Events coming up during the next two weeks

I’m late getting my calendar up this week. As always, please post a comment or send me an e-mail if you know of a public event worth mentioning here.

Various advocacy organizations continue to hold lobby days at the state capitol as the first “funnel” deadline for legislation approaches. The Department of Natural Resources is holding public meetings around the state this month to discuss air and water quality issues. Also, the sixth annual Iowa Governors Conference on LGBTQ Youth takes place on February 24. Details on those events and more are after the jump.

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Labor Day links and events coming up this week

Hope you’ve been enjoying the perfect Iowa weather during this holiday weekend. The U.S. Department of Labor and Blog for Iowa provide background on the history of Labor Day.

Organized labor doesn’t have a lot to celebrate right now, with more job losses in the manufacturing sector and unemployment rising across the country (though Iowa’s unemployment rate is significantly lower than the national average). The Iowa Policy Project finds that “the state of working Iowa” is not good. As in the previous recession, we are losing jobs with good benefits as wages stagnate for the people who still have jobs. We now rank 32nd in terms of median wages, and lower incomes mean less money for consumers to spend at other businesses. Click here for the full report, which also explains that “policy makers could do more to make work pay for low- and moderate-income working families and to insist upon job-quality requirements in economic development strategies.”  

Iowa hasn’t adopted most of organized labor’s key legislative priorities in recent years, in part because of the “six-pack” of Iowa House Democrats that blocked those bills. On the plus side, Curt Hanson’s victory in the House district 90 special election means we haven’t lost any ground on this front. We only need to persuade one or two “six-pack members” (or defeat them in Democratic primaries) to find the 51st vote for “prevailing wage,” for instance.

I haven’t heard much lately about Senator Tom Harkin’s efforts to find a compromise on the Employee Free Choice Act. Getting 60 votes in the Senate for anything meaningful is likely to be quite difficult. The Service Employees International Union has some news related to the EFCA here.

Two years ago I attended the Solidarity Fest Labor Day celebration in Des Moines, featuring John Edwards and Hillary Clinton. The same event, sponsored by the South Central Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, takes place today in the 4-H building at the State Fairgrounds from noon to 2 pm. Later today, the Friends of Iowa Midwives are having a family-friendly potluck picnic at Raccoon River park in West Des Moines (4 to 8 pm, suggested donation $5).

After the jump I’ve posted details for lots of other events coming up this week.

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Events coming up this week

If you know of an event I’ve left out, please post a comment or send me an e-mail (desmoinesdem AT yahoo.com).

Monday, February 23:

From Iowa Global Warming:

February- Leadership for Coal and Climate

A chance for informed and concerned citizens to take concrete action.

This is your Invitation:

An Iowa Activist Evening

Iowa Global Warming Offices

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

6:00PM

505 5th Avenue Suite 333

Des Moines

   Limited Seating

Please RSVP (515) 244-3113 cucles@iowaglobalwarming.org

Implemting ICCAC Recommendations

How we can stop the Marshalltown Plant

Send your voice to Washington

Get High Speed Rail Service to Des Moines

Screening of “Fighting Goliath” A short film about the fight for coal in texas. Food and film snacks will be provided.

Sponsors: Sierra Club, Iowa Interfaith Power & Light, Iowa Global Warming Campaign, Sierra Student Coalition.

There is a PFLAG meeting featuring One Iowa regional organizer, Ryan Crane, at  St. Benedict’s Catholic Church, 309 W. Main St. in Decorah, 7 pm.

Wednesday, February 25:

Friends of Iowa Midwives is having its lobby day at the state capitol from 10 am to 3 pm. To register, or for more information, email info@friendsofiowamidwives.org, or click here:

http://www.friendsofiowamidwiv…

Thursday, February 26:

From One Iowa:

As Iowa Goes So Goes the Nation Symposium: Varnum v. Brien and its Impact on Marriage Rights for Same-Sex Couples

Sponsored by the Journal of Gender, Race, and Justice and featuring a keynote by Dan Savage

University of Iowa School of Law, Iowa City

Click here for more information or to register.

Someone post a diary afterwards to tell us how Dan Savage did!

From the Center on Sustainable Communities:

Leadership Forum on Sustainable Building With Marc Richmond Thursday, February 26, 2009, 9:45am – 2:00pm

LOCATION: Raccoon River Park Nature Lodge, 2500 Grand Avenue in West Des Moines.

PROGRAM: As Iowa’s leading resource on sustainable building education, COSC is conducting a Leadership Forum with Marc Richmond for Iowa’s business leaders, community leaders, state agency leaders, and policy makers.  The session will define the key components of sustainable building and illustrate strategies for building sustainable communities based on national models.

You will find more information at www.icosc.com.

Friday, February 27:

The symposium on Varnum v Brien continues at the University of Iowa law school.

Saturday, February 28:

Democracy for America is holding its acclaimed Training Academy in Des Moines on Saturday, February 28 and Sunday, March 1. Click here for more details. Iowa blogger noneed4thneed will be there!

The Polk County Soil and Water Conservation District is sponsoring a “sustainable living seminar” for “everyone interested in gardening, landscaping, conservation, and the environment” at DMACC from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm. I put the full agenda after the jump–looks like a great program.

Saw this on the Sierra Club Iowa Topics list:

Plymouth Church UCC, Des Moines, Green Team will sponsor the showing of the movie “Who Killed the Electric Car?” after the Saturday evening Service (service 5:30-6:30) on February 28. “This 2006 documentary film explores the creation, limited commercialization, and subsequent destruction of the battery electric vehicle in the United States, specifically the General Motors EV1 of the 1990s.  The film explores the roles of automobile manufacturers, the oil industry, the US government, the Californian government, batteries, hydrogen vehicles, and consumers in limiting the development and adoption of this technology.” Admission is free. Plymouth Church is located at the corner of 42nd and Ingersoll Avenue in Des Moines.  The church is 2 blks south of the 42nd St exit of I-235.  The Green Team has a new blog on the Plymouth website: plymouthgreen.org where they discuss “our own struggles with adopting a greener lifestyle and welcome your comments.”  Plymouth Church is a Cool Congregation.

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Events coming up this weekend and next week

As always, post a comment or send me an e-mail (desmoinesdem AT yahoo.com) if you know of an event I should add to this post.

Friday, February 13:

As part of the “POWERLINES to the Future” conference of the Midwest Regional Physicians for Social Responsibility, there will be a free film and discussion of “Scarred Lands and Wounded Lives” at 7:30 pm in the International Center, Old Capitol Town Center Mall, downtown Iowa City.

Get full information at:

www.iowa-psr.org/pl/pl_home.html

One Iowa urges supporters to “write a note on Facebook or Myspace with the 25 Reasons you support marriage equality. Then tag 25 of your closest friends on the note and add your 25 reasons as a comment to the One Iowa Facebook or Myspace page.” Also, One Iowa is hosting a Happy Hour from 5-7 PM at Azalea Restaurant, 400 Walnut St., Des Moines.

Friends of Iowa Midwives is having a “Red Envelope Party” (where people can write letters to policy-makers advocating for expanding birth options in Iowa) in Davenport from 3 pm to 5 pm at the Harrison Hilltop Theatre. Click here for more information:

http://www.friendsofiowamidwiv…

Saturday, February 14:

Physicians for Social Responsibility is holding a “POWERLINES to the Future” conference at the International Center, Old Capitol Town Center Mall, Iowa City. PSR hopes to encourage Iowans, especially those involved in the health professions, to become more informed and actively engaged in confronting the gravest health challenges of our time:

Conference 9:00 AM — 4:00 PM

Check-in and breakfast at 8:00 AM

The Saturday program addresses health, environmental, and economic consequences of:

Nuclear weapons

Nuclear power

Coal fired power generation

View full program at:  www.iowa-psr.org/pl/pl_home.html/#program

Intended audience: physicians, allied health professionals, public health officials, general public, and students.

Registration includes breakfast and lunch on Saturday.

Pre-registration by Wednesday February 11, 2009 is required to be ensured food!

Sliding-scale conference registration fee.

Register online or download a printable registration form at:

www.iowa-psr.org/pl/pl_home.html/#registration

Friends of Iowa Midwives is having a “Red Envelope Party” at the Urbandale Public Library from 10 am to 12 pm, and at the Iowa City Public Library from 1 pm to 3 pm. For more information:

http://www.friendsofiowamidwiv…

Monday, February 16:

Big event on climate change co-sponsored by lots of good organizations:

The University of Iowa Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research and a variety of co-sponsoring organizations invite you to a climate change briefing and discussion to highlight the recent report of the Iowa Climate Change Advisory Council.

The briefing and discussion will take place on Monday, February 16, 6:00-7:30 pm at the Iowa State Historical Building Auditorium, 600 East Locust in Des Moines.

The meeting will be an opportunity to learn more about climate change science its potential impacts on Iowa, as well as learn about the recent options detailed in the work of the Iowa Climate Change Advisory Council report and participate in an informal discussion about climate change and next steps.

Iowa Climate Change Briefing and Discussion

Monday, February 16, 6:00-7:30 pm

Iowa State Historical Building, Auditorium

AGENDA

Welcome – Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie

Richard Leopold, Director, Iowa Department of Natural Resources

Climate Science and Assessment of Climate Change for Iowa- Eugene S. Takle, Director, Climate Change Initiative, Professor of Atmospheric Science, Professor of Agricultural Meteorology, Department of Agronomy, Iowa State University

Brief overview of the Iowa Climate Change Advisory Council’s Report –  Jerry Schnoor – Co-director, University of Iowa Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research and Chairman, Iowa Climate Change Advisory Council

What are our next steps? Interactive discussion with key legislators, ICCAC members and the audience

Adjourn for light refreshments

Climate Change Briefing and Discussion Co-Sponsors

Iowa State University Climate Science Initiative

UNI Center for Energy and Environmental Education

Iowa State University Extension

Iowa Department of Economic Development

Iowa Office of Energy Independence

Iowa Department of Natural Resources

Iowa Department of Public Health

Iowa Office of Consumer Advocate

Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities

Iowa State Association of Counties

Iowa League of Cities

Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation

Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture

Iowa Environmental Council

Iowa Interfaith Power & Light

Iowa Policy Project

Trees Forever

For more information or questions contact Joe Bolkcom, Outreach and Community Education Director, UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research at joe-bolkcom@uiowa.edu or 319-353-2681.

One Iowa is organizing this event:

February 16, 5:30 PM

“Transgender Medicine 101”

featuring Dr. Christine McGinn

FREE and open to the public

Dinner at 5:30, lecture at 6:00

Des Moines University Student Education Center Auditorium

3200 Grand Avenue, Des Moines

Go to www.oneiow.org for more information

Tuesday, February 17:

It’s the registration deadline for the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa’s Crossroads lunch on February 20 (see below for more information). Call 515-279-8715 to make a reservation.

The Women Food and Agriculture Network is holding “Women Caring for the Land” meetings on February 17, 18 and 19, for women landowners in Johnson, Jones and Linn Counties. These are free educational programs on conservation programming for women who are farm partners, owner-operators, or inheritors who own farmland. Laura Krouse will hold meetings in each county, followed by spring field days and a follow-up meeting. Please call her at 319-895-6924 to find out where and when the meeting will be held in each county.

Wednesday, February 18:

One Iowa and Lambda Legal are holding a “Let My Parents Marry” forum at 6:30 pm in the Coralville Public Library, Meeting Room A, 1401 5th St., Coralville.

Friends of Iowa Midwives is holding its third Annual Conscious Birth Summit from 3 pm to 8 pm in the Iowa City Public Library, Meeting Room A, Featuring screenings of The Business of Being Born and Orgasmic Birth.

Thursday, February 19:

From the Iowa Environmental Council newsletter:

Growing Sustainable Communities Conference

Join us Thursday, February 19, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., at the Grand River Center, 500 Bell Street in Dubuque. Cost is $20 per person, which includes a lunch. Limited number of student scholarships available. Our conference theme is “Promoting Historic Preservation as Part of the Climate Solution.” Insights will be offered on creating local and regional policies to promote sustainability through historic preservation. Keynote speakers for the event are Richard Moe, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and Roya Stanley, director of the Iowa Office for Energy Independence. Deadline for registration is Feb 11 [from desmoinesdem: I know it’s late, but if you’re interested try calling anyway]. A limited number of student scholarships are available. Online registration and payment, as well as additional information, are available at www.sustainabledubuque.org or by calling 563.589.4110 during business hours. The mission of the conference is to educate the public on the issues that impact the long-term health and sustainability of our region and to create an opportunity for policy decision-makers from the tri-state area to come together to discuss ways in which they can enact the most effective change at the local level.

Also from the IEC bulletin:

Iowa Whitewater Coalition Annual Dinner Meeting

February 19, Des Moines

The IWC ‘Reconnecting the Rivers’ Annual Dinner Meeting will take place on Thursday, February 19th, with a social hour beginning at 6 pm and dinner at 7 pm. Following the meal special guest Adam Brooks, who has paddled the entire Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, will be sharing stories from his adventure on the Pacific Crest Trail and his plans for paddling 2300 miles of the Yukon River in Alaska starting in June. The meeting will be held at the House of Thai, located at 3017 100th Street in Des Moines. There will be a wonderful selection of dishes served banquet style, beverages and a cash bar for those interested. Tickets may be purchased for $25 per individual or $45 per couple. Proceeds from the event directly benefit the non-profit activities of the IWC and its Reconnecting the Rivers Campaign. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to: http://www.iowawhitewater.org/…

One Iowa and Lambda Legal are holding a “Let My Parents Marry” forum at 6:30 pm in the Des Moines Public Library, Meeting Room 1, 1000 Grand Ave. in Des Moines.

Friday, February 20:

The Interfaith Alliance of Iowa is holding a Crossroads luncheon:

Guest Speaker:    Nate Monson

Project Coordinator, Iowa Safe Schools

Subject:                Safe Schools for All

Sexual orientation and gender identity are two controversial topics in our communities and in our schools. Are our schools safe for LGBT youth? Learn about, discuss, and experience the effects of bias and harassment on students who identify and students who are perceived to be gay, lesbian, bisexual and/or transgender and learn about laws dealing with the GLBT community.

Date:                    Friday, February 20

o       Time:        11:45 – 1 p.m.

o       Location: Plymouth Congregational Church, Des Moines (42nd Street & Ingersoll Avenue )

o       Cost:         $9.00

Reservations are required for Crossroads.  Please call or email TIA Iowa by Tuesday, February 17.

Office: 515-279-8715

Friends of Iowa Midwives is having a Red Envelope Party from noon to 1 pm at the Marion Public Library.

Saturday, February 21:

From the IEC bulletin:

Hunter Angler Summit

Please join other outdoor enthusiasts on Feb 21, at Johnson County Conservation Education Center at F.W. Kent Park, just west of Tiffin, for a one-day summit to learn about threats to Iowa wetlands, rivers and streams, and help the National and Iowa Wildlife Federation to launch a state campaign to fight back after the rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court and administrative fiats that have left over half of Iowa streams and over 70 percent of Iowa’s prairie pothole wetlands vulnerable to losing Clean Water Act protections. Whether you are an angler who enjoys casting in your favorite stream or a hunter who counts on mallards and northern pintails, these decisions threaten the places you love. Policy experts and scientists will share the current efforts to eliminate protections in Iowa and the serious impacts they have for Iowa fish and wildlife. We will work together to design a statewide plan for hunters and anglers to stop the rollback of clean water protections for Iowa waters.  Hunters, anglers and outdoor enthusiasts who care about clean water and wildlife should attend. Please RSVP: Email Pam Goddard, goddardp@nwf.org or call at 301-741-6606.

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