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!

Join the Fight: 

 

LIKE and TWEET to share this rare opportunity! 🙂

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!

As the issue of raising the minimum wage spreads from Iowa counties to finally garnering the attention of Governor Branstad, new research shows that single workers in Iowa must be paid $15.10 per hour just to cover basic expenses. Those paying off student debt must be paid $16.74 per hour.

Waiting for the Payoff: How Low Wages and Student Debt Keep Prosperity Out of Reach, a new report from People’s Action Institute calculates living wages, both with and without student debt payments, for all 50 states and Washington, D.C.  The report shows that Iowa’s minimum wage of $7.25 represents only 48 percent of the true cost of living for a single person. For families with children, the minimum wage lags even farther behind.

  • Read the full report, titled “Waiting for the Payoff: How Low Wages and Student Debt Keep Prosperity Out of Reachhere.
  • Iowa specific data, with Polk & Story County breakdowns, can be viewed here.

Featured in the report is Iowan Tonja Galvan, who has been actively involved in the campaign to raise the minimum wage in Polk County.  Tonja notes that even though she makes what is considered a living wage, her mother and daughter do not, so along with her granddaughter all must live under the same roof just to try and make ends meet.

A living wage would allow families like Tonja’s to cover basic expenses, such as housing and utilities, and save modestly for emergencies.

With wages falling far below the cost of living, many Iowans are working two or three jobs, cutting back on essentials like food, borrowing from predatory lenders, living in vehicles, or taking other drastic measures to get by.

These figures show how modest a $15/hour wage increase proposal is. We need to raise the minimum wage to $15/hr with no exemptions and no pre-emption. We cannot put the interests of big business corporations over everyday people. It’s time to raise the wage for all Iowans.

As we move the Fight for $15 forward to the Statehouse next session, it is crucial that as many people as possible know $15/hr is not just ideal, but a researched back necessity for hundreds of thousands of Iowans.

SPREAD THE WORD.  LIKE and SHARE this blog via social media and email.

We’re getting closer and closer to a living wage. Let’s keep going!

Join the Fight!

Keep the momentum going! LIKE and SHARE this blog to #Fightfor15

The Polk County Board of Supervisors approved a list of 13 appointments to the Minimum Wage Task Force this morning. Among the appointments are representatives of business, the faith community, and organized labor.

Some of these appointments include:

  • Jim Miller, executive director of the Historic Valley Junction Foundation
  • Jessica Dunker, President of the Iowa Restaurant Association
  • Valerie Miller-Coleman, minister at Plymouth Church
  • Ken Sagar, President of the Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO

 

Noticeably absent from the list of appointments were individuals working below a living wage of $15/hr. About 60,000 Iowans in Polk County live at or below the poverty line, and tens of thousands more struggle to make ends meet with wages barely above the federal minimum wage of $7.25.

“This is an encouraging first step, but the glaring absence of low wage workers themselves is disconcerting. CCI members will be at all task force meetings to make sure everyday people like low wage workers are being represented,” said Cherie Mortice, Des Moines East side resident and Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement Board President. “A living wage of $15/hr is good for our workers, good for our businesses, and good for our communities.”

Iowa CCI is committed to working with stakeholders and decision makers to raise the wage in Polk County to a living wage of $15/hr. Agree? Sign our petition here!

 

The Fight for $15 movement is on fire!

Across the nation, three cities have passed $15/hr legislation, three others are soon-to-follow, and a dozen others are proposing legislation to raise their local minimum wages despite the stagnant federal wage that has sat at $7.25 since 2007.

min wage myths

Low-wage workers have been rising up and fighting for better pay and working conditions since 2012. Their efforts have sparked a revolution which has corporations feeling the heat. These companies and their lobbyists are working to extinguish the movement by pushing out myths intending to scare workers into submission.

We’re here to shed some light on these myths and give you the truth about raising the minimum wage.

 

MYTH: Minimum wage jobs are for teenagers.

Incredibly few low-wage jobs are for teenagers. The average low-wage worker is 35 years old. In fact, 88% of minimum wage earners are over 20 years old, half are over 30, and almost one third are over 40.

 

MYTH: Raising the minimum wage will cause severe job loss.

According to the US Department of Labor, minimum wage increases have had little to no negative effect on employment as shown through studies by credited economists. These studies also demonstrate how wage increases reduce employee turnover, saving companies money on training costs.

 

MYTH: Our economy will suffer and costs of goods will skyrocket.

No, our economy will not suffer. Local wage increases around the US in the past year have improved economic stimulation for local economies. As for inflation, well, that depends on the consumers and the products. First, any inflation caused by a raise in the minimum wage would be small. Second, better wages always amplifies the purchase-power for low-wage workers and rarely affects workers of high incomes. For example, a raise in the minimum wage will affect the price of a burger from McDonald’s (barely) but it will not affect the price of a luxury car.

 

Join the Fight

  • Contact us for more information. !Hablamos español!
  • Join as an Iowa CCI member
  • Sign up for our email Action List

 

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (Iowa CCI) is a grassroots, member-led organization that builds the power of everyday people to secure social, economic, environmental and racial justice for all.  We fundamentally believe that everyday people can be a powerful force for justice and that people most directly impacted by an issue should be in the driver’s seat – making decisions and taking leadership roles.  We get things done on tough issues by being strategic, persistent, and by dealing directly with decision-makers.

 

We are seeking an intern from June – August who would be part of the Worker Justice team working for a $15 minimum wage and better working conditions. We are working to engage fast food workers to take action with us for a better workplace and wages.

 

Candidates should be available to work 20-40 hours/week, depending on availability. This person would reach out to different communities in Des Moines and Central Iowa to identify, engage and mobilize workers. We are looking for someone who is passionate about social justice, outgoing, energized and driven, can work well as part of a team, wants to learn about community organizing, knows how to converse with others in an engaging manner and willing to get your hands dirty to make change in Iowa.

 

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Palm card canvassing
    • 6-10 hours/week of handing our palm cards to workers and directing them to our website
    • Engage workers while you’re palm card canvassing
  • Tabling/Petitioning
    • Keep track of tabling opportunities in the Des Moines area and inform staff
    • Recruit CCI members and staff to help table
    • Be the primary tabling person
    • Bring all necessary materials
    • Engage and have good conversations with petition signers
  • Follow up with workers and petition signers
    • Send timely follow up to all people with a letter or email
    • Communicate with staff about who makes sense to meet with 1-on-1 to engage further in organizing work
  • Work with staff to find creative new ways to engage workers
    • Work with staff to critique and find better ways to engage workers

 

Secondary Responsibilities:

  • Turnout for events
  • Be at our bi-monthly “Fast Food Fridays” where we rally outside of a fast food restaurant in support of workers and raising the minimum wage

 

This is an unpaid internship. We will work with your school to make sure you get credit if that applies.

 

How to apply

Email resume by May 31, 2015 to:

Bridget Fagan, Worker Justice Organizer, bridget@iowacci.org

 

>> Please put “Fight for $15 intern” in the subject line.

 

Women, LGBTQ and People of Color strongly encouraged to apply.