Senator Grassley… DO YOUR JOB

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

Two

Hundred

Days

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.

WHY IOWA MATTERSWCMIA Logo Red

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

Davenport

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

Waterloo

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:

http://iowademocrats.org/2016-democratic-caucus-locations/

Iowa Republicans:

https://www.iowagop.org/2015/12/03/iowa-gop-precinct-locations/

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!

ICAN’s 15 for 2015

Activism can be tax deductible!

For over 35 years, ICAN has been fighting for OUR SHARED VISION of prosperity for working families and the middle-class. It’s OUR future – our nation’s future and our family’s future – that’s at stake – not millionaires and CEO campaign contributors. During the past year, we have been busy, using our common-sense progressive voice on the issues that matter. See the list below for our 15 in 2015!

Donate today and your dollars will go to work immediately fighting for fair taxes; no benefit cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid; providing food security; ensuring that citizens get “their day in court”, and creating good jobs that pay a living wage…
…AND WE CAN’T DO IT WITHOUT YOU!

We’re making donating as easy as possible! You can make your secure on-line contribution by going to our webpage www.iowacan.org/educationfund for your tax deductible contribution or you can mail your contribution to

Iowa Citizen Action Network
941 – 25th Ave, PMB 335
Coralville, IA 52241

Again, we are so grateful for you and for your support that allows us to work hard every
day to live up to our mission and vision.

Here’s our 15 for 2015!

1. We Celebrated ICAN’s 35th Anniversary of uniting individuals, cultures, communities and organizations around a common progressive vision where there is justice for all. We had a great event, with local Main Street Alliance members catering and featured speaker Senator Bernie Sanders.

2. We partnered with our friends in labor and the progressive community to help host the very successful Working Families Summit in Ames with 500+ attendees attending workshops, listening to speakers and learning about ways to take action… plus we had our wonderful keynote speaker: Robert Reich.

3. We know courts matter for all Americans regardless of where they live, what issues they care about, and what their income is. At the Federal level we are a part of Why Courts Matter Iowa because we know we need a robust judicial system that is unbiased, diverse, and fair and with Senator Grassley as Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, we need to hold him accountable.

4. As part of the state level Justice Not Politics leadership team we are part of a diverse coalition of leaders, organizations and individuals formed in 2010 to protect Iowa’s courts against special interests who are injecting politics into the courts. Working through the power of a coalition, JNP educates the public on the importance of fair and impartial courts .

5. We joined together with The FACT (Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency ) Coalition to put on an advocacy training aims to unite various community members to strategize ways to create a fairer tax system that benefits everyone.

6. We were invited to be a part of the Justice and Disparities Summit addressing racial disproportionality in Iowa’s criminal justice system and other disparities.

7. We are talking to Presidential candidates – on both sides of the aisle, about national security – getting them on the record concerning an over reliance on force making our country less, rather than more security and the impact of Pentagon overspending, including on obsolete weapons, rather than on measures that provide security both at home and abroad.

8. We continue our organizing project, The Iowa Main Street Alliance, providing a public policy voice for small business. We have hosted workshops and trainings on messaging and the issues important to small business owners. AND, one of our Main Street Alliance leaders, ReShonda Young, was honored at the White House for the work we are doing on Women, Work and Wages.

9. We fought alongside our partners for a change in the state’s minimum wage… and we won’t stop until workers receive a raise.

10. We partnered with several organizations to fight for water quality and environmental issues in our state.

11. We co-sponsored “Moral Mondays” at the Iowa Statehouse where important issues were explained and discussed each week during the session.

12. We voiced our opposition to the Governor’s plan to privatize Medicaid and educated our members and friends about the devastating scheme.

13. We continue to oppose the closure of our state’s mental health facilities.

14. We vehemently oppose the underfunding for education in our state.

15. We continue to make sure the voices of every day Iowans are heard to ensure that our voting rights are not infringed upon; that our tax dollars are used to the best possible advantage and that more cuts are not made that will devastate education, small business owners, retirees, the working poor … the list goes on…

…because we know that government for the people and by the people is the best system on earth.

We Are Thankful for You! Remember us on Thanksgiving.

On behalf of Iowa Citizen Action Network we would like to say how thankful we are for YOU. Thank you for your support of Iowa Citizen Action Network – and the work we do – as a friend, activist and a donor.

With all of the attention on the upcoming Presidential Election as well as Senate, Congressional and Iowa races, we know that the work ICAN does is needed now more than ever. With your help, we will continue to live up to our vision of uniting individuals, cultures, communities and organizations in Iowa around a common progressive vision where there is justice for all.

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Just “change your charity” under My Account and search Iowa Citizen Action Network!

We know that a common-sense progressive voice will be exceedingly important in the weeks and months to come.
We know that every single working person deserves a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work. It is unconscionable to expect Iowans to survive on the current minimum wage.
We know that our federal courts are woefully understaffed with potential judges languishing while the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by our own Senator Chuck Grassley, obstructs nominees at every turn.
We know that our schools, public workers, firefighters, teachers are critical pieces to the puzzle when it comes to the American Dream.
We know that the federal budget is more than an economic document… the choices we make say a lot about our values.
We know that WE, along with our doctors, are best suited to make our health care decisions.
We know that government for the people and by the people is the best system on earth.

While the odds may seem against us, rest assured that we will continue the fight for OUR shared vision of prosperity for working families and the middle-class. It’s OUR future – our nation’s future and our family’s future – that’s at stake – not millionaires and CEO campaign contributors.

And so, as we look forward to Thanksgiving day, we hope you will join with us to honor our more than 35 year history of creating social change in Iowa and across the nation.

BECAUSE WE CAN’T DO IT WITHOUT YOU!

Please check our website or click on the ICAN link for additional ways you can help ICAN to live up to our vision of uniting individuals, cultures, communities and organizations in Iowa around a common progressive vision where there is justice for all.

Again, we are thankful for you and your support that allows us to work hard every day to live up to our mission and vision.

www.iowacan.org

Medicaid Listening Post Locations Added

Please alert your network to these local listening posts.

Clinton with Senators Hart and Mathis: Wednesday, November 4, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Clinton Community College – Auditorium (1000 Lincoln Boulevard).

Waverly with Senators Schoenjahn and Ragan: Monday, November 9, 4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. at the Bremer Room of the Waverly Public Library (500 W. Bremer Avenue).

Davenport with Senators Brase and Hart: Wednesday, November 11, 4:30 p.m. – 6 p.m. at the conference room of Center for Active Seniors (1035 W Kimberly Road).

Manchester with Senate President Jochum: Thursday, November 12, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Manchester Public Library – Meeting Room (300 North Franklin Street).

Council Bluffs with Senate Leader Gronstal: Friday, November 13, 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., CHI Health Mercy Council Bluffs – Classroom A & B (800 Mercy Drive).

Decorah with Senators Ragan and Bolkcom: Monday, November 16, 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., Luther College – Room 102 in Olin Building (700 College Drive).

Additional information on the Iowa Medicaid privatization issue can be found at Medicaid Information.

You can also contact Sue Dinsdale at sdinsdale@iowacan.org for information

No More Tricks!

Halloween is over…

Governor Branstad needs to put the brakes on his unilateral decision to privatize Iowa’s Medicaid program.

His plan is to turn over the care of more than a half million Iowans—that’s one in five of us—to four managed care companies by January 1, 2016. With this change, we will see administrative costs jump from 3 to 15 percent, reaching $600 million. At the same time, the overall cost to the state is supposed to fall by $100 million a year.

The math doesn’t add up.

The only way these companies can collect the multi-million dollar profits guaranteed them is by denying critical services to Iowans and by failing to fully pay local health care organizations for services they provide.

The managed care companies have yet to sign contracts with the state, so providers are being asked to sign contracts that don’t include reimbursement rates. Medicaid recipients and their families have good reason to be worried about the future.

The long term care of severely disabled adults and children makes up the bulk of Medicaid services in Iowa. Medicaid also covers prenatal care to pregnant women, health insurance for low-income children, and health care for low income seniors and others.

Iowans who depend on Medicaid and the people and organizations that care for them need more time!!

Here’s What You Can Do

1. Let the Health Policy Oversight Committee know what you think:
On Tuesday, November 3, in Room 116 of the Iowa Statehouse, the “Health Policy Oversight Committee” holds the first of its two meetings.*At this meeting, there will be opportunities for public comment at 11:30 AM and 2:30 PM. Written comments can be sent to patty.funaro@legis.iowa.gov. IF YOU HAVE CONCERNS ABOUT IOWA’S RUSH TO PRIVATIZE MEDICAID, THIS MEETING IS AN IMPORTANT OPPORTUNITY TO EXPRESS THEM.

2. Attend a public forum with state legislators:
– Clinton with Senators Hart and Mathis: Wednesday, November 4, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Clinton Community College – Auditorium (1000 Lincoln Boulevard in Clinton).
– Waverly with Senators Schoenjahn and Ragan: Monday, November 9, 4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. at the Bremer Room of the Waverly Public Library (500 W. Bremer Avenue, Waverly)
– Manchester with Senate President Jochum: Thursday, November 12, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Manchester Public Library – Meeting Room (300 North Franklin Street).
– Council Bluffs with Senate Leader Gronstal: Friday, November 13, 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., CHI Health Mercy Council Bluffs – Classroom A & B (800 Mercy Drive).
– Decorah with Senators Ragan and Bolkcom: Monday, November 16, 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., Luther College – Room 102 in Olin Building (700 College Drive).

3. Call on the Federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to DENY or SIGNIFICANTLY change the Governor’s proposal:
> Andrew Slavitt, Acting Administrator. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21244. Or e-mail – andy.slavitt@cms.hhs.gov.
> Victoria Wachino, Deputy Administrator and Director, Medicaid and Chip Services – victoria.wachino1@cms.hhs.gov
> Eliot Fishman, Director, State Demonstrations – eliot.fishman@cms.hhs.gov
> James Golden, Director, Division of Managed Care Plans – james.golden@cms.hhs.gov
> Alissa Deboy, Acting Director, Disabled and Elderly Health Programs Group –alissa.deboy@cms.hhs.gov
> Debbie Dombrowski, Division of Managed Care Plans – debbie.dombrowski@cms.hhs.gov
> Jennifer Snow, HHS Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs – jennifer.snow@hhs.gov
> Stephene Moore, Director, HHS Region VII – stephene.moore@hhs.gov

We all need to work together to make sure quality health care services remain available to local seniors, people with physical and mental disabilities, and mothers and children.

For more information, contact Sue Dinsdale at sdinsdale@iowacan.org

Will The Next President Take Us To War???

With critical issues of war and peace in the balance, we need you!

Candidates

The United States spends more on defense than the next 7 countries combined. We allocate roughly $610 billion dollars each year to the Pentagon. This is over half of the federal discretionary budget, and almost as much as Social Security or Medicare and Medicaid combined.

Our bloated military budget comes at the expense of Veterans who don’t get the care they need, children who are denied a world class education, and an infrastructure that is crumbling before our very eyes.

We as Iowans have a huge opportunity to educate and influence the presidential candidates on what our real fiscal priorities are.

The best people to ask questions are average people who care about issues and are willing to take the time to volunteer.   Contact us and we will brief you on the basics on how YOU can influence the next President of the United States on this critical issue.

Want to host a training in your area?  We’d be glad to come out and train volunteers!