Another threat to public employees

We know about the Koch brothers funding of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and it’s off-shoot Americans for Propserity (AFP) and their keen interest in the Iowa Legislature. This past session they pulled their bills from a box with model legislation written for the wealthy, not for every day Iowans and, since they bought their way into our statehouse, AFP was able to accomplish many of their goals, limiting public-employee collective bargaining, workers’ compensation, medical malpractice and asbestos claims to name a few.

And now there’s a new player in town, The Reason Foundation is yet another in the web of organizations funded by the Koch brothers. It portrays itself as a top-tier think tank with respected public policy research on a variety of issues. But Reason doesn’t provide unbiased facts on any issue – only the side of the story that favors the Kochs and their wealthy friends. Putting “Reason Foundation” and “think tank” in the same sentence results in an oxymoron.

In a Des Moines Register article, “Gov. Kim Reynolds said she supports a legislative committee’s fact-finding inquiry into Iowa’s underfunded public employees’ pension funds, but she indicated plans have been dropped for a task force to recommend changes in retirement programs.”


Because the Reason Foundation offered to do a “study of Iowa’s public employees’ pension funds”… FOR FREE. Interestingly, the Reason Foundation has published a pension reform handbook that includes establishing a 401(k)-style defined contribution retirement plan and a “hybrid” plan that mixes traditional defined benefit and defined contribution programs.

So, once again, the Koch Brothers and their allies are inserting themselves into OUR legislative process. These are not Iowans and are not entitled to a say in how Iowa manages its affairs. The state needs to honor the promises it made to its employees through IPERS and should solve whatever problems exist without breaking those covenants.

WHAT CAN YOU DO???  Contact your legislator and the Governor – tell them to represent Iowans, not the interests of out-of-state organizations and their wealthy donors.

We Deserve Better!

Main Street Alliance Survey 2017

Are you a small business owner/ farmer/ entrepreneur/ self-employed?

We want to hear from you!

Please take a minute to fill out the survey below!

The Main Street Alliance-Iowa (MSA-IA) has been working since 2008 to make sure that the small business voice is heard from real small business owners on policy that matters most.

For more information, contact MSA-IA Organizer Jessye Flannery

Individual survey results will be kept anonymous.  The aggregate data may be used in reports, fact sheets and other materials in print, video or other media.

Sign Me Up for the Main Street Alliance of Iowa!

If you would like to be a part of an alliance of

small business owners/ farmers/ entrepreneurs/ self-employed



All fields marked * are required.

You’re Invited–Working Families Summit

You are invited to an exciting event which will bring dozens of progressive Iowa organizations together, at a Working Families Summit on Saturday, June 10, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Scheman Center on the Iowa State Campus  in Ames.


The event features speakers, a full day of action, break-out sessions, and discussion on issues like Building a movement, Raising Wages, Protecting Civil Rights, and Making Work Family Friendly.

 The event is FREE and open to the public. Lunch will be provided!

 We are asking that you bring a donation of: Crackers, soups, ramen noodles, rice, hamburger helper, toilet paper or hygiene products, that will be donated to a charity.

For many Iowans the recent legislative session was devastating. Economic recovery is still a distant dream. Minimum wage jobs taken away , student loan debt and rising health care costs are just a few of the everyday factors that keep families from getting ahead. Bringing a coalition of progressive organizations together for a day of discussion and action to work together to help strengthen working families, determine a road map to change, and work toward effective legislative remedies is a step in the right direction.

If you want to see change and a better future for the 90 percent of Iowans who are not positively affected by economic gains, come to the summit and find out how to make a difference.

Hope to see you June 10th!

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!

TRUMPcare – What do YOU think?

You would think that after years of promising and posturing to “repeal and replace” ObamaCare and after two embarrassing failed attempts earlier this year, Republicans would have come up with a plan that works.

You would be wrong.

The TrumpCare Bill is nightmare. It harms the poor, children, women and families, persons with disabilities, immigrants, and even persons with employer-provided coverage. The only beneficiaries are the wealthy and corporations.

TrumpCare doesn’t “fix”  health care – it wrecks it.

Are you fed up?  Let’s send a message to Congress!

Comments will be forwarded to the Iowa Delegation in the House and Senate.

The fight has just begun!  There will be many opportunities to let your representative know how you feel, that it’s up to them to end this nightmare. 

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:

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!