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Press Releases


SEPTEMBER 18, 2013

CONTACT:  Sue Dinsdale


PHONE: 515-480-3240

Iowa Residents Petition Members of Congress to End Political “Hunger Games” in Response to Proposed SNAP Cuts

Don’t Take Food from Kids While Protecting Corporate Tax Loopholes

Des Moines, Iowa  – Iowa Citizen Action Network delivered a petition to US Representative Tom Latham’s Des Moines office today on behalf of nearly 200 Iowans including: anti-hunger advocates, people who depend on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), small business owners, farmers, educators, retirees, veterans and others to remind him that Iowan’s are counting on his support. The delivery was timed  in response to a likely vote in the U.S. House of Representatives this week that would cut food assistance by $40 billion over 10 years and affect up to six million Americans. 

The petition was also delivered via email to Representatives Braley, King and Loebsack.

The petition says:

 We, the undersigned, are joining together to give a voice to veterans, children, senior citizens and families in our communities.

We are asking our US Representatives to stand up for our neighbors in need. Don’t throw them off of life-saving food assistance.

Vote NO on cutting off food assistance (SNAP) Benefits for poor and low-income Iowa families!

Over the last two years, Congress has already cut over a trillion dollars from services and benefits provided through programs like SNAP. At the same time that Republican leaders are promoting this new cut, they refuse to end tax loopholes that corporate giants use to avoid paying any federal income taxes, or dramatically reduce what they pay, despite making billions in profits.

Congress has already stacked the deck against the middle-class and working families in this country by making across-the-board cuts to healthcare, education and public safety,” said Sue Dinsdale, Executive Director of Iowa Citizen Action Network. “Now on top of those cuts, it will punish hungry children, families and seniors while it continues to reward corporations with tax breaks and loopholes.”

The proposed $40 billion cut to SNAP, also known as Food Stamps, would come on top of across-the-board cuts to SNAP slated to begin in November, which would lower the average benefit per person to less than $1.40 per meal. The $40 billion cut would impact a range of people but would disproportionately hurt children, who make up almost half of SNAP recipients.

In 2011, nearly 1 million children lived in families that had to limit how much they could eat because of an inability to afford food. Food insecurity among such families would increase if SNAP benefits were cut under the new legislation proposed by House Republican leaders. The $40 billion cut over the next 10 years would also:

  •  Cut nutrition assistance for 210,000 children who receive free meals at school
  • Cut food assistance for 170,000 veterans who depend on SNAP
  • Place increased burdens on churches, food pantries, soup kitchens and agencies who in communities with large populations facing food insecurity

“It’s outrageous that Congress would play political games with people who are struggling to put food on the table. We are confident that our Iowa Representatives will stand up and protect families and communities,” said Dinsdale.


For Immediate Release, June 3, 2013, Contact:  Sue Dinsdale  515-480-3240

Iowa Fair Courts Coalition Representative Invited to White House Iowa Citizen Action Network to Represent Iowa at Forum on the Federal Judiciary

Des Moines, Iowa – Iowa Citizen Action Network Executive Director Sue Dinsdale will be travelling to Washington, DC for a Wednesday, June 5th White House Forum on Judicial Vacancies and the Importance of the Courts.  This policy briefing will connect leading advocacy organizations to senior Obama Administration officials on issues critical to their community. Read more…

For Immediate Release, May 23, 2013, Contact:  Sue Dinsdale  515-480-3240

Iowa Citizen Action Network Issues Statement on Medicaid Expansion Compromise Credits Iowans for Pressuring the Governor to Accept Federal Funds

Des Moines – Iowa Citizen Action Network Executive Director Sue Dinsdale made the following statement today:

“In the final hours of the 2013 Iowa Legislative Session, lawmakers and Governor Branstad set aside petty politics and focused on the needs of Iowans.  The real winners today are the thousands of Iowans who now have a chance at health care security.” Dinsdale continued,  “While there are still hurdles along the path of full implementation, this is an important first step after months of delay.” Read More…

June 10, 2011

Constituents In The Current And Future 4th Congressional District Express Concern That They’re Going “Out Of The Frying Pan And Into The Fire”

Business Owners, Physicians, Citizens Challenge Representatives Latham And King To Support Medicare & Medicaid For Seniors, Middle-Class Families Instead Of Tax Breaks For Super-Rich & Big


Sue Dinsdale speaks at ARA Convention 7-24-13

ICAN Executive Director gives presentation at Alliance for Retired Americans Convention.

Underwriting Bad Jobs- How Tax Dollars are Financing Low Wage Work

Every day, Americans benefit from public structures that contribute to our quality of life. When we walk into a clean, well-maintained post office; drive on federal highways; send our kids to school knowing they’ll get a hot lunch; or call the Social Security benefits with a question, we see our federal tax dollars at work, providing public services we rely on. What most Americans don’t know is that many of the workers keeping our nation humming are paid low wages, earning barely enough to afford essentials like food, health care, utilities and rent. Through federal contracts and other funding, our tax dollars are fueling the low-wage economy and exacerbating inequality. Hundreds of billions of dollars in federal contracts, grants, loans, concession agreements and property leases go to private companies that pay low wages, provide few benefits, and offer employees little opportunity to work their way into the middle class. At the same time, many of these companies are providing their executives with exorbitant compensation.

Main Street Policy Pulse: Small Business Views On Financial Reform (PDF)

Based on a survey of 1,237 small business owners from 13 states, this report assesses participating small businesses’ experiences with the economic recession and evaluates Main Street business owners’ views on financial reform. The survey found strong support among participating small business owners for financial reform and creation of a consumer financial protection agency.

Federal Government Promotes Poverty-Wage Jobs Through its Contracting Practices

A Survey of Workers and Their Stories

For decades, American workers have watched good jobs disappear. Family-supporting jobs have been replaced by low-wage ones that leave workers in a precarious position, often relying on public assistance to survive. And since the official end of the recession in 2009, low-wage jobs have returned more quickly than good jobs, continuing a downward trend for frontline workers. Directly and indirectly, American taxpayers fund millions of low-wage jobs through federal contracts that keep facilities—from the Smithsonian Institution to factories making military uniforms and equipment—up and running.

Washington does not keep an official tally of the number of privately contracted workers who help provide public services, but researchers estimate there are about two million. Before the Great Recession, roughly 20 percent of this group fell below the poverty line, and 40 percent earned less than a living wage.

These workers express frustration with jobs in which hard work does not translate into the ability to sustain themselves and their families.  They worry about health problems and express chagrin about depending on taxpayer-funded safety net programs. They wish they could still believe in the dream that their children will someday experience something better. Examples of their reactions include:

  • “I have been driving for more than 20 years and make less now than when I got started.”
  • “It is very difficult for me and my family. I must pay the rent, buy clothing for the children, and feed them. But my wages are not always enough. I wish that I did not have to depend on government help like Medicaid and food stamps, but without the help we would be homeless or starving.”
  • “[W]hen I work overtime, [my boss] doesn’t pay me the correct amount. I just get regular wages, not overtime. That happens all the time. He says, ‘You have to work more—there is no choice.’ But he says he won’t pay extra. This is for everybody, not just for me. We know it’s not right.  And I think he knows too.”
  •  “If we make production, then we’ll get additional money. But we almost never can do that. They always slow down the line before we can make production—and in that case all we get is our minimum wage, which just really isn’t enough to live on.”

Please click above for full report

Main Street Policy Pulse: Small Business Views On Financial Reform – Iowa Snapshot (PDF)

In Iowa, 101 small business owners participated in the survey on financial issues and financial reform. Respondents overwhelmingly believe that Congress should pass strong financial reforms, financial reforms are needed to ensure accountability on Wall Street, promote fair access to credit for small businesses and prevent another collapse. They also support creation of a Consumer Financial Protection Agency to supervise all bank and non-bank lenders.

National Minimum Medical Loss Ratio Would Save Tens of Billions of Dollars For Businesses, Individuals

A Main Street Alliance Report. A new minimum medical loss ratio and requirements that health insurance plans conform to standardized benefits packages would save significant sums and end industry practices to game the system and sidestep legitimate medical costs.

Three Proposals to Pay for Health Care Reform: Impacts on People in Your State

Iowa Citizen Action Network and Citizens for Tax Justice released a new report that lays out options for paying for quality, affordable health care reform that includes a public health insurance option.

BAD MEDICINE: The President’s Medicaid Regulations Will Weaken Iowa’s Economy

FamiliesUSA’s April 2008 report outlines not only the potential human impact of these regulations, particularly on children and people with disabilities, but also how the regulations will cause serious and quantifiable harm to state economies.

Failing Grades: State Consumer Protections in the Individual Health Insurance Market

Iowa’s state consumer protections for individuals in the health insurance market lead to the growing problem of the uninsured.

First Things First

The proposed 2008 budget released by the President will have far reaching impacts on Iowans if enacted.

We Must Invest in Iowa’s Future

ICAN and USAction release report demonstrating that new investments in the areas of education, health care, and energy policy are necessary to address the unmet needs of Iowans.

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Overall direction of the organization including financial management, staff supervision, affiliate relations and strategic planning

Sue Dinsdale
Executive Director

Main Street Alliance small business health care, federal and state issues

Sue Dinsdale
Executive Director