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.

BUYING ON AMAZON???

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization.
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!

Fight for Families: No More Empty Plates!

hunger plateThat’s why we are conducting an “empty plate” action to urge members of Congress to support food security programs for kids. So far we have over 100 plates… would you like to include yours??

Nearly 18 million households across the country are categorized as “food insecure.”1 Fortunately, programs like reduced price and free school breakfast and lunch programs, summer meals, WIC, and others help children from low and moderate-income families receive the nutritious foods they need to grow and learn.

The current law, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 is due for reauthorization this year. Congress is expected to vote on the child nutrition package after they return from recess in the fall.

With the cost of living rising and wages remaining stagnant, working families have to scrape together enough money just to pay the rent. These programs help families make ends meet and keep kids healthy and fed during their formative years.

We will be delivering plates to Senator Chuck Grassley’s office on Friday, August 21st.  In 2010 he strongly supported this bill and we are hoping we can thank him for doing the same in 2015! Click here for more info:  Grassley Urges Passage of Hunger-Free Kids Act

Send us your message and we’ll write it on a paper plate for you and add it to the delivery.

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Advocacy Training around TAX FAIRNESS

ADVOCATING FOR TAX FAIRNESS

2-Day Training: Tuesday and Wednesday, June 23 and 24th

Urbandale Holiday Inn – Des Moines

PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED!!

Can’t commit for both days?  That’s OK – just use the contact form below and we’ll get in touch!!

Do you ever wonder about how tax policy is made?

Like how the process is supposed to work as opposed to how it really works? 

Or about the link between campaign contributions, lobbying and policy?

Do you think that the wealthy and multinational’s across the world are rigging the rules at the expense of lower- and middle-income people everywhere (in other words, you and me!)?

If so, have we got a deal for you!

An Advocacy Training around Tax Fairness will be held in Des Moines at the Urbandale Holiday Inn on June 23rd and 24th.

This training is for EVERYONE

Citizens, Faith Community, Leaders, Labor, Farmers, Retirees, Small Business Owners, Educators

Because tax policy affects EVERYONE!!

We will discuss tax fairness matters in Iowa, in America and around the world…

And then we’ll work on what we can do about it.

Trainings and strategy sessions will include: policy briefings on tax haven abuse and transparency, tax dodging by individuals and multinational corporations and rule-rigging, effective messaging, influencing decision-makers and community organization as well as strategy sessions on future engagement.

The training is free with meals and hotel (for out of town attendees) provided to participants.

Space is limited and filling up fast, so if you are interested, please respond ASAP!

This is sponsored by Iowa Citizen Action Network, Iowa Main Street Alliance and many other national groups and is being hosted by the FACT Coalition (Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency) with trainers from around the country coming into Des Moines to work with us.

YES, Contact me with more information!

Join Us On MAY 16 in AMES, IOWA

WORKING FAMILIES SUMMIT

Keynote Reich 1

May 16, 2015 at 9:00 AM

Scheman Building on the ISU Campus in Ames, Iowa

FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

RSVP:

 http://progressiowa.org/workingfamiliessummit

Local leaders will provide information about how we can raise wages, protect our civil rights, and make work more family friendly.

Attendees will leave ready to take action on behalf of working families! We hope to see you there!

Lunch will be provided
Donations to the Mid Iowa Community Action Food Bank (MICA) will be collected. Suggested items include: Crackers; Soups; Raman noodles; Rice; Hamburger Helpers; Toilet paper; Hygiene products (shampoo, conditioner, soap, deodorant, toothpaste etc.)

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

 

 

 

Fight for Families! – Protect Children’s Programs – Sign our Petition!!

Healthy ChildrenHealthcare for Millions of Families at Risk!

Right now Congress is failing to prioritize children’s health and nutrition programs. Without action from our elected officials, these programs will run out before the end of this year. Members of Congress are not putting our children first and making these issues a priority.

The Child Health Insurance Program (CHIP) are federal funds allocated for children’s health care coverage. Federal child nutrition programs are ongoing efforts to provide school lunches, summer meals, WIC, and more to kids. These programs provide our children with the healthcare and good food they need to grow and learn, and help parents meet the basics for their families. Our representatives must support these programs if they are to continue after this year

Don’t let funding for Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) expire. Congress must act immediately to extend funding for CHIP before millions of children lose access to affordable healthcare coverage.

We can do this, together we can provide a better future for our children and help parents care for and support their families.

ADD YOUR NAME – Tell Congress to put children first and fully fund children’s health and nutrition programs!

Yes, I can make a contribution to the campaign to protect children.

For more information and resources click here.

Have you made YOUR reservation?

It’s not too late!!!

We’ve made it very easy! Just click on

SAVE ME A SPOT!

and fill out the RSVP information!

It’s going to be an all Iowa evening, with dinner catered by Smokin’ Joe’s BBQ from Pleasantville; gourmet popcorn from our friends at Popcorn Heaven; cookies from Thelma’s Treats and more!!

We’re looking forward to seeing you!

February 20, 2015 — 5:30 – 8 pm
Johnston Iowa Lion’s Club