Iowans March For Science This Saturday – Iowa Starting Line

Science and fact-based scientific research is under attack by Republicans at all levels of government. The national scientific community is asking the public for support. There will be national Science Marches in cities all across the country tomorrow.

Here’s the stated mission of the Science March: “The March for Science champions publicly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity. We unite as a diverse, nonpartisan group to call for science that upholds the common good, and for political leaders and policy makers to enact evidence based policies in the public interest.”

You can show that you support science by attending one of the Science Marches in Iowa this Saturday, April 22nd. There are Science Marches planned in these Iowa cities: Cedar Falls, Davenport, Des Moines, Iowa City, Independence, Mason City and Tipton. For specific information on the locations and times, go to Science, Not Silence. The Des Moines March is scheduled for noon at the Iowa State Capitol.

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Prepared remarks by Senator Amanda Ragan of Mason City, ranking member of the Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee

Thank you Mr. President. I am extremely disappointed by this proposed budget for Health and Human Services. In the past, Democrats and Republicans worked out our differences together. In the end, we jointly supported mental health services. We jointly supported … Continue reading

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Labor History

Today’s Labor Quote: Mary Doyle Keefe, the youngtelephone operator who modeled for Norman Rockwell’s “Rosie the Riveter” painting, who said “There was a war on, and you did what you could. . . . I was proud that it helped the effort and that the Rosie poster went around the country to help sell war bonds.”

April 22
Songwriter, musician and activist Hazel Dickens dies at age 75. Among her songs: “They’ll Never Keep Us Down” and “Working Girl Blues.” Cultural blogger John Pietaro: “Dickens didn’t just sing the anthems of labor, she lived them. Her place on many a picket line, staring down gunfire and goon squads, embedded her into the cause” – 2011

April 23 
The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) is founded through a merger of the Trades and Labour Congress of Canada (TLC) and the Canadian Congress of Labour (CCL), the two major union congresses in Canada at the time.  The CLC represents the interests of more than three million affiliated workers – 1956

Death of Ida Mae Stull, nationally recognized as the country’s first woman coal miner – 1980

United Farm Workers of America founder Cesar Chavez dies in San Luis, Ariz., at age 66 – 1993

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Vote for Cradling New Life

A Community Thrives (Grant Opportunity):
A Community Thrives (ACT) provides tools and resources for improving people, government, organizations, and businesses to better their community. This year is the first year that A Community Thrive has presented the opportunity for projects with community betterment to submit a short video to their website under one of three categories (wellness, arts & culture, & education) for the chance to win either a $100K or $50K grant for their chosen charity. Cradling New Life has submitted a video in hopes of being able to expand our services to more families throughout Iowa.
A Community Thrives website will hold a voting period from April 12 – May 12. Throughout this voting period, people are allowed to vote for their video of choice once a day. At the end of the voting period, the top ten videos in each category who received the most votes will be reviewed by a panel of judges to determine grant winners. Each category will have one $100K winner and two $50K winners. Cradling New Life’s video was submitted in the wellness category.
The more people that we are able to reach out to to help place a vote every day during this voting period, the better the chance Cradling New Life will have to receiving one of the grants available to allow us to expand our services. Any help you are able to provide would be much appreciated. Newsletters, emails, talking about this at meetings, and media attention are all great ideas. I went to A Community Thrives website tonight and it appears there are about 36 submissions from Iowa (I’m not sure what all their categories are). The link below takes you right to our video on A Community Thrives website or you can search for their page, click on submit or view videos, and then in their search bar type Cradling New Life and our video will pop up.
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Attend a Forum

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It’s almost over for this year.  On Monday, once again, hundreds of Iowans packed the State Capitol to speak out against the terrible GOP budget cuts.  After the GOP turned a $928 million surplus into a $130 million deficit, Iowans … Continue reading

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DREAMer Deportation Increases Fear Among Iowa Immigrants – Iowa Starting Line

Yesterday’s shocking news on the deportation of Californian Juan Manuel Montes has increased the anxiety in the immigrant community. Montes, 23, came to the United States at age 9 and believed he was protected from deportation under President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA). This is the first reported deportation of a DREAMer covered by the DACA program and it’s causing panic. Montes lawyer is suing the Trump administration over his deportation.

“Juan Manuel was funneled across the border without so much as a piece of paper to explain why or how,” stated Nora A. Preciado, a staff attorney at the National Immigration Law Center, (NILC). “The government shouldn’t treat anyone this way — much less someone who has DACA. No one should have to file a lawsuit to find out what happened to them.”

NILC executive director Marielena Hincapié asked, “how is it possible that in the United States of America you can be walking and be stopped by Border Patrol and then disappeared and sent to another country because you don’t have your wallet on you?”

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Labor History

Today’s Labor Quote: Walter Reuther 
“There is no power in the world that can stop the forward march of free men and women when they are joined in the solidarity of human brotherhood.”  

April 21
New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller signs Taylor Law, permitting union organization and bargaining by public employees, but outlawing the right to strike – 1967

Some 12,500 Goodyear Tire workers strike nine plants in what was to become a 3-week walkout over job security, wage and benefit issues – 1997

Mary Doyle Keefe, who in 1943 posed as “Rosie the Riveter” for famed painter Norman Rockwell, dies at age 92 in Simsbury, Connecticut. Published on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post in May 1943, Rosie came to symbolize women factory workers during World War II. (The Rockwell painting is sometimes conjoined in peoples’ memories with a similarly-themed poster by Pittsburgh artist J. Howard Miller, “We Can Do It!” created the year before.) – 2015

Union Communication Services

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Attacks on public-sector workers hurt working people and benefit the wealthy

Often, when politicians or corporate lobbyists attack public employees, they claim they’re acting to help hard-working taxpayers in the nonunion private sector who are suffering under the burden of supposedly fat and lazy government workers and their Cadillac pensions. Earlier this year, for instance, when Iowa governor Terry Branstad signed a bill eliminating collective bargaining rights for that state’s public employees, he declared the new law would restore “fairness for Iowa taxpayers.” Branstad’s words echo those of Wisconsin governor Scott Walker who in 2011 declared that public employees had to be stripped of their union rights, claiming “we can no longer live in a society where the public employees are the haves and the taxpayers who pay the bill are the have-nots.”

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Opponents say Trump Proposal Undermines Social Security

April 19, 2017 – Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service (IA) Play Audio in Browser Window The latest federal estimates say Social Security’s trust fund will run out in 2034, although the program would continue to pay benefits through its income … Continue reading

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Labor History

Labor Quote of the Day: George Meany “Greed to make the last dollar of profit led those employers to use violence, the courts and blacklists as weapons against unionism. They sought to deny workers their First Amendment rights-to act together and … Continue reading

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‘Buy America’ Good First Step for Working People

 Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on today’s ‘Buy America’ and Work Visa Executive Order:

We welcome efforts to improve the effectiveness of “Buy America” and “Buy American,” both of which commit taxpayer funds to support good jobs and businesses in America. Today’s executive order is a good first step toward making Buy America provisions more effective and discouraging excessive waivers, but more needs to be done to pivot the U.S. economy toward steady wage and job growth.

Although short on specifics, today’s order addresses critically important issues. With respect to immigration, the labor movement consistently has called for reform, rather than expansion, of temporary work visa programs that make U.S. and foreign workers more vulnerable to discrimination, displacement and exploitation. A serious look at the impact of these captive-work programs on rights, wages and working conditions is long overdue. It’s crucial that working people’s experiences inform efforts to crack down on employer fraud and abuse.

The labor movement will continue to push for trade, procurement and immigration reforms that unite and empower communities, while protecting the rights, dignity and livelihoods of all working people. Executive orders alone cannot accomplish the sweeping changes necessary to achieve a fairer, more inclusive economy, so we urge the administration to work with Congress to further improve these programs.

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Synthetic drugs found in Iowa State Penitentiary

Synthetic marijuana, also known as K2 or Spice, is inside the Iowa State Penitentiary, Iowa’s maximum security prison in Fort Madison, according to a local union that represents officers in the penitentiary.

The Iowa Department of Corrections acknowledged the presence of drugs in the prison on Monday. It is informing staff both verbally and through email the identification of the drug.

“Inmates are trying to swim on concrete floors — they’re getting sick,” said AFSCME Council 61 President Danny Homan. “They get agitated; they get upset; they get pissed off.”

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Labor History

Today’s Labor Quote: Adam Clayton Powell Jr. “Unless man is committed to the belief that all mankind are his brothers, then he labors in vain and hypocritically in the vineyards of equality.” April 19 In Grand Rapids, Michigan, the nation’s “Furniture … Continue reading

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More than 200 organizations oppose calls for new constitutional convention, warn of dangers

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As wealthy special interests groups increase their efforts, constitutional rights and public interest groups stand in opposition to an Article V convention that could rewrite the U.S. Constitution Today 230 national, state, and local groups are releasing a letter in … Continue reading

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Our 5th Annual LGBTQ Health & Wellness Conference is coming up on Saturday, April 29 at Des Moines University from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

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Our 5th Annual LGBTQ Health & Wellness Conference is coming up on Saturday, April 29 at Des Moines University from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.! This year’s conference theme is Facing Our New Reality, and we hope you’ll join us. … Continue reading

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Town Hall with Sen. Chuck Grassley

You may have seen in the news recently on the impact that concerned members of the community have had by going to town halls. If you haven’t signed up to attend a town hall yet, will you join other members of your community to make a difference?

In the coming days, your Congressional representative is holding a town hall near you. UAW members, retirees and family members across the country have committed to attending these meetings to make our voice heard. Will you join them?

WHO: UAW Activists in Iowa
WHAT: Town Hall with Sen. Chuck Grassley
WHEN: April 18 at 2:30 PM CST
WHERE: Keokuk County Courthouse
101 S Main St
Sigourney, IA 52591

WHO: UAW Activists in Iowa
WHAT: Town Hall with Sen. Chuck Grassley
WHEN: April 19 at 10 AM CST
WHERE: Iowa State Bank Meeting Room
500 Audubon St
Sac City, IA 50583

RSVP for your event now!

 

With healthcare, Medicare, Social Security, and basic union rights on the line, it’s never been more important for your representative to hear from you. Attend your Congressional town hall, hold your representative accountable and make your voice heard! The stakes have never been higher.

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ISP DRUG INFILTRATION ALLOWED WITHOUT LOCKDOWN

DES MOINES – AFSCME Council 61 President Danny Homan issued the following statement in response to a rising drug problem at the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison: “In recent weeks, a total of twelve inmates have been tied to … Continue reading

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Labor History

Today’s Labor Quote: Pope Francis
“Work is fundamental to the dignity of the person.” 

April 17
The Supreme Court holds that a maximum-hours law for New York bakery workers is unconstitutional under the due process clause of the 14th amendment – 1905

An explosion at a West Texas fertilizer plant kills 15 people and injures nearly 300 when 30 tons of highly explosive ammonium nitrate—stored in sheds without sprinkler systems—caught fire.  Of those killed, ten were emergency responders – 2013

April 18
West Virginia coal miners strike, defend selves against National Guard – 1912

After a four-week boycott led by Rev. Adam Clayton Powell Jr., bus companies in New York City agree to hire 200 Black drivers and mechanics – 1941

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Iowa Legislature attacks Iowa Workers and their families

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By any measure, the speed and ferocity of attacks against Iowa workers and their families by the state legislature represents a dramatic departure from the balance of power between people and big corporations and millionaires. Politicians perpetuating alternative facts want … Continue reading

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Forums for April 14 – 20

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House and Senate Republicans unveiled their budget targets for 2018 and their intentions to drastically cut vital services that Iowans rely on. The targets slash resources from Governor Branstad’s already-scarce budget by an additional $38 million. The proposal cuts the … Continue reading

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