So Much To Do!
Yesterday I spend several hours at the Iowa Working Families Summit which was held in Ames. The number of people, surprisingly, was down. I write “surprisingly” without the knowledge that there were no fewer than two additional progressive events happening in the Metro. We can’t go to everything. What is interesting is the number of progressive events that are happening and how that is energizing so many people. “Ya can’t swing a dead cat and not connect with a progressive gathering in Iowa”, was one of the comments I heard yesterday. If I were a Republican strategist I’d be just a tad nervous these days.
Here are some take-away thoughts from the Iowa Working Families Summit:
- Sponsors Were Pleased – While the number of people who attended may have been down the people who sponsored the event from the Iowa Federation of Labor to the many vendors who were there seemed pleased with the energy;
- People Are Hurting – While our local economic development folks may crow about how wonderful things are (it is there job to do that) a great many people in Iowa are hurting. They are worried, frustrated and angry at a system that seems to shell out dollars and praise to a few but tend to leave crumbs for them;
- Union Workers are Proud – In my lifetime I have been in one union. I signed my Brotherhood of Maintenance and Way card in 1973. It was a short experience. I was between broadcasting jobs and needed work…it wasn’t pretty laying railroad track in the summer when one was used to sitting in AC. However, that experience and the stories I heard about my Grandfather who was a Congress of Industrial Organizations organizer have always compelled me to look at unions as an honorable way to lift the economics of us all. The union members at this event feel frustrated that so many do not share that outlook;
- Our Revolution is Hot – One of the many groups who have emerged since the 2016 election is Our Revolution. Heading that organization is Larry Cohen who offered up a fiery speech at the end of the day. We’ll have a conversation with Larry on the Business News Hour this week.
Bottom line…you should have been there.
Who Was in Ames?
I wish I could report to you that I saw a number of Republican candidates at the Iowa Working Families Summit but…alas…no. It’s too bad, they might have learned something…and we did have air conditioning and a good meal. Some of the folks that made the trip included Theresa Greenfield a yet to announce candidate in Iowa’s Third Congressional District. Democratic gubernatorial hopefuls included Jonathan Neiderbach, John Norris, Nate Boulton others may have been there but I missed them. I did see State Senator Rob Hogg (D-Cedar Rapids) there. Rob is the Minority Leader in the Iowa Senate and is working overtime in an effort to reclaim the senate and sanity in Des Moines.
If you didn’t stick around for the speech by my friend Larry Cohen who heads the organization Our Revolution you missed a great speech…he was not shy. “American’s want health care not health insurance. It’s a rip-off that we pay 20% of our medical dollars to companies who work to find ways NOT to deliver health care to Americans!” or this “This is about unity. It is not about dividing us but uniting us to move forward…”
If you click above you’ll hear his entire speech…enjoy. You could do worse than listen…perhaps it may motivate you to get involved.