This week is just the beginning. We have the rare opportunity to create a powerful shift in our country. It’s a “go big or go home” moment, and I say let’s go big together. There is a critical role for you to play in this movement to take our country back, whether you are at home, in the streets or in the boardroom. You are invited. You are needed.

Help us make sure that corrupt CEOs and Boards of Directors wake up every morning thinking about the 99%. Join us in the movement to confront corporate power.

You can stay up to date on this new movement by checking our calendar regularly for updates. In the meantime, click “Like” or “Tweet” below to spread this news far and wide: