2012 Convention Speakers

This year we are very lucky to be having four nationally recognized leaders coming to Iowa to speak at our Money Out, People In: Confront Corporate Power Statewide Convention.


Each speaker will present a workshop, and all four will speak at a panel discussion after lunch.


Below are their bios, a few words why staff are excited they are coming and a video clip!


Heather McGhee

Heather is the Director of the Washington office of Demos, a non-partisan policy center working on developing strategies for a more equitable economy, a more  robust democracy and a strong public sector that can provide for everyday people’s common interests and needs. Heather is an influential and dynamic speaker, with frequent commentary featured in media outlets like Current TV, MSNBC, NPR, the New York Times and CNN. Her vision centers on working towards a new economy that includes and functions for everyday people.

Why is Chris excited for Heather’s workshop?

“I first met Heather at the National People’s Action Organizers Conference (NPA), where she fired up the room by talking about the need to meet the pro-corporate agenda head on. I can’t wait to hear Heather speak because she has been a leading voice for young people, powerfully demanding that the generation now entering the workforce has everything they need to live to their full potential to keep the American Dream alive.”

Listen to a few words from Heather on big money in politics:



Sally Kohn

Sally  is a veteran community organizer and passionate political commentator. She was Senior Campaign Strategist with the Center for Community Change, a 40-year-old hub of grassroots organizations nationwide. Sally makes complex political issues accessible for everyday audiences. A grassroots strategist actively engaged in movement building for equality and justice, she is a regular on Fox News (including Hannity, O’Reilly Factor, Megyn Kelly), CNN (American Morning, CNN Newsroom) and MSNBC (Ed Show).

Why is Adam excited for Sally’s workshop?

“The first time I met Sally, I knew she was a “speak truth to power” justice fighter. Now five years later you can find Sally giving them hell on Fox News, writing great op-eds and stories with a tough progressive take on today’s public issues, or luckily enough – at the Iowa CCI Convention!”

Listen to Sally speak on Fox News regarding the revenue crisis  and taxing the rich:


Lisa Graves

Lisa is the Executive Director of the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), the publisher of PR Watch, SourceWatch, BanksterUSA, and ALECexposed.org. The CMD has been one of the leading forces behind uncovering the inner workings of the right-wing think tank, American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which pushed “Stand your ground”, voter ID and anti-immigrant laws across the country. Lisa previously served as a senior advisor in all three branches of the federal government, as well as a leading strategist on civil liberties advocacy. She has also appeared as an expert on CNN, MSNBC, BBC and on numerous radio shows, including National Public Radio and Democracy Now!

Why is Matthew excited for Lisa’s workshop?

“If you don’t know who Lisa is she runs the Center for Media and Democracy which was the first organization to blow the lid wide open on ALEC’s (American Legislative Exchange Council) dirty secrets. I’m particularly excited to see her because I know she will lay bare the corporate manifesto and right wing spin machine, exposing the corporate lies and disinformation from ALEC to Fox News.”

Check out the video below to see Lisa at a D.C. rally protesting ALEC’s “Stand Your Ground” law:


Mark Schultz

Mark is a long-time friend and ally of Iowa CCI. As the Policy Program Director of Land Stewardship Project in Minnesota and an integral partner in the Campaign for Family Farms and the Environment he confronted corporate power by organizing the campaign against the mandatory pork check-off. Mark was also a founding board member of our NPA allies to the north, TakeAction Minnesota, and currently serves as their board chair. For his take on corporate power and structural racism, click here.

Why is Ruth excited for Mark’s workshop?

“You should come see Mark Schultz from Land Stewardship Project (LSP) for one main reason. Forget that LSP passed local control in Minnesota. Forget that they’re fighting frack sand mining corporations. Forget that they are taking on corporate power in the health care industry. Just know this: Mark Schultz is the best organizer I know.  And, I’m not just saying that because he’s my dad! ;)”

Get to know a little more about Mark and his organizing by watching this video:


Each speaker will present a workshop, and all four will speak at a panel discussion on confronting corporate power to reclaim our democracy!

>>Go back to the convention homepage

>> Learn more about the workshop sessions

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

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