Iowa’s New Normal: Constant, Worsening Floods

As Cedar Rapids city councilman Dale Todd took a lap around his bustling district on a recent Friday afternoon, he paused before reaching a neighborhood tavern, Parlor City, which stands adjacent to the sprawling NewBo City Market. “This was where community members would meet to discuss how we’d rebuild the neighborhood,” said Todd. “We’re probably one of the most resilient communities in the country.” It’s hard to imagine the area, now nearly fully developed, engulfed in flood water that devastated the city more than a decade ago. Disaster remediation tactics have gradually improved despite a lack of swift federal funding, […]

Union Workers Not Forgotten In 2020 Candidates’ Climate Plans

Union workers haven’t been forgotten when it comes to 2020 Presidential candidates’ plans to combat climate change. Good-paying union jobs were included in many of the Democrats’ proposals and discussions during last night’s marathon CNN forums. Elizabeth Warren said one of the reasons she likes the Green New Deal so much is because it not only sets targets on green initiatives to save the planet, it also promises a new deal for people who work. “It’s about justice for people whose communities have been destroyed,” Warren said. “It’s about racial justice on environmental issues and it’s about worker justice.” From […]

By Enlisting Every American, Iowa Can Lead The Way On Climate

A guest op-ed from Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Over Labor Day, I heard from Iowans in Cedar Rapids who’d been impacted by devastating floods, and connected the dots to our bigger climate crisis. As State Senator Rob Hogg put it: “Could we have had a flood like this without climate change? Sure. But climate change is making these floods happen more often, with more severity.” As mayor of a Midwest river city myself, I’ve had to activate our emergency operations twice just for floods that were supposed to occur once in a millennium. These floods are no longer rare. More powerful […]