How Bono’s ONE Campaign Is Organizing In Iowa

Foreign aid is often used more in political campaigns as a punching bag than as an applause line, but more Iowans may be pressing their candidates and elected officials on the subject if the ONE campaign is successful here. ONE, a non-partisan advocacy organization co-founded by Bono, works to end extreme poverty and preventable diseases, particularly in Africa. They’re currently running a grassroots campaign in Iowa to get voters to contact their senators and urge them to support the Global Fund and to maintain America’s leadership in the global AIDS fight. They have volunteers in Des Moines, Iowa City and […]

Trump Rethinks Refinery Waivers After Pushback From Farmers, Democrats

Several reports late this week revealed that Donald Trump has ordered EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to reconsider their approach to small refinery ethanol waivers. President Trump was in Iowa earlier this month to celebrate the year-round sales of E15 and to fundraise for his reelection campaign, but received blowback from farmers about the high number of small refinery waivers being granted. His administration has continually allowed oil companies, even ones operating sizable refineries, to not mix ethanol into their fuel production, thus limiting demand for ethanol. While many corn farmers were excited about the […]

USDA Grants Boost Small Iowa Towns, But Funding Now At Risk

As small towns across the country struggle to attract or retain businesses, the USDA has been awarding a number of rural development grants to help stimulate growth. “I just feel like there’s been a reinvigorated interest in rural issues and communities, and seeing that manifest itself in different ways has been really encouraging,” said Grant Menke, the Iowa State Director of USDA Rural Development. “Iowa is pretty much the best in the nation at the rural economic development program.” Decorah, Iowa, took advantage of one over a decade ago that helped develop their now-lively commerce and arts scene in town. […]

Violence Against Workers Spikes At Independence Facility

Four staff members were attacked while working at the Independence Mental Health Institute over a nine day period, according to an AFSCME Council 61 statement earlier today. The incidents began on June 6 when a residential treatment worker was hit on the head and jaw by a patient who escaped restraints. The staff member is now collecting workers’ compensation and is being treated for a head injury, a cervical sprain and TMJ pain. A registered nurse was attacked the same day. The RN was punched in the nose and scratched. The RN gave notice of her planned resignation, then was […]

The Caravan Congress Should Be Focused On

A small caravan crossed the United States border last month, but this was not the kind of caravan that has been in the news for more than a year. The caravan was not being led by a “coyote” who was guiding hundreds of illegal immigrants to the border so they could try to sneak into the U.S. Instead, at the head of this group of cars and SUVs from the Twin Cities was a Minnesota mother in her minivan who was leading everyone to a pharmacy five hours north in Fort Frances, Ontario. These travelers were crossing into Canada to […]

Kirsten Gillibrand Stakes Out Strongest Women’s Health Platform In Plans, Actions

When it comes to reproductive rights and women’s health, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand from New York has staked out one of the strongest positions in the presidential field. Before she officially launched her candidacy in March, Gillibrand had already declared she was running a campaign focused on feminism. Since then, Gillibrand has been vocal about issues like the Georgia fetal heartbeat bill and the Alabama ban on abortion that leaves no exceptions for rape and incest. She was the only candidate to visit Georgia after the state passed a bill that would outlaw abortions after a fetal “heartbeat” is detected, normally […]

Iowa Water Festival Planned To Fight Iowa’s Water Quality Emergency

The first Iowa Water Festival is this Sunday, June 23 from 11:30-2:30 at the Izaak Walton League and Water Works Park in Des Moines. The clean water advocacy organizers have a lineup of speakers, educators and scientists dedicated to improving Iowa’s deteriorating water quality. It is a free public event. The Izaak Walton League will be providing lunch for $15. The urgency of addressing Iowa water quality was reinforced last week as the state was rated number one in the nation in the production of number two. The Raccoon River, one of Iowa’s most polluted rivers, runs through Water Works […]

What Medicaid Expansion Accomplished, Who’s Running On Its Success

The health care advocacy group Protect Our Care recently released a report with nationwide, aggregate data showing increases in enrolled coverage and health care outcomes across the country. “It’s undeniable that Medicaid expansion has enabled more Americans to receive coverage and improved access to vital health care services in communities across the country,” said Brad Woodhouse, Executive Director of Protect Our Care. Health care access and outcomes has already become a top-tier issue of debate amongst 2020 candidates, and this data could better inform policy proposals and opinions on such. “As study after study has shown, expanding Medicaid means better […]

There’s Judicial Activism You Like – And Dislike

One of the most contentious issues in the Iowa Legislature this year involved the way the state’s judges are chosen. That process was established 57 years ago when voters amended the Iowa Constitution. It’s worth noting that Republicans held solid majorities then in the Iowa House and Iowa Senate. In the years that followed – when governors were Republicans, as well as when they were Democrats – the stature of the Iowa judiciary was saluted across the United States for its fairness and nonpartisan nature. But this year, the Republican majorities in the House and Senate came to Des Moines […]

By The Numbers: What An ACA Repeal Would Do To Iowans

The health care advocacy group Protect Our Care released a report on June 11 that documented the benefits of expanding Medicaid, as well as the efforts of the Trump-led Republican Party to derail the Affordable Care Act and roll back the clock on coverage qualifications. “In the last two years alone, we have evidence that clearly shows better health outcomes for people who live in states that expanded Medicaid compared to those who live in states that did not,” the report read. In March, the Trump Administration’s Justice Department filed a legal briefing making the case to a Texas judge […]