Events coming up this week

Happy Spring, Bleeding Heartland readers! There’s a lot happening this week, and I’ve posted the events after the jump.

Post a comment or send me an e-mail (desmoinesdem AT if you know of something good happening that I’ve left out.

If you live within striking distance of Iowa City, there’s a benefit for the Iowa Renewable Energy Association tonight at the Mill (details below).

Sunday, March 22:

From the Iowa Renewable Energy Association:

Join I-Renew to Celebrate Renewable Energy and the start of Spring

Sunday March 22, 2009 from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Mill Restaurant, 120 E. Burlington St. Iowa City  

Admission: $5 suggested minimum donation. Public welcomed.

“Renewable energy is creating jobs in Iowa, benefiting our economy, our environment and our energy security,” said I-Renew Board President Eric Foresman. “Join us to celebrate the advancements of renewable energy in Iowa with friends, music and fun.”

Festivities include:  

Live Music! with The Gilded Bats and Ben Schmidt.

Silent Auction with great renewable energy gifts!

Discussion and fun with like-minded folks interested in renewable energy!

Discount memberships to I-Renew available to new members at the event.

The Silent Auction will feature donations from many local businesses including gift certificates from Lincoln Café in Mt. Vernon, Corridor Coffee in North Liberty and Fairgrounds in Iowa City, gifts from Silver Spider, Metahome, Glassando, Gypsy Magic and other retail stores, eco-friendly house paint donated by Green Building Supply in Fairfield, tickets to CSPS events, gift baskets with delicious food and spirits, fitness and yoga passes, handmade jewelry and much, much more.

The funds raised at the event will go toward I-Renew’s work educating Iowans about sustainable energy production and use. If you have questions, please contact the I-Renew office at: (319) 643-3160, email: irenew@irenew. org  or visit our website:

Monday, March 23:

Governor Chet Culver will host a White House regional summit on health care reform, featuring Nancy-Ann DeParle, in Des Moines. Click here for more details.

Before the White House health care summit, SEIU/Change that Works will hold its own health care event in the same building:

At 8:45 AM, on the second floor of the Polk County Convention Complex in room J, just down the hall from the summit itself, Change that Works will hold an event calling on Iowa’s elected officials to pass a meaningful, comprehensive health care reform bill this year

The event will highlight the urgent need to pass President Obama’s budget proposal, which Congress is set to debate over the next several weeks.  The proposal will secure the funding we need to fix a health care system that has bankrupted one American every 30 seconds and created financial uncertainty for thousands more.

Speakers at the event will include: Cathy Glasson, RN, President of SEIU Local 199; Chris Petersen, President of the Iowa Farmers’ Union; and Nancy Nichols, Vice Chair of the Iowa Department of Elder Affairs. These speakers will discuss how the President’s budget proposal, and the funds allocated to health care reform, will help the Iowans they represent.

“The President’s plan would protect Medicare, working to reduce costs while continuing a commitment to higher quality, close-to-home health care. The budget proposal will would result in a stronger, more stable Medicare program. This budget also works to provide more affordable prescription drugs in this country, a cost that is extremely burdensome to Iowa seniors, by establishing a pathway to approve more generic prescriptions,” says Nancy Nichols, Vice Chair of the Iowa Department of Elder Affairs.

Where:             Polk County Convention Complex

First Floor, Room 135 (follow the signs)

                       501 Grand Avenue

                       Des Moines, IA

When:              Monday March 23rd at 8:45 AM

Who:                Change that Works / SEIU

                       Cathy Glasson, RN, President of SEIU Local 199

                       Chris Petersen, President of the Iowa Farmers’ Union

                       Nancy Nichols, Vice Chair of the Iowa Department of Elder Affairs

Wednesday, March 25:

From the Women, Food and Agriculture Network:

Conservation Tour March 25 for Eastern Iowa Women Landowners

AMES, IA–Women who own or manage farmland in three eastern Iowa counties – Johnson, Jones and Linn – are invited to participate in a free conservation tour on Wednesday, March 25. The tour is for women who are farm partners, sole owner-operators, or inheritors of any size farm.

The tour is a part of a conservation education program called “Women Caring for the Land,” which began with informational meetings in February in each of the three counties. All interested women are welcome to attend the tour, whether or not they attended the meetings. They will visit several farms in the three-county area that have implemented good conservation and resource management techniques on their land.

The group will meet at 9:30 a.m. at St. John’s Catholic Church, 212 7th St. SE, Mt. Vernon. Women may drive their own vehicles (carpooling is encouraged) or for those who prefer not to drive, a van will be provided. The tour will take several hours, with a lunch stop around noon at Gwen’s Restaurant, 119 W. Main St., Lisbon. Participants should bring money for lunch, and wear shoes that can get muddy.

For more information, contact project coordinator Laura Krouse of Mt. Vernon at 319-895-6924. This project is sponsored by Women, Food and Agriculture Network in partnership with USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), with funding from the McKnight Foundation. A final informational meeting will be held April 15; call Laura for more details.

From One Iowa:

March 25, 2009 7:00-8:30 PM

Waverly Marriage Equality Townhall

hosted by Wartburg Alliance

featuring Freeheld and Our Story

Whitehouse Business Center, Buckmaster Room – Wartburg College

Thursday, March 26: is holding a forum on labor issues at 3:45 pm at Drake University:

The panel will include:

 * Nathaniel R. Boulton, attorney at Hedberg Law Firm P.C., which represents the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the United Auto Workers and the United Steel Workers.

* John Gilliland, senior vice president of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry.

* Russ Samson, a law partner at Dickinson, Mackaman, Tyler & Hagen, P.C. who’s listed in the 2009 edition of The Best Lawyers in America in the area of labor & employment law for the fourth consecutive year.

* Ken Sagar, president of the Iowa Federation of Labor AFL-CIO Des Moines Bureau Chief Lynn Campbell will moderate the program, and questions will be accepted from audience members. The event later will be broadcast on the Mediacom Connections channel statewide and will be available for On Demand viewing on Mediacom Channel 1.

 Wal-Mart and Mediacom are event sponsors. The forum is part of the “Cookies and Conversation” series presented by, Mediacom and Drake University. It will be held in Levitt Hall in Old Main at 2507 University Ave. on the Drake University campus.

Doors open at 3:30 p.m. and taping of the show will be from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Free parking will be available in Drake lots at 26th & University and 25th & Carpenter.

The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required:

– Online:…

– E-mail:

– Phone: (515) 309-2941

Iowa Rivers Revival sent out a reminder that March 26 is the last day for early-bird registration for the Iowa Wetlands Symposium scheduled for April 2 and 3.

Iowa stands poised to lead the farm belt in maximizing water resources for a healthier, safer, and more abundant future.  Come join state and national experts as they explore the expanding universe of successful strategies for balancing the impact of agricultural and urban activities with nature’s brilliant water management system: wetlands!

For more information or to register:… – early bird registration ends March 26th.

From One Iowa:

March 26, 2009 7:00-8:30 PM

Newton Marriage Equality Townhall

featuring Freeheld and Our Story

Congregational United Church of Christ

208 E. Second St. N

Friday, March 27:

From the Iowa Environmental Council bulletin:

Green Collar Jobs Summit

The Second Annual Chicagoland Green Collar Jobs Summit will feature speakers and panelists from around the country focusing on green economic development, workforce development, and public policy. This event, presented by the Chicagoland Green Collar Jobs Initiative, will take place on Friday, March 27 at Kennedy-King College in Chicago. Expected are 300 attendees including green business leaders, educators, workforce development professionals, labor representatives, community organizations, government officials and environmental advocates. Registration is $39 for Students (limited registration with a valid Student ID); $79 for Non-profits, educational institutions, or government; and $99 for for-profit businesses and organizations. Register online now!  Space is limited and registration will close on March 21st.

Keep Iowa Beautiful Symposium

For more information, visit Keep Iowa Beautiful has scheduled their 5th annual First Impressions Symposium – “Spring Cleaning Your Community” for Friday, March 27, at Reiman Gardens on the campus of Iowa State University in Ames. Registration before March 14 is $40 (includes lunch and breaks), with a limit of 125 registrations. Register on-line at, e-mail or call 515-323-6537 for more information.

Saturday, March 28:

Iowa Democratic Veterans’ Caucus chair Bob Krause of Fairfield will announce the formation of his Exploratory Committee for a possible U.S. Senate bid against Chuck Grassley in 2010. The event will begin at 12:15 p.m. at the Fort Des Moines Historical Museum, 75 East Army Post Road, in Des Moines (lunch by donation).

The Democratic Activist Women’s Network is organizing a Democratic Women’s Summit at the State Historical Museum in Des Moines. Click here for more details.

The Natural Living Expo will take place at the Polk County Convention Center (I’m helping organize the event and will be there with two non-profit organizations). Click here for more details.

The fantastic children’s musician and Des Moines native Justin Roberts is doing a benefit concert for the Des Moines Symphony Academy. I can’t be there because of the Natural Living Expo, but I am a huge fan of his music and concerts. Details:

SAT MAR 28 11AM (Doors open at 10:30)

Scottish Rite Consistory, 519 Park Street in Des Moines

$15 for concert, $20 for concert and PJs and PJ&J lunch

Free admission for children 24 months or younger

Join Justin Roberts and the Not Ready for Naptime Players for a concert and pajama party that is bound to have the whole family grooving.

All proceeds benefit the Des Moines Symphony Academy!

Tickets: or 515.280.4017

Volunteer: 515.280.4017 or

The Iowa Citizen Action Network celebrates its 30th anniversary at the Hilton Garden Inn, 8600 Northpark Drive in Johnston, beginning at 5:30 pm. ICAN will also present its 2009 awards to Congressman Bruce Braley, the Progressive Coalition of Central Iowa, and political strategist Brad Lint. Click here for more details.

Individual tickets to the ICAN celebration are available for $30 per person – Contact Sue Dinsdale at 515-277-5077 x14 or For tickets or sponsorship information, you can also contact Amy Logsdon at 319-354-8116 x106 or

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