Migrant Family Separation and Detention: Violating the Constitution

Guest piece from Caleb Gates, a refugee case manager and advocacy specialist in Cedar Rapids. He read this as a speech at a recent Families Belong Together Rally. We, the people of the United States, immigrants and descendants of immigrants, denounce the separation and detention of immigrant families by our government. President Trump’s policies separate families through ICE workplace raids, the deportation of longtime US residents with citizen children, and the termination of programs such as Temporary Protected Status and DACA. Simple misdemeanors like public intoxication, trespassing, loitering, or possession of marijuana detain and separate immigrants from their families. President […]

Jason Kander’s Army Of Voting Rights Interns Come To Iowa

Jason Kander may have a new personal electoral goal for himself now that he’s announced his candidacy for the Kansas City mayor’s race, but his voting rights crusade will march on in Iowa and other states. “Nothing has changed about our program here in Iowa,” Let America Vote’s Iowa state director Zack Davis told Starting Line yesterday. “We are continuing to move forward and are looking at ways to actually grow the internship program.” That’s a good thing for Democratic candidates in Iowa who are set to benefit from one of the largest ground game operations from a national group […]

Consequences For Voter Suppression Coming To An Iowa District Near You

A guest post from Zack Davis, the state director for Jason Kander’s Let America Vote organization in Iowa. Photo of a Let America Vote intern knocking doors for a state legislative candidate in West Des Moines. On May 5th, 2017, our state — long seen as a leader in voter participation and election integrity — took a big step backward with the passage of House File 516. Instead of lowering barriers and increasing access to the ballot for Iowans, the legislation championed by Secretary of State Paul Pate injected partisan politics into the voting process, instituting an unnecessary and confusing […]

The Most Interesting Iowa Political Event I’ve Been To This Year

Over the past several years while running Iowa Starting Line, I’ve been to a lot of political rallies, forums, debates, fundraisers, protests and more county party potluck dinners than I care to mention. I don’t think I’ve ever been to an event like the one I attended earlier this week: Tom Steyer’s Need To Impeach town hall in Des Moines. And what I saw there may have been more informative as to the state of the Democratic Party and its future than any forum featuring all of Iowa’s current gubernatorial candidates. For starters, the place was packed. Around 400 people […]

What The 6-Week Abortion Ban Means To This Pregnant Iowan

This past weekend, my husband and I breathed a sigh of relief as we crossed the threshold of fetal viability: this is the point in gestation—23 weeks—at which a fetus can have a reasonable chance of surviving in a NICU should some series of complications lead to preterm labor. Of course, there is a reason a fetus gestates for forty weeks; if ours did make an arrival this week, we would likely be looking at a months-long NICU stay, an inconceivably large bill, untold stress, and the certainty of an uncertain future as far as the baby’s health is concerned. […]

Gone But Not Forgotten – Labor’s Struggles With Itself

A guest post from Johnson County Supervisor Kurt Friese. Each year at the end of April, Labor organizers across the country hold a vigil of remembrance called “Workers Memorial Day.”  Here in Johnson County, it was just this past Friday.  We gathered to remember and to hear speeches, but more importantly to hear the names and stories of the 36 workers who lost their lives on the job in Iowa in 2017. Many in attendance lined up to read from a notecard about such a story. As each is read, the gathered crowd chants together, “Gone, but not forgotten.”  It […]

Scenes From Iowa’s Student-Led Anti-Gun Violence Rally

Several hundred middle and high school students from around Central Iowa gathered in front of the Capitol today to rally for stricter gun control measures. It was part of a nationwide walkout effort building upon the increased anti-gun violence activism since the Parkland school shooting. The event was organized by local students and assisted by organizations like Progress Iowa. Young people spoke to the crowd, a short forum was held with Democratic candidates and students who were old enough got registered to vote. “I think this is a problem that is going to define our generation,” said Raj Ojberoi, an […]

Iowans Having To Sue For Basic Care; Mathis Proposes Medicaid Fix

After Senator Charles Schneider was sworn in as Senate President on March 15, Senator Liz Mathis took to the floor for a point of personal privilege. You can view her comments here at 9:15.10. It’s about five minutes. “Why should a man on Medicaid have to go to court to receive bowel care?” she asked. “I repeat, why should a man on Medicaid have to go to court to receive bowel care?” Senator Mathis then explained that a recent lawsuit was brought by a man who needed help with his bowel habits. Managed Care lowered his caretaker from seven days […]

GOP’s Campus “Free Speech” Bill Actually Targets LGBTQ Students And More

Guest post via Keenan Crow of One Iowa “There’s something insidious about this bill,” warned Independent Senator David Johnson during the Senate floor debate on SF 2344, a bill which purports to be about free speech on Iowa’s college and university campuses. “I can read the lobbyist declarations for myself,” Johnson continued. “The Family Leader and Americans for Prosperity are for this bill. Those against it include the ACLU and Interfaith Alliance of Iowa Action Fund. Think about this ladies and gentlemen, what is this really?” Iowa’s only independent Senator is unfortunately correct. While protecting free speech on campus is […]

Missouri’s Gun Obsession Got Them A Scumbag Governor

Having grown up in Missouri, I occasionally keep an eye to the campaigns and political developments of the Show-Me State. My home state holds a sentimental place in my heart, but it’s certainly not a place I would ever want to live in again for a number of reasons, not the least of them being the state’s extremely caustic political climate. It’s not so much that Missouri is a conservative state, it’s that it embraces a nasty, angry, hateful version of conservatism. It wasn’t always that way, but accelerated toward that path just as I was leaving the state for […]