We’re Going to the Progress Iowa Corn Feed

Headed to the Progress Iowa Corn Feed in Cedar Rapids this Sunday, July 14? Iowa Citizen Action Network will be there highlighting our TAX MARCH IOWA project!

Doors open at noon at Newbo City Market, 1100 3rd St SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401.

We’ll be hearing from Congresswoman Abby Finkenaur, State Auditor Rob Sand and many of the Democratic Presidential Candidates!

Lots of our friends and allies will be there with activities for all ages!

And the best part is… IT’S FREE!

Look for the gigantic Trump Chicken… that’s where you’ll find us!  We’ll have a photo area set up with lots of props and other fun “corny” games for the family!

Hope to see you there!

Sue Dinsdale // sdinsdale@iowacan.org

Tax the Rich Bus Tour

Tuesday, July 23, 2019–1pm to 4 pm

The Tax The Rich Tour is coming to Iowa to demand the rich pay their fair share, join us in demanding tax and economic justice!

For additional details stay tuned to the Events Section of our  facebook page.

  Hosted by Tax March and Tax March Iowa

ICAN 40th Anniversary

 

40th Anniversary Celebration

Embrace the Past… Celebrate the Present… Dream for the Future

Join us as we commemorate 40 years of activism with Iowa Citizen Action Network

May 30, 2019 5 pm Happy Hour 6 pm Program

Holiday Inn Downtown 1050 6th Street Des Moines, Iowa 50314

It’s our Ruby Anniversary!

Click here to get tickets or to be a sponsor

If you are an organization that needs reservations for a display table click here

Our Confirmed Guest Speakers include:

  • John “Skip” Laitner: Skip is a founding member of  Iowa Citizen-Labor Energy Coalition which became ICAN. He was a senior economist for the EPA, he now leads a sustainable energy policy team, Economic and Human Dimensions Research Associates, based in Tucson. He travels the globe speaking on energy and climate policy.
  • J.D. Scholten: J.D. is defined by his Iowa values. After nearly unseating Steve King in 2018, J.D. is now director of Working Hero Iowa, helping promote the Earned Income Tax Credit to assist low-income Iowans. He believes that hard work, civility and community are the values we should all aspire to, and he is committed to living those values
  • Heather Booth: Heather founded and was director of Citizen-Labor Energy Coalition. She is a civil rights activist, feminist, and strategist who has been involved in activism for progressive causes. She is featured in a documentary:  Heather Booth: Changing the World. (via video call)
  • Rob Sand: Rob was elected as Iowa’s State Auditor in 2018 where he serves as our “taxpayers watchdog.” He formerly was a part of the Area Prosecutions Division, becoming the first ever Assistant Attorney General focused on prosecuting financial crime. No one else has prosecuted more of Iowa’s public corruption or major financial crime over the last decade.
  • Maura Quint: Maura helped found and currently serves as the Executive Director of Tax March. An advocate for economic justice and a fair tax code, she works with activists across the country to help shape narratives and raise voices. She has appeared as a guest on shows including On the Media, MSNBC and Pitchfork Economics.

Featuring a special appearance by The Trump Chicken launching our program to secure the future: Tax March Iowa

 

 

Medicare Needs An UPDATE!

Click HERE to tell us your story!

Medicare has remained stuck in the 60s.  It’s time for us to strengthen and expand it!  We need the Build Back Better Agenda!

Drug corporations have been price-gouging patients, taxpayers and businesses for over a decade, with price increases that outpace inflation and put even basic medicines out of reach for millions. Americans spend more on prescription drugs than any comparable nation, paying double today what they paid in the 1990s.

Click HERE to tell us your story! 

We’d like to share stories from constituents to our Members of Congress.

What it would mean to you if Congress allowed Medicare to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies?

How would you or someone in your family benefit from lower prescription drug prices?

Empowering the government to negotiate down drug prices would not only lower costs for seniors on Medicare, but for Americans with private insurance and employers as well. It would save taxpayers over half a trillion dollars. Those savings could be invested in further making healthcare more affordable, expanding coverage in Medicare to include dental, vision and hearing for seniors and closing the Medicaid coverage gap for millions of people that have no access to coverage or medicine.

 

Letter to Iowa Delegation

Click HERE to sign on!

To: Iowa Congressional Delegation: Senators Grassley and Ernst, Representatives Hinson, Miller-Meeks, Axne and Feenstra

Americans across the political spectrum overwhelmingly support Congressional action to lower the price of prescription drugs. Specifically, a strong majority of Republicans, Democrats and Independents support specific policies like enabling Medicare Part D to negotiate for lower prices in order to rein in drug corporations’ monopoly power to charge people in the United States many times more than what our neighbors in other countries pay for the same medicines.

We applaud proposals like H.R. 3, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act and the newly-released Senate Finance Committee principles for prescription drug reform, which both include proposals for Medicare negotiations that would lower prices and then extend those discounts beyond Part D enrollees so that people with private insurance or no insurance can also benefit from more affordable medicines.

Including negotiations in the current drug reforms builds on the success that this policy has enjoyed in other government programs and agencies, including the Department of Veterans Affairs, while at the same time recognizing that these days, veterans get their health coverage from a variety of sources.

Research shows federal programs which have the power to negotiate–including the Veterans Administration, the Department of Defense and Medicaid–all pay lower prices for drugs than Medicare, which does not have this authority. A Government Accountability Office report found that in 2017, prescription drugs in Medicare Part D cost twice as much as same prescription drugs provided through the Department of Veterans Affairs.

In his recent address to Congress, President Biden said, “Let’s give Medicare the power to save hundreds of billions of dollars by negotiating lower drug prescription prices. . . It’s within our power to do it; let’s do it now.” We urge Congress to act on the President’s words.

No one in America should have to go without the medicines they need to take care of themselves and their families, particularly veterans struggling with health conditions resulting from their service to our nation. Lowering drug prices not only saves taxpayers money, it makes medicines more accessible for patients including veterans and their families. The time is now for Congress to take long overdue action to lower drug prices for everyone.

We look forward to working with you to make lower drug prices a reality this year in order to make our nation better for everyone.

Sincerely,

Click HERE to sign on!

Allow Medicare Negotiations

Enabling Medicare to negotiate drug prices is one of the most significant things we can do to make medicines affordable for patients and taxpayers, and must be part of any drug price reform. Similarly, lowering out-of-pocket costs and reining in drug corporations’ monopoly power to price-gouge through patent reforms are critical features of reform.

Have a Heart! Pass COVID Relief!

After a year of insufficient aid to meet an ever-worsening crisis, Iowans NEED 

comprehensive COVID relief NOW!

Right now, there are thousands of our friends, family and neighbors who are out of work, who have lost pay, or who have lost hours because of the pandemic. A small “rescue package” will leave far too many people behind and struggling. Republican lawmakers had no problem supporting massive tax breaks for billionaires with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Now they need to work for struggling Iowans! 

There is no excuse for our Members of Congress to block full, fast and fair relief for those who are trying to stay afloat!

Tell your Representative: PASS RELIEF NOW!

No Iowan Should Go Hungry

 

Join us as we call on the Iowa Legislature and Governor Reynolds to provide immediate resources for Iowans struggling with hunger.

We urge the Iowa Legislature and Governor Reynolds to act swiftly in January to provide immediate additional resources to help Iowans struggling with hunger.

Since Iowa closed out fiscal year 2020 with an ending balance of more than $305 million and has more than $770 million in reserve accounts, we call on our elected officials to commit to providing food assistance to struggling Iowa families.

Food assistance would go beyond helping hungry families, it could help our community grocery stores, Iowa farmers and restaurants who are all in need of a boost. If ever there was a time to use our “rainy-day” fund on what is looking more like a tsunami, it is now. 

We will deliver signatures and comments to Leadership and the Governor on January 11, the first day of the 2021 Legislative Session.

 

 

Iowans Can’t Afford To Wait As Payroll Protection Program Expires

Support for Small Businesses and the Unemployed Will Help the Economy Recover

Congress created the Paycheck Protection Program as a way to provide relief for small businesses impacted during the COVID 19 crisis. The $2.2 trillion relief package was signed in March, and at the end of June, the PPP was extended again until August 8. This program was designed to help small businesses with fewer than 500 employees cover payroll expenses and overhead costs during the economic decline caused by the COVID shutdown. More than 4.8 million small business owners have utilized the program.

“PPP has made [small businesses] able to stay afloat. If Congress can give trillion dollar tax cuts to the rich, they can certainly put some money into our economy,” said small business owner Shawn Gallagher of Cedar Rapids. “The UI benefits are huge and we need to keep that money coming. It takes the pressure off business owners to carry our economy, it’s not our responsibility-it’s time for Congress to take responsibility. It’s criminal that they can take a recess when these plans have not been worked out-but it doesn’t affect them.”

Karen Kubby small business owner Iowa City PPP funds need to be targeted to medium and small businesses, not large corporations; they have CEOs who have salaries who are padded. The next round should target women and Black and Immigrant owned businesses, recognizing that these groups don’t have as many traditional banking relationships.”

The first round of PPP worked. PPP funds need to go to small businesses, but rich people and corporations are always going to get richer. We need to make sure we keep moving forward – something needs to happen. The more we bog down, people will lose any hope they might have. Mike Draper small business owner.

The PPP expired August 8, and Congress has not acted to extend the benefits to small business owners. Iowa Workforce Development reports 4,662 Iowans filed initial unemployment claims between October 11 and October 17. That number is up by 470 from the previous reporting period.  Continuing weekly unemployment claims totaled 41,967. At a time when a record number of Americans are impacted by the COVID crisis, small business owners cannot afford to wait.

The Ballots are Coming! The Ballots are Coming!

Are YOU ready to vote? The Secretary of State’s office has a website that can answer many VOTER READY IOWA questions! There are a record number of Iowans planning to take advantage of early voting this year as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

Early voting has begun, and we can vote early by mail or in person or waiting and going to the polls on Nov. 3.

Here are some things to know:

Are you registered? You can check on the Secretary of State’s website.

In order to receive an absentee ballot, voters must make sure their county auditor receives their request by 5 p.m. on Oct. 24, 10 days before the election. So if you plan to vote by mail request that ballot as soon as possible! And don’t worry if you have received several ballot request forms this year from various entities –the Secretary of State says you will only receive ONE ballot even if you accidentally mail in more than one form.

To be counted, an absentee ballot must be received by the county auditor by the time polls close on Election Day or be postmarked by the day before the election and received by the auditor by noon on the Monday following the election. Election officials are encouraging Iowans to return their ballots as soon as they make up their minds about who to vote for.

Have an absentee ballot but don’t want to mail it? You can take it to your county auditor’s office and hand-deliver it.

Want to track your own ballot? Once you have made your request you can go to sos.iowa.gov/elections/absenteeballotstatus and enter your information to check on it!

Iowa is experienced with absentee voting – Iowans should be confident every vote will be counted.

Keep in mind that election night results are not official until a canvass is conducted the week after the election.

Some things to remember:

Read and follow the instructions!

Sign the outer affidavit envelope. Failure to do so will cause the ballot to be rejected.

Place the absentee ballot in the included secrecy envelope before putting it in the outer envelope and mailing it to your auditor.

If you make a mistake on your absentee ballot – contact your county auditor! Iowa law has procedures for “spoiling” mailed absentee ballots and obtaining a replacement.

Who’s on the ballot, anyway?

On the front of Iowans’ ballots will be races for: President and vice president; U.S. Senate; U.S. House; All 100 of Iowa’s state representatives and half of the 50 state senators; County offices like sheriff, county attorney, auditor, treasurer and recorder; Nonpartisan offices like hospital trustees and county agricultural extension council.

On the back of Iowans’ two-sided ballots will be four Iowa Supreme Court justices and a number of judges facing retention elections.  Iowans also will vote on whether Iowa should hold a constitutional convention to propose amendments to the state’s constitution — a measure that is required by law to be placed on the ballot every decade.

Still have some questions or need some help! Feel free to contact us at sdinsdale@iowacan.org and we will answer your questions!

As always, thank you for your support and activism! –Sue

Know the Issues Before You Vote

Paid Leave for All

Iowans are facing impossible choices, forcing us to choose between job and family. If COVID-19 has taught us anything it’s that paid leave goes beyond helping families and saving lives. It bolsters the economy by helping employers retain their workers and stay afloat while doing so. It has shown us that paid leave needs to extend to ALL employers – that those with over 500 employees must be included so that all workers receive this benefit, not be left to the discretion of the big companies.

Check out our video conversation on Paid Leave For All with State Representative Lindsay James and Amy Adams!

COVID has also shown us that small employers cannot do it on their own..

We know we need a common-sense solution to address the paid leave crisis – a solution that extends beyond the December 31, 2020 expiration of the FFCRA. We know we need a national paid leave plan that covers all Americans.

Thanks for checking out our video. We will be sending additional conversations in the coming days.

If you haven’t already, be sure to VOTE in this election. The issues we are facing are so important to each and every one of us.

We are collecting stories to show the importance of Paid Leave legislation that goes beyond pandemic relief. Will you share your story?
We want to hear what meaningful paid leave legislation would mean to you or someone you know?
Click HERE to sign up or reply to this email!
We’ll send a Paid Leave For All Shirt, mask, button or sticker and work with you to either do a photo and your story or record a short video!

We have a limited number of shirts so act fast to get one right away!

Thanks for your continued support.  Feel free to forward this email to anyone who would be interested! And let us know if you have any questions! — Sue // sdinsdale@iowacan.org

 

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On The Issues- Know Before You Vote

Market vs. Economy

Iowa Citizen Action Network, along with our allies and partners, has put together a series of videos: On The Issues – Know Before You Vote. This installment is about the Market vs. the Economy.

There is a common misconception that the Market and the Economy are one and the same, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Click HERE to watch a conversation with ReShonda Young of Waterloo, a small business owner and financial planner, explaning the difference.

To try and simplify the difference between the Market and the Economy, we look at it like this:

The stock market  is largely made up of corporations which are much different than the small businesses, workers and cities in the U.S. In the market, it’s all about profits for stockholders.

The economy is more about small business owners, workers and consumers. There is a cycle when production and consumption increases: to produce more goods, companies and factories might hire more employees to complete such production. With more individuals employed and gathering paychecks, more people have money to spend on such goods – increasing overall consumption.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the disconnect.  For decades, the market has been growing increasingly detached from the mainstream of American life. Wall Street has very little to do with Main Street. And now with the economic fallout of the pandemic any illusion that the market is the economy is even more pronounced.

The Market basically sees rich people getting richer; corporations making more money and politicians falling over themselves to keep that going.

The Economy is what we are living day-to-day. With job losses, businesses closing, racial inequality, the end of pandemic relief, etc.  Iowans and Americans are hurting and a rising stock market doesn’t mean a lot for our everyday lives.

Thanks for checking out our video. We will be sending additional conversations in the coming days.

If you haven’t already, be sure to VOTE in this election. The issues we are facing are so important to each and every one of us.

Thanks for your continued support.  Feel free to forward this email to anyone who would be interested! And let us know if you have any questions! — Sue // sdinsdale@iowacan.org

Pandemic Profiteering

 

How Pharma Insiders Are Using News of Government Awards & Trial Results to Boost Their Stock Prices Without a Vaccine.

The federal government is investing billions of dollars in the development of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, with little assurance that these medicines will be affordable or available to the millions of people who need them. Despite polling that demonstrates that the public is extremely concerned about drug corporations price gouging on COVID-19 medicines, neither the Trump administration nor Congress has taken meaningful action to limit drug corporations’ monopoly control over prices, to increase transparency for corporations or to guarantee affordability for patients.

While taxpayers have not yet seen much benefit from their investments, some corporate insiders and speculators are profiting handsomely from temporary surges in stock prices that offer short-term rewards—whether or not a vaccine or medicine ultimately materializes.

Rather than learning hard lessons from the opioid pandemic and other past crises, drug corporations are doubling down on reckless, short-sighted schemes for quick money rather than considering the long-term implications for investors, the reputational risks, and the impacts on public health.

From January to August, the stock market value for the eight biotech companies on the S&P 500 grew by $130  billion. During the same period, executives and insiders from just three of these companies — Moderna, Inovio and Vaxart — made at least $370 million in sales of company stocks inflated by news of government awards and trial results.3 These findings show that company executives and insiders are profiteering from the pandemic, without any guarantee of a vaccine.

Large institutional investors are increasingly concerned about the high-risk business practices of the pharmaceutical sector that invite scrutiny, investigation, legal interventions and increased regulations. Share spikes tied to government funding of COVID-19 medicines have already attracted Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) attention. The presence of industry insiders in positions of influence in the Trump administration raises a myriad of questions about whether investments in COVID-19 medicines serve public or private interests.

This report traces how massive public investments into the research and development of COVID-19 medicines and vaccines increase wealth for industry insiders, short-term speculators, and President Trump’s political allies, while providing no guarantee of a safe, affordable treatment that serves public health needs.

Click on Pandemic Profiteering to read the full report.