Sen. Joni Ernst will be holding two town hall meetings on Friday, March 17.

Town halls are a great opportunity to raise our issues and hold elected officials accountable back home in their districts to we the people.

Sen. Ernst’s town halls will be Friday, March 17 at:

  • 12pm: Coe College, Sinclair Auditorium, Cedar Rapids
  • 5pm: Drake University, Sheslow Auditorium, Des Moines

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.  Ask Sen. Ernst if she stands with her constituents or big money corporations that prioritize profits over our health and safety.

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

The fiscal cliff has come and gone – for now – and there seems to be good and bad elements to the deal Congress reached no matter how you look at it.  Here’s an analysis from our friends at Americans for Tax Fairness, with our quick take below.

 

The Good –

For starters, we’ve made progress in getting the rich and big corporations to start paying their fair share.

  • The Bush era tax cuts that heavily favored the rich have expired on individual income over $400,000 and household income above $450,000.
  • Unemployment insurance benefits for the nation’s struggling unemployed have been extended for another year.
  • And, we’ve avoided the senseless and indiscriminate ax of sequestration that would have slashed critical programs and services for everyday people.

 

The Bad –

Though the deal struck by Congress and the administration begins to raise revenue from the wealthy, it does not go far enough.  We agree with Senator Harkin’s take on the deal and why he voted against it.

  • CCI members and groups across the country pushed hard for the expiration of the Bush tax cuts on income above $250,000.  That would have raised nearly $1 trillion over 10 years, while the current deal raises about $400 billion over 10 years.
  • Congress set the stage for yet another fiscal showdown two months from now by punting all decisions about sequestration to March when we will have to raise the nation’s debt ceiling once again.

 

The Potentially Ugly –

Republicans and moderates in Congress will zero in solely on spending cuts during the next fiscal showdown, with little to no talk of raising additional revenue.

  • Don’t be mistaken, we will once again hear calls for changing the consumer price index to a “Chained CPI”.  To be clear, the chained CPI is a benefit cut that affects every single American.  The Chained CPI doesn’t just reduce cost of living adjustments to Social Security – it will affect government pensions, veterans’ benefits and over time would push more people into higher tax brackets.  Annual adjustments to the poverty level would also be smaller, reducing the number of people eligible for Medicaid, Head Start, food stamps, school lunches and home heating assistance.

 

 The Light at the End of the Tunnel –

We’ve got another fight ahead of us, no doubt about it.  But, through your calls, letters and demonstrations over the past months we created a political environment more open to raising much needed revenue from the wealthy and big corporations and preserving vital social programs that benefit every American.  We can do it again, and we will.  Stay tuned for the latest updates and ways to take action, and make sure your elected officials know where you stand on the issue.  The people’s voice will be heard.

 

Join the Fight

  • Join as an Iowa CCI member today or chip in $10 to support our organizing on this issue.
  • Sign up for our E-Mail Action list to get the latest updates.
  • Follow us on Facebook and  Twitter for more fun photos and live action updates.

 

 

Will our state budget put the common good above corporate greed?

The state of Iowa is sitting on a nearly $1 billion budget surplus.

Now our elected officials have a choice to make.

Will Governor Branstad and the state legislature reinvest in vital public services that have suffered from years of deep spending cuts – programs like education, environmental enforcement and protections, healthcare, critical infrastructure like roads and bridges, and a fair contract for state workers?  Or, will they give away the store to large, unaccountable corporations?

Branstad has made it clear: he wants to use the money for tax cuts and giveaways for Iowa’s biggest corporations and richest citizens.

Branstad’s proposal won’t create jobs, and it won’t balance the budget. It will take money away from where Iowans need it to go.

Iowans want a state budget that “Puts People First”.

We know that good government working in the best interest of the common good has to be fullyfunded in order to effectively implement and enforce the law.

We are calling on Branstad to close corporate tax loopholes, end support for corporate tax cuts and giant subsidies for big business, and instead reinvest in valued state structures that have faced the biggest cuts in recent years.

The state budget must reinvest in Iowa by fully funding:

  • our Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources, Workforce Development and other state agencies,
  • job-creating infrastructure like roads and bridges,
  • K-12 and higher education, AND
  • expand Medicaid and the Earned Income Tax Credit for working families, and
  • negotiate fair contracts for tens of thousands of public employees.

Tell Governor Branstad and our elected officials to make the right budget choices – and put communities before corporations and people before profits:


 

You and I have a key opportunity to elevate our “People First” message in the media and with the political parties Jan. 3.

Since the national spotlight is on us, we are uniquely positioned to drive home – in a big way – a vision of good government that puts communities before corporations and people before profits.

That’s why we’re asking you to print out and take the resolutions below  to your caucuses and work to get them adopted into the party platform.  Our resolutions are woven together by a common theme – that government needs to work for everyday people and the 99%, not big money corporate interests and the 1%.

Step 1: Print out the resolutions

Step 2: Find your caucus location

All caucuses begin at 7 pm on Tuesday, Jan. 3. It is recommended you get there 20-30 minutes early. You must be registered as a Democrat or a Republican to participate in the party’s caucus, but don’t worry you can register or re-register at the door. Just in case bring your photo ID and a document, like a bill, that proves where you live. If you’ll be 18 by election day (11/6/12), you can participate!

Step 3: Attend and work to get your resolution introduced

Resolutions are general presented towards the end. Be prepared to read it aloud. If passed resolutions work their way up through both party platforms. It’s a great way to show party leaders that we’re fed up with business as usual from Washington DC, Wall Street and at our Iowa Statehouse.

Step 4: Let us know how it goes!

Contact us at 515-282-0484 or shoot us a line at iowacci @ iowacci.org to let us know your resolution passed and what precinct you are in. Also, don’t hesitate to call if you have any questions. 

 

Please click “Like” or “Tweet” below to encourage your friends to take these caucus resolutions to their caucus!

 

Congratulations!  We are excited to report that your work has taken a slice of The Nation magazine’s Most Valuable Progressive recognition for the third year in a row.

John Nichol’s writes: “What a difference a year makes! … This year we celebrate the remarkable movements that have arisen not just to stem the conservative tide but to build a new vision of progressivism for the twenty-first century. … The events of 2011 did not transform America. But they did confirm that millions of Americans are ready to fight for the 99 percent.”

Read The Nation’s full Progressive Honor Roll of 2011 here.

Iowa CCI’s recognition below:

MOST VALUABLE CONFRONTATION: Iowa CCI

 

When Mitt Romney came to the Iowa State Fair, he tried to peddle the fantasy that entitlement cuts are needed because the only alternative is to raise taxes on Americans. But his framing of a false choice failed when activists from Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement hollered that we should “tax corporations.” Unnerved, Romney shot back, “Corporations are people, my friend.” “No, they’re not!” shouted the Iowa CCI crowd. “Of course they are,” replied Romney, who didn’t seem to realize he was embracing his own stereotype. In 2011 conservative candidates thought they could use Iowa as a backdrop for their extremist pitches. Iowa CCI didn’t let them get away with it—providing a model for how grassroots activists can mic-check even the most powerful politicians.

We’d like to think The Nation feels this way because they know, like we do, that the history of significant change in this country is based on organized action. And organized action is what Iowa CCI does best. Thanks to you our members and supporters for being a part of it.

 

CCI allies made the Honor Roll, too!:

  • The New Bottom Line coalition, of which Iowa CCI is a member, was recognized as Most Valuable Coalition for their work to build a broad and powerful push for a “new bottom line that puts the economic interests and financial security of working American families first” — before Wall Street profit that is.
  • And, Beat the Press, the work of populist economist Dean Baker, who spoke at our statewide convention in July was named Most Valuable News Source.

 

Please LIKE, TWEET and SHARE this below!

 

Another survey that states the obvious: Americans, across the board, oppose cuts to Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare.

The AARP’s new state survey finds that 64.5% of likely Republican Caucus goers oppose cuts to Social Security. 67.3% oppose cuts to Medicare.

Read the full AARP press release here.

AARP today released state specific survey results showing that by nearly 3 to 1, (64.5% for Social Security, 67.3% for Medicare), likely Republican Caucus goers overwhelmingly oppose cutting Social Security and Medicare benefits to reduce the deficit. 


“Opposition to these benefit cuts among Republicans across the ideological spectrum confirms what AARP has been hearing from Iowans throughout our campaign to protect Social Security and Medicare:  Whether Republican, Democrat, Independent or Tea Party supporter, voters overwhelmingly oppose cuts to these programs,” said AARP Iowa State President Tony Vola.

Read the Iowa survey results here.

To get involved with the fight to save – and strengthen – Social Security, America’s best loved retirement savings program give us a call.