Legislative Forums!

Every weekend state legislators from around Iowa hold public forums of one kind or another.  We need to make our voices heard on the issues that are important to each and every one of us!

Our friends at the Iowa Federation of Labor AFL-CIO have an extensive list of these events that you can access by clicking:  Iowa Forums 2017And after you attend, let us know how it went!

We’ve heard from Republican legislators that the laws they are proposing… and passing… is what they heard from their constituents directly “at the door” while campaigning. We call FOUL.  This current political atmosphere reflects a worldview that simply has no room for the kinds of policies we want. It absolutely does not reflect our idea of the American Dream.

Let us know how your forum went!

How the Affordable Care Act Affects YOU

Donald Trump’s first action as president was to take a step toward making good on one of his cardinal campaign promises, to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

With his executive order to “ease the burden of Obamacare,” Trump left a lot of unanswered questions as to what they meant, and what he would do for those of us that aren’t burdened by the health care law at all. The small-business community needs specifics, our livelihood is in the balance.

We’d like to hear from you – do you use the Marketplace for health insurance?  Is the ACA working for you?  What improvement would you like to see?

You can let us know in this survey!

Experts have boiled it down: Trump either can allow nearly 30 million consumers to lose their health coverage, or he and Congress can work to improve the ACA. To provide market certainty, President Trump and the GOP leadership in Congress, Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst included, must make clear their plan for the millions covered under the ACA.

I Support Our Public Workers!

And I’ll Sign The Letter to Prove It!

(Letter text is below the form)

Here’s the letter:

We work hard every day in our businesses, our houses of worship, and at our jobs to create a better life for our families and our community as a whole.  We understand the important role played by public employees serve in our cities, counties, and state to protect and improve our communities.  It’s all too easy to take for granted the nurses that risk infection to care for us when we are our most vulnerable, the fire fighters and public safety employees that risk their lives to keep us safe, the teachers who care for and educate our children, the snow-plow drivers, and garbage collectors that endure all types of weather to keep our neighborhoods functioning, connected and clean.  Public employees are the everyday heroes that keep our communities safe and strong.

Unfortunately, out-of-state special interests are attacking the freedom of our public employees to negotiate their work contracts as they see fit, in addition to standard pay and benefit negotiations that occur with all jobs.  These negotiations that include issues critical to how our communities function. Our public sector workers fight for their entire community when they negotiate their own employment contracts.

These negotiations have successfully been guided by Iowa’s Public Sector Collective Bargaining. This bi-partisan law, implemented by Republican Governor Robert Ray has done what it was intended to do: “promote harmonious and cooperative relationships.” Since its implementation, there have been no teachers strikes, no sanitation workers strikes, no firefighter strikes, no public sector strikes –no strikes in over 40 years.

Join Us At – Our Defending the American Dream

Reception and Fundraiser

Saturday, March 4, 20174:00 – 6:00 pm

(Program at 4:30 pm)

Johnston Lion’s Club

6401 Merle Hay Road, Johnston, Iowa

And Featuring Guest Speaker

Governor Martin O’Malley

Progressive Hero Awards to County Supervisors from Johnson, Linn, Polk and Wapello who increased the minimum wage in their respective counties

AND: Special Guest – Roxanne Conlin

Admission: Sponsorship levels or individual donations as listed below

any donation gratefully accepted

Sponsorship Levels*: Gold—$500        Silver—$250   Bronze—$135

*Sponsors will be recognized at the event

To make a secure contribution on-line, go to: http://iowacan.org/donate

Please RSVP by filling out the form below. 

Defending Health Care in 2017

What’s at Stake for Iowa

With a new president and Congress, the health care gains made throughout the last six years face their greatest threat yet.

We have been travelling around the state – hearing from everyday friends, neighbors, seniors, small business owners, doctors, advocates and others about what the ACA means to them. But that’s just the beginning. We need YOUR help to protect the gains we have made.

Please Sign our Petition and/or Share your Health Care Story!

Iowa Members of Congress: We ask you to consider the pain that repeal of the Affordable Care Act would cause your constituents.  We believe that not a single person need lose insurance coverage, have their benefits cut, or have their costs increase as a result of the actions legislators take. We ask you to help us uphold the gains of the ACA. The health and lives of millions are at stake.

Let’s Fight Back!

Congress has voted more than 60 times to roll back the historic progress that has been made to expand health coverage to millions of people in this country and to improve coverage for those who already had it. Republican leaders are headed for a vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  These proposed changes will put the health—and lives—of countless Iowans at risk. Here’s what Iowa stands to lose if the new president and Congress move forward to upend our health care system:

Hundreds of thousands of Iowans stand to lose health coverage

Repeal will end Iowa’s Medicaid expansion and cause ripple effects across the state economy. The Medicaid expansion has extended health coverage to lower-income Iowans who hold down jobs that are the backbone of the state’s economy. Repeal will leave these hard-working Iowans out in the cold.

Iowa will lose millions in federal Medicaid funding.  The impact of that lost federal Medicaid funding will have a ripple effect throughout the state economy, affecting hospitals, other health care providers, and businesses.

Iowans with private health insurance will be stripped of vital protections against discrimination. Iowans with pre-existing conditions like asthma, diabetes, and cancer could once again be denied affordable, comprehensive coverage that actually covers their health care needs.

Women in Iowa will once again be charged more for health coverage just for being a woman. Prior to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), women in Iowa were charged as much as 43 percent more than men for the same coverage.10

Iowans will once again face a world where insurance plans routinely cap the most they will pay for someone’s health care in a year and in their lifetime, effectively cutting off coverage for the sickest individuals when they most need it.

Insurance companies will no longer be required to put Iowans’ premiums toward care, not profits. Insurers will no longer be held accountable for using people’s premium dollars on care and quality improvement or paying back the difference.

The Medicare donut hole will re-open. This will leave Iowa’s seniors and people with disabilities with a gap in prescription drug coverage and forced to pay thousands of dollars more in drug costs.

Millions of Iowans will lose guaranteed coverage of free preventive services, like recommended cancer screenings and vaccines.

Thank you for adding your voice!



Senator Grassley… DO YOUR JOB

On Wednesday it will be 200 days since Justice Scalia passed away.




And still our Senator Chuck Grassley is refusing to hold a hearing to fill a seat on the highest court in the land – the United States Supreme Court.

Historically it takes 67 days from nomination to confirmation for a Supreme Court Justice… on Wednesday it will be 168 days since President Obama nominated Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court.

Will you join us on Wednesday, August 31 at 1 pm for a meeting with the Senator’s District Staff at the Federal Building in Des Moines?

We are continuing to call on Senator Grassley to DO YOUR JOB!

If you are not in the Des Moines area – we are happy to send you information to drop off at his other District Offices!

Small Business Owner? Farmer? Entrepreneur? Make YOUR Voice Heard!

By working together, we can bring small business values into the public dialogue to advance policies that are good for small businesses, our employees and the communities that sustain us.

Work with the Iowa Main Street Alliance to help get small business voices heard!

Who we are

Iowa Main Street Alliance is a project of Iowa Citizen Action Network.  Our members are small business owners/ entrepreneurs/ farmers from across the state who are dedicated to giving a voice to small business.

How we work

  • Too often, small businesses are “spoken for” by corporate lobbyists who claim to represent us but are really pushing a Big Business agenda.
  • We’re changing that by creating opportunities for small business owners to speak for ourselves – face to face with decision-makers, at public events and through the media.And we’re making an impact.

Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied!

Grassley McConnell 2Our federal courts have long provided a level playing field in which regular Americans can stand up for their rights and be considered equal to powerful interests.  Increasingly, Americans are finding it harder to take their cases to court and have their voices heard.

Much is at stake in court for issues progressives have fought for, and courts are where Americans go to vindicate their most cherished constitutional rights. Put simply: Courts matter.

Right now, due to the large number of federal court vacancies and a Senate that continues to obstruct qualified nominees, there are not enough judges to hear important cases.

Courts matter for all Americans regardless of where they live, what issues they care about, and what their income is.


Senator Charles Grassley was named Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee in January of last year. As chair of the Judiciary Committee, Grassley wields enormous influence on the confirmation process. He sets the agenda for the committee, and is responsible for scheduling hearings and votes on pending nominees. Potential judges can’t proceed to a Senate floor vote until they’ve been vetted by the committee.

Unfortunately Senator Grassley is proceeding at a slow pace despite the fact that the number of judicial vacancies is on the rise. Of 874 seats on the federal bench, far too many are empty with several vacancies designated as “judicial emergencies,” courts that are understaffed and struggling to keep up with caseloads.

Tell Senator Grassley  –  DO YOUR JOB!    Contact Info: http://www.grassley.senate.gov/

Washington, D.C.

135 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510
Phone: (202) 224-3744   Fax: (202) 224-6020

Cedar Rapids

111 7th Ave SE, Box 13
Suite 6800
Cedar Rapids, IA 52401
(319) 363-6832
Fax: (319) 363-7179

Council Bluffs

307 Federal Building
8 South 6th Street
Council Bluffs, IA 51501
(712) 322-7103
Fax: (712) 322-7196


201 West 2nd Street
Suite 720
Davenport, IA 52801
(563) 322-4331
Fax: (563) 322-8552

Des Moines

721 Federal Building
210 Walnut Street
Des Moines, IA 50309
(515) 288-1145
Fax: (515) 288-5097

Sioux City

120 Federal Building
320 6th Street
Sioux City, IA 51101
(712) 233-1860
Fax: (712) 233-1634


210 Waterloo Building
531 Commercial Street
Waterloo, IA 50701
(319) 232-6657
Fax: (319) 232-9965

Senator Grassley – Do Your Job!

Senator Grassley needs to take politics out of the Courts and do his job.

Will you help us remind him that we expect him to do his job?

As Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Grassley can take the lead in making sure that our courts are fully operational… and that IS his job.

BUT, the Senator continues to issue confusing statements around his issue, mainly indicating his desire to wait until the next President is elected to even consider a nominee, which would mean Senator Grassley is refusing to take his constitutional obligations seriously: his role is to advise and consent to the President’s nominee, not play political games.

There are many ways to make your voice heard!

You can CLICK HERE to sign our petition today (for every petition signature we receive, we will deliver a copy of the Constitution to Senator Grassley, to remind him of his responsibility)…

You can write letters to the editor…

You can call, email or write the Senator at:
Senator Chuck Grassley
35 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-3744
Contact: www.grassley.senate.gov/contact

Attend the Rally on March 13

Do Your Job Senator Grassley-Waterloo Rally

…and you can keep up to date on developments by “liking” us on Facebook at Why Courts Matter Iowa.

We’ve been hearing lots about each political party playing games in the past with the Courts BUT that does not make it right or a precedent we want to see continued.

In fact, in 2008, an election year and the last year President Bush was in office, there was a debate about confirmations. Senator Grassley said “the reality is the Senate has never stopped confirming judicial nominees during the last few months of a President’s term.”

Senator Grassley needs to take politics out of this and do his job.

We are working with our coalition Why Courts Matter Iowa to let him know what Iowans expect. Will you add your name to our petition to Senator Grassley? Together, let’s send him a message that we expect him to do his constitutional duty as a Senator and as Chair of the Judiciary Committee.

As always, thank you for all you do. Please feel free to forward this information to anyone you think would be interested. –Sue Dinsdale, Executive Director, ICAN; Sdinsdale@iowacan.org

Going to Caucus???

Have you heard that there will be a little thing known as the Iowa Caucus going on Monday night, February 1???

Iowa Citizen Action Network encourages all of our members, friends and allies to make their voices heard by attending your precinct caucus! It’s easy, interesting and can even be fun!

To find your caucus location and for more information on HOW to caucus, you can go to your party website:

Iowa Democrats:


Iowa Republicans:


Or click HERE to be directed to the Iowa Secretary of State website.

One of the things you can do at your caucus is present a resolution to be entered into the party platform. Whether you are going to the Republican or Democratic Caucus, we know that national security is a big issue.

In today’s conflicts, the over-reliance on the use of force makes us less secure; it’s like pouring gasoline on a fire. The big problems of the world – climate disruption, fighting over resources, terrorism, civil conflicts, poverty, racial and ethnic inequities – can only really be solved by countries working together.

Below is resolution language that you can print out and take to your caucus to submit for consideration as a part of the platform.

Audit of the Pentagon
Whereas the waste of taxpayer money in any form is unacceptable, and
Whereas all budgets must be scrutinized for waste, fraud, and abuse, and
Whereas the Department of Defense makes up half of the discretionary federal budget, and
Whereas nearly all major cabinet departments have completed a financial audit, but the Department of defense has not, and
Whereas the national debt poses an unacceptable threat to our national security and economic stability, and
Whereas the Department of Defense is unable to account for billions in spending, and
Whereas reporting has shown that the Department of Defense has wasted billions of taxpayer dollars on unnecessary, unworkable, or ill-conceived projects,
We believe that the Department of Defense, which makes up half of the discretionary federal budget, should be scrutinized, as all budgets must, for waste, fraud, and abuse, and to that end support the timely completion of a financial audit of the Department of Defense.

Non-military tools of power
Whereas modern threats to American security come in many different forms, and
Whereas many of our greatest threats, such as domestic radicalization or a terror cell hiding in a major American city, can not be addressed with traditional military means, and
Whereas we spend billions of taxpayer dollars on military hardware that is not designed to address modern security threats, and
Whereas many of the solutions to the threats we face require American leadership beyond the battlefield,
We believe that America’s national security spending should be focused on the most cost-effective means to address the threats we face in the 21st century and that the solution to those threats may not necessarily be military-only engagement.

If you plan to attend and submit a resolution, we’d love to know! We have commitments from precincts in a dozen Iowa counties so far!

Let us know you are submitting resolutions by replying to this post with your name, party and county to sdinsdale@iowacan.org.

As always, feel free to forward this to anyone you think would be interest and thanks for all you do!