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Support The Public Option

Democracy for AmericaAction alert from DFA

The public option is back!

That’s right. Today, Democracy for America is joining the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, several leading Senate Democrats, and a strong coalition of organizations to renew the push for a public option for health care — and we need your help right now to build momentum in Congress.

In 2009 and 2010, Democracy for America members like you led the fight to allow Americans to buy into a public, Medicare-like option in the health care reform bill that became Obamacare. DFA members mobilized hundreds of thousands of Americans to lobby Congress to demand it.

We nearly won. The House passed a public option. But after Joe Lieberman sided with the insurance industry and threatened to filibuster the Obamacare bill, the Senate shied away from it. Instead, they embraced state exchanges.

Unfortunately, despite all the good that Obamacare has done, it’s clear that we still need a public option. Greedy insurance companies that never supported health care reform in the first place are jacking up premiums and deductibles, while pulling out of many state exchanges.

It’s time to renew the fight for a public option. Democracy for America is joining Senators Bernie Sanders, Jeff Merkley, Chuck Schumer, Patty Murray, and Dick Durbin — along with the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Presente, UltraViolet, MoveOn, Daily Kos, Working Families Party, and the AFL-CIO — to launch a Congressional resolution in support of a public option. We need your help right now to build strong momentum out of the gate.

Tell the health insurance companies you’ve had enough! Add your name now as a supporter of a public option.

Bernie Sanders supports a public option as a key step toward achieving a universal, single-payer system. Hillary Clinton announced in May that she supports a public option as well.

It’s clear that private health insurance companies aren’t going to get the job done. Just last month Aetna announced it was pulling out of the state exchanges. Many other insurance companies have followed suit. Those that remain have scaled back their coverage or have raised premiums and deductibles, making health care much more expensive.

If our leaders are serious about ensuring real competition in the health insurance market and driving down out-of-control healthcare costs, giving every American the option to buy into a public, Medicare-like health insurance program is a no-brainer that every single Democrat should support.

The movement is growing, and leading Senate Democrats are getting on board. Other original Senate co-sponsors include Debbie Stabenow, Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein, Sheldon Whitehouse, and Al Franken.

We can win this time — if you join the movement right now. Sign your name in support of the public option!

Thank you for fighting for truly universal health care for everyone.

– Jim

Jim Dean, Chair
Democracy for America

Democrat Monica Vernon’s Hard-Hitting Ad Calls Out Blum For Voting To Cut Social Security

Great ad for Monica Vernon, Democratic challenger of tea party Republican Rod Blum, District 1.  Let’s send this Iowa Democrat to DC.  Click on the link to volunteer for the campaign or donate.  monicavernonforcongress.com/

 

Democrat Dave Loebsack Speaks Out For Rural Iowans At Subcommittee Hearing

Dave Loebsack IA02

Dave Loebsack IA-02

At a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology hearing on rural call quality and dependability, Dave Loebsack (D IA 02) talked about how call completion and call quality is important to many Iowans.

“I am pleased that we’re discussing this very, very important legislation today. It’s interesting that in the 21st century when we’re talking about smart cities, self-driving cars, all kinds of mind blowing technologies that are changing our daily lives, the fact is that many rural Americans are still living with a distinctly 20th century problem… It’s about calls to rural areas sometimes just don’t go through and they’re wondering why we’re not dealing with this… I am hearing time and again about folks who call a parent but the phone never rings on the other end or calls that do go through but the quality is so bad you can’t hear the person that called you… it’s really about seniors missing calls with test results from their doctors…about businesses losing customers…about people not being able to reach first responders in an emergency; and as our technology moves forward we simply can’t afford to erase paths to these folks that still cannot get the most basic communication services…”

 

Action Today To Stop Bakken Pipeline

Bakken Pipeline Proposed RouteUrgent action alert from Ed Fallon and the Bold Iowa team:

THANK YOU to the 18 brave Iowans who were arrested during our Bakken Pipeline Pledge of Resistance action on Saturday — including landowners Cyndy Coppola and Kathy Holdefer.

More than 50 have now been arrested in Iowa during nonviolent civil disobedience actions to stop construction on the Dakota Access “Bakken” pipeline.

Chip in $5, $8, $20 or whatever you can to help cover attorneys’ fees, court costs and organizing the Bakken Pledge of Resistance.

If you haven’t see it yet, check out the amazing video shot by one of our arrested Pipeline Fighters from inside the school bus the Iowa State Patrol used to transport everyone arrested during the action to the Boone County jail — all the while singing “This Land Is Your Land”! Thanks also to Bakken Pipeline Resistance who helped organize the encampment by the river, and for all the landowners and locals who cheered and waved from the banks of the river!

WATCH: Get on the bus! Video from Saturday’s Bakken Pledge direct action.

Our next action is a #NoDAPL Solidarity Rally on Tuesday (today!) from 12-1 p.m. over the lunch hour at the Simon Estes Amphitheater on the Des Moines River. We’re joining a Nationwide Day of Action on Tuesday with a rally in solidarity with Standing Rock and all the other Tribal Nations and water protectors assembled at the Sacred Stone Camp in North Dakota.

Although President Obama stepped in last week to temporarily halt construction on the pipeline in the vicinity near the Sacred Stone Camp, the fight is not over, and construction continues in Iowa. On Tuesday, join Bold Iowa and Iowa CCI to stand together in Des Moines as others participate in over 100 events across the country to tell Pres. Obama to stop the Dakota Access pipeline.

Bring a homemade sign (#NoDAPL, Water Is Life, Stop Eminent Domain Abuse, etc.) and wear a Pipeline Fighter t-shirt if you have one. We’ll be taking a group photo with the river as a backdrop to underline our message that Water Is Life!

UPCOMING EVENTS: 

Thanks for continuing to stand with us!

Ed Fallon and the Bold Iowa team

@Bold_Iowa on Twitter
Bold Iowa on Facebook

Bold Iowa
735 19th ST
Des Moines, IA 50314 US

What A Difference One Local Iowa Election Is Making

Prairie Dog

Prairie Dog

Reprinted with permission from the Fall 2016 issue of  The Prairie Progressive.

by Jesse Case

There’s a guy I know. You probably don’t know him. I don’t know a lot of people you know. I may not even know you. But this guy I know is a Mexican dude who lives in Forest View Trailer Park. When he found out his trailer park had been sold to make room for Iowa City’s newest gateway project, he helped organize a tenants’ association. The tenants’ association started meeting with the developers who had already promised to relocate trailers for free just on the other side of the property to make room for a giant hotel and more. The tenants association came up with some principles that the developers agreed to. Principles like new housing costs shouldn’t be more than previous housing costs and the rights of tenants to organize should be respected.

The tenants told the developers they appreciated their offer to move the trailers but many of the trailers couldn’t be moved and hadn’t been moved in decades. The tenants told the developers they thought it made sense to have small permanent homes they could call their own. Small permanent homes would improve people’s lives. It would improve the value of the neighborhood and gateway project. It would keep the neighborhood together. The developers thought this all sounded good too and everyone agreed to agree. This was maybe the first time this happened ever. Because residents were organized and informed, a new model for preserving affordable housing was being born.

The developers offered to donate the land and start looking for funding revenues to finance the small permanent homes. One idea was having the city finance mortgages for these affordable homes with revenue bonds. This was just one concept. The city would make this money back and then some over the years. The developer put this idea in an email which the tenants turned into a flyer to distribute to their neighbors.

Some people outside the trailer park found out about the concept and were appalled. They were appalled about using taxpayer money to finance low income housing. But they couldn’t say that publicly. That would make them sound like ogres. That would make them sound un-Democratty in a Democratic county. That would make them sound like they were anti-immigrant. They couldn’t say that. So they attacked the content of the flyer and the community organization that helped put it together, suggesting the residents must be “confused” and easily misled by complicated information. It was cute. Some people bought it.

But that’s not what this article is about. This article is about the difference between doing something and talking about something. It’s about showing one’s true colors on an issue that’s been talked about for decades. It’s about the uncomfortable position of having to actually be for or against taking tangible action around a public issue when in the past you could always be for it because there was no tangible action to debate. It’s about “Which side are you on?”

Last year when the new city council was elected, it freaked out some people who were used to controlling most city council decisions. Mostly people who were voted out of office or friends of people who were voted out of office. Now they’re going on the attack to protect the status quo, and part of their strategy is to get cute with the facts while attacking every small step the new council takes to address housing issues. And at a moment when low-income resident voices are being heard and considered by policymakers for the first time in years, this crowd’s strategy is to question and try to marginalize those voices at every turn.

Here are the facts. The current Iowa City council has provided relief to dislocated residents of Rose Oaks, hard working community members who, in spite of their contributions to our community, are among the most housing insecure. The current council has put together focus groups with a cross-section of residents to look at how the city should utilize tax increment financing (TIFs). The current council has passed inclusionary zoning ordinance in the Riverfront Crossing Zone to mandate low income housing as part of the overall development. The current council is targeting affordable housing on future TIFs. The current council is acting on the mandate of the majority of voters who cast their ballots in the last election, and the broad coalition of low-income residents and concerned community members who are continuing to organize for real solutions to Iowa City’s affordable housing crisis.

What a difference a year makes. What a difference local elections make. That’s what this article is about. I’ve lived in Iowa City for almost 20 years and people have been talking about the “affordable housing” crisis ever since I can remember. 2016 is the first time I’ve actually seen anything tangible done about affordable housing. This is the first time I remember a real public debate about how to deal with affordable housing in our community. After decades of everyone agreeing there’s a problem, we’re finally debating the solutions.

–Jesse Case is the state political director for the Teamsters

The Prairie Progressive is Iowa’s oldest progressive newsletter, available only in hard copy for $12/yr.!!  Send check to PP, Box 1945, Iowa City 52244.

The Iowans Are Fired Up

duPosted on DemocraticUnderground (DU)

womanofthehills journal

American Indians have fired up the Iowans to stop the DACL – non violent training this Sat
Sat, Sept 10 – the Iowans are gathering for non-violent training

Here’s the schedule for Saturday morning at the Mickle Center:
8:00 – 9:00 a.m. – Breakfast (our treat!)
9:00 – 11:30 a.m. – Nonviolence training
11:30 – 12:00 noon – Lunch (also on us)
12:00 – Leave for direct action

We’re fired up! Our first mass direct action against the Dakota Access/Bakken Pipeline on Wednesday, August 31 blocked the movement of pipeline construction equipment in Boone County for nearly two hours. Over 100 people participated and 30 were arrested. Our efforts made national news!

Dakota Access is feeling the heat, and we MUST keep the pressure on!

More and more Iowans are upset at how Dakota Access is treating farmers, landowners and our Native allies. More and more know that this pipeline will exacerbate the climate crisis and poison our water.

They are ready to put their bodies on the line to stop pipeline construction and send a message to President Obama that he needs to tell the Army Corps of Engineers to do its job.

Please come! We need you. Our water and land need you. The planet needs you.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1197336950288602/
Questions? Contact Ed Fallon at ed@boldiowa.org or (515) 238-6404.

Donate: http://bit.ly/BakkenPledgeFund

Sign the Bakken Pipeline Pledge of Resistance: http://bit.ly/bakkenpledge

Keep up to date on FB: https://www.facebook.com/iowabold/

Local Meetings In Iowa To Organize Against Trump

dog whistle politics

dog whistle politics

Action alert from DailyKos and MoveOn.org:

Activists and organizers all across the country are fired up and ready to give it their all to stop Donald Trump and to win a progressive Senate majority in 2017.

Iowa is so important to this fight, and for the next two months, we will be working with members like you to turn the Senate blue. There’s a big opportunity coming up tomorrow for you to get involved.

Daily Kos is partnering with MoveOn on their United Against Hate campaign. Talented and passionate organizers are ready to do whatever it takes to make sure progressives show up in November and push us towards big Democratic wins. But we can’t do this without you.

The United Against Hate campaign is kicking off next week with barnstorm organizing meetings TOMORROW, and you’re invited to one in Iowa City. Will we see you there?

Yes, I’ll be there!

Wednesday, September 7 at 6 p.m. (local time)
Robert A Lee Recreation Center – Mtg Room B
220 S Gilbert Street
Iowa City, IA 52240
Saturday, September 10 at 3 p.m.
Hosted by Valerie S.
Marion Public Libarary
1095 Sixth Ave
Marion, IA 52302Click here to RSVP!
We’re building an unprecedented cutting-edge program to do what’s been proven to win elections: Have meaningful conversations at the door with Democratic voters who might otherwise stay home, and make sure they get out and vote in November.

We don’t just want to defeat Trump. We want to show that Americans overwhelmingly reject his politics of fear and hate. Trump’s America is not welcome, and we will not stand for politicians who peddle fear.

There’s a lot of work ahead of us, and it won’t be over on November 9th. We need a stronger progressive movement, one that can sustain the political revolution. We need to win this election and hold our next president accountable to progressive values.

It’s time to get to work.

RSVP for a barnstorm today to get plugged in to the United Against Hate campaign in your community.

Keep fighting,
Irna Landrum, Daily Kos

PS: You can also look for all the barnstorm events happening near you here.

The Corporate Power Henry Wallace Warned Us About

If you haven’t yet, after viewing the video, read the Lewis Powell Memo (the Powell Manifesto) here

 

Labor Day: The Official Start Of The Campaign Season

moyers and coOnce upon a time, in a faraway land called America, Labor Day marked the start of the traditional start of campaign season. Selected by their respective parties’ summer nominating conventions, the presidential candidates would then barnstorm the country for three months — a reasonable time for the electorate to evaluate their personalities and platforms. And then it would be over, until about four years later.

It seems hard to imagine today. Hillary Clinton has been a declared candidate since March 2015. Donald Trump has been a declared candidate since June 2015, which actually made him one of the later entrants into the Republican field. And, of course, many candidates start running long before they make their intentions official.

In almost all other advanced democracies, the official campaign season is short — a few weeks, at most two months. Not here. Here we spend endless news cycles obsessing over every last thing our candidates say. And good luck trying to escape the advertisements. American politics, it is often remarked, has become a permanent campaign.

This has five harmful consequences for American democracy.

Read the entire story at http://billmoyers.com/story/labor-day-official-start-campaign-season/

 

Friday #nobakken Action Alert

Bakken Pipeline Proposed RouteAction Alert from Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (CCI)

In the largest act of civil disobedience on the pipeline issue in Iowa to date, 28 everyday Iowans took an arrest blocking the roadways into Dakota Access’s worker staging area outside of Boone.

Over 150 of you were there to send a powerful message to Dakota Access and other decision makers that resistance to the Bakken pipeline – from North Dakota through Iowa – is strong and growing. 

We gathered to say NO to Big Oil, and to stand up for our land, water and democracy. Thank you to everyone who drove from near and far to make today a huge success.

Check out photos from the day here and stay tuned for more planned actions.

BUT we need you with us this Friday when we meet Dakota Access head on in court to determine whether Big Oil can restrict our right to future protests and acts of civil disobedience.

Can you join us? Meet us Friday at the CCI headquarters (2001 Forest Ave, Des Moines) at 12:30 as we prepare to head downtown to the U.S. District Court to tell Dakota Access and the public that we won’t be silenced. RSVP here.

Again, bold action doesn’t come without a cost. We anticipate our legal fees for fighting Dakota Access in court will cost between $5,000 -$10,000. Chip in here to help with legal fees.

I’m inspired. I hope you are, too. This may be our first act of peaceful civil disobedience on the Bakken pipeline, but it won’t be our last. 

Onward!

Adam Mason
State Policy Organizing Director

P.S. A fundraiser page to support bail and other legal fees for those arrested will be posted soon. Stay tuned.