# Advocacy



Monarchs merit royal care

Kurt Meyer writes a weekly column for the Nora Springs – Rockford Register, where this essay first appeared. He serves as chair of the executive committee (the equivalent of board chair) of Americans for Democratic Action, America’s most experienced liberal organization.

Who doesn’t love butterflies, especially monarch butterflies?

Let me share several verbal bouquets I encountered in reading articles about monarchs. “Showy looks.” “Extraordinary migration.” “One of the natural world’s wonders,” and, “one of the continent’s most beloved insects.” Unfortunately, I also came across some very troubling terms, like “endangered,” “vulnerable populations,” “declining precipitously” and “teeter(ing) on the edge of collapse.” Suffice to say, it all captured my attention.

Monarchs have been in the news a great deal lately. Appropriately so.

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A science-based case against carbon dioxide pipelines across Iowa

Seventeen academics, farmland owners, and environmental advocates have urged the Iowa Utilities Board to reject permit applications for a carbon dioxide pipeline that would run across Iowa. A July 29 letter to the board laid out four science-based objections to the projects proposed by Summit Carbon Solutions, Navigator CO2 Ventures, and Archer Daniels Midland partnered with Wolf Carbon Solutions.

Matt Liebman, Iowa State University professor emeritus of agronomy, took the lead in writing the document. Citing “relevant scientific and engineering studies,” the letter explained how the pipelines would damage soil and crop yields without significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Allowing the use of eminent domain for this project would be “a betrayal of public trust and a corruption of the ideal of private sacrifice for public good,” the letter argued.

Those who wrote to the Iowa Utilities Board include six retired professors from Iowa colleges or universities and several Iowans with professional conservation experience at the federal or county level. I also signed, having been an environmental advocate for the past 20 years. I did not draft the letter or make editorial changes to it.

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A call for solidarity with Iowa's LGBTQ+ community

Ryan Melton is the Democratic nominee in Iowa’s fourth Congressional district.

Here is the speech I delivered at the Iowa Democratic Party’s state convention on June 18. (You can listen to the audio here.)

“My brother posted a reflection on his life journey on Facebook yesterday, that was really compelling to me, so I wanted to focus on this today. He is 26, one of my best friends, and he’s trans.

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I thought better of you than this, Eddie Mauro

Gina Battani is a Navy veteran, gender violence survivor turned gender violence prevention consultant, and the founder/CEO of Iowa Foundation for Resilient Communities.

I’ve known some of the Mauro family for years. I thought better of you than this, Eddie Mauro.

For the past two years, you’ve told me—and all of Iowa—that you support survivors. When you said you would show up for women’s rights because of your daughter, did you forget that all women deserve the same protections? You and Dr. Srinivas are running to represent all people living in Iowa House district 30, one of whom is Megan Srinivas.

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The answer: Admiral Mike Franken

Charlie Hodges is a Democratic activist in Polk County.

The first time I met Vice Admiral Michael Franken, we were both set to speak at an Urbandale Area Democrats meeting during the 2020 election cycle. Mike was running in the primary to face Senator Joni Ernst, and I was briefly dipping my toe into state politics (side note: don’t run for office based on an ideological binge).

Mike went first and captured my attention immediately. He exudes a calm and genuine demeanor, and every idea and policy proposal is well thought out. I asked him about gun control, which a lot of Democratic candidates wouldn’t touch publicly when I asked. Mike not only said he was in favor of common-sense gun laws, but also had (as I have now come to expect) a detailed proposal. I was extremely impressed.

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