Weekend open thread: Women's Appreciation Day edition

Every year as International Women’s Day approaches, the Democratic Activist Women’s Network recognizes women who have excelled in Iowa politics. This week DAWN’s List announced the 2012 award-winners who will be honored at a reception in Des Moines on March 4. Event details are after the jump, along with the list of honorees for the Women’s Appreciation Day Reception.

On International Women’s Day itself (March 8), the League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Des Moines, Sisters on the Planet Ambassadors, and the Iowa Oxfam Action Corps are hosting a potluck, speaker, and movie screening at the Thoreau Center, 3500 Kingman Blvd in Des Moines, from 5:00pm to 7:30pm.

This is an open thread. What’s on your mind this weekend, Bleeding Heartland readers?

UPDATE: Over at the Essential Estrogen blog, Lynda Waddington reviewed what the four Republican women in the Iowa Senate have been doing this session.

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Iowa Democratic women's group announces 2011 award winners

The Democratic Activist Women’s Network, which seeks to support, recruit and elect pro-choice Democratic women in Iowa, has announced the honorees for its second annual Women’s Appreciation Day event.

Award winners include Lieutenant Governor Patty Judge (Special Recognition Award); State Representative Kirsten Running-Marquardt (State Elected Official Award) Representative Anesa Kajtazovic (Rising Star Award); Johnson County Recorder Kim Painter (Local Elected Official Award); Margo McNabb (Activist Award); Maggie Rawland (Lifetime Achievement Award).

During the reception, DAWN’s List will also honor Marcia Nichols for her dedication and immeasurable contribution to the advancement of democratic progressive values.

Guest speaker at the reception will be Iowa Democratic Party Chair, Sue Dvorsky.

Judge served in the Iowa Senate and as secretary of agriculture before being elected lieutenant governor. Running-Marquardt won a special election in Iowa House district 33 in late 2009 and was re-elected in 2010. Kajtazovic is both the youngest woman and the first Bosnian immigrant elected to the Iowa legislature, having won the November election in House district 21. Among Iowa’s county recorders, Painter has been an outspoken supporter of marriage equality. McNabb has been active in the Story County Democratic Party and is in the state Science and Technology Fair’s Hall of Fame. Rawland is a retired teacher and a longtime activist supporting the peace movement and education funding. Nichols is the legislative director for AFSCME in Iowa.

The DAWN’s List event will take place on March 7, beginning at 6:30 pm, at Forte (615 3rd Street, Des Moines). Tickets are $20, and you can RSVP either at the DAWN’s List website or by e-mailing event AT dawnslist.org.

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Know a pro-choice Democratic woman who deserves an award?

The Democratic Activist Women’s Network is seeking nominations to "honor Iowa women who have made a difference in our lives and in Iowa politics."

At the annual Women’s Appreciation Day Reception on March 7th, DAWN’s List will recognize progressive, pro-choice Democratic women from across the state for their work and dedication. […]

The awards include the Lifetime Achievement Award, Rising Star Award, Activist Award, Elected State Official Award, Elected Local Official Award and Special Recognition Award.

“Following such a tough mid-term election, it may seem like there isn’t much to celebrate about,” said event chair Natasha Newcomb. “That is far from the truth. Despite the current political climate, we know that women from all over the state get up every day and work to protect Iowa’s progressive values. We host this annual event to recognize and honor these women.”

Both men and women can submit nominations anytime before January 28, 2011. Contact information and the nomination form are on the DAWN’s List website.

Someone needs to nominate Anesa Kajtazovic for the rising star award. In a terrible election cycle for Democrats, she just became the youngest woman ever elected to the Iowa House and the first Bosnian immigrant ever elected to the Iowa legislature. She received more than 58 percent of the vote in House district 21 against a credible opponent, former Waterloo Mayor John Rooff.

Who else deserves recognition, Bleeding Heartland readers?

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Events coming up this week

I didn’t manage to compile calendars the past couple of weeks, but I wanted to get back on track today, because there are lots of newsworthy events happening in the coming week around Iowa.

I don’t think I’ll be able to make it to the DAWN’s List reception honoring outstanding Iowa Democratic women tomorrow. I’d appreciate it if someone who attends would post a comment or a diary here about the reception.

Other notable events this week include a symposium in Des Moines about Iowa’s 2008 floods, a sustainable communities conference in Dubuque, and a public workshop in Ankeny about competition and regulatory issues in the agriculture industry. Details on those and other happenings are after the jump.

Keep checking John Deeth’s blog for news about statewide, Congressional and state legislative candidate filings, which continue through March 19.

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Congratulations to these outstanding Democratic women

Today the Democratic Activist Women’s Network announced the winners of awards they will present on at their Women’s Appreciation Day Reception on March 8:

Award winners include Andrea Jansa, Des Moines (Rising Star Award); Rachael Grimes, McCallsburg (Special Recognition Award); Clara Oleson, West Branch (Activist Award); Peggy Huppert, Des Moines (Lifetime Achievement Award); and State Senator Amanda Ragan, Mason City (Elected Official Award).

During the reception, DAWN’s List will also honor Lynda Waddington for her volunteer efforts in 2009 and will recognize Roxanne Conlin, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, for her many years of service to DAWN-supported issues.

Guest speaker at the reception will be Christie Vilsack, Executive Director of the Iowa Initiative and former Iowa First Lady.  The reception will be held from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Grand Piano Bistro, 506 E. Grand Avenue, Des Moines.

Congratulations to all the award winners. Many Bleeding Heartland readers will recognize Lynda Waddington’s name as the founder of the Essential Estrogen blog and a frequent contributor to Iowa Independent. She’s one of my favorite reads.

Andrea Jansa is an assistant to Iowa House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

Not only is Amanda Ragan a good legislator, she managed to win her first election to the Iowa Senate in 2002, which was a tough political environment for Democrats.

Peggy Huppert has worked for and volunteered for many non-profit organizations. Some of you may remember her work as executive director of the Sensible Priorities Campaign before the 2008 Iowa caucuses.

If you want to buy tickets for the March 8 event, check the DAWN’s List website or send an e-mail to dawniowa AT gmail.com. DAWN’s list supports the election of pro-choice Democratic women candidates in Iowa.

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Weekend open thread and events coming up during the next ten days

This thread is for anything on your mind this weekend. After the jump I’ve posted details about lots of upcoming events in early February.

If you want to watch Senator Chuck Grassley do the “Friday Happy Dance” on WHO-TV, head on over to Dave Price’s blog.

The Polk County Democrats need more submissions of original recipes for the “Liberally Seasoned” cookbook they are compiling. By February 6, send polkdems AT gmail.com a word document including your full name and precinct, a paragraph about the dish, and a picture of the dish or yourself if possible. Categories: salads, appetizers, main dishes, vegetarian, desserts and drinks. They plan to have the cookbook ready by the Polk County Convention on March 12. For questions, call 515-285-1800.

DAWN’s List, which works to elect Democratic pro-choice women in Iowa, is seeking nominations for awards that will be given in five categories. Details are below, and nominations are due by the end of the day on February 1.

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