IA-01: First labor endorsement for Monica Vernon

This week the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City Building Trades Council endorsed Cedar Rapids City Council member Monica Vernon for Congress. After the jump I’ve enclosed the full statement from the group, which cited Vernon’s hard work to ensure “that the Building Trades played a key role in the rebuilding of Cedar Rapids” after the 2008 flooding. According to the press release, “The Cedar Rapids/Iowa City Building Trades Council represents 18 building trade unions and 15,000 members in the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City corridor.” It’s not clear how many of those members live in Linn County or other parts of IA-01. Johnson County (containing Iowa City) is in Iowa’s second Congressional district.

Vernon is one of five Democrats seeking the nomination in the open first Congressional district. To my knowledge, this is the first organized labor endorsement for anyone other than State Representative Pat Murphy. Seven labor groups have backed the former Iowa House speaker so far. On September 16 Muphy’s campaign announced endorsements from the Retail Wholesale & Department Store Union (RWDSU) Local 110 in Cedar Rapids, the Great Plains Laborers’ District Council, and Teamsters Local 120. In the summer, Murphy received the backing of AFSCME Council 61, the Communications Workers of America Iowa State Council, Operating Engineers Local 234, and the Dubuque Letter Carriers Local 257.  

With the end of the third quarter approaching on September 30, many Congressional candidates have been sending out fundraising appeals. I’ve enclosed below the latest e-mail blast from Vernon’s campaign, which features former State Senator and U.S. Senate candidate Jean Lloyd-Jones. It hammers on what will likely be a central theme for Vernon as the Democratic primary heats up: her record of getting things done.

Press release from September 23:

Cedar Rapids/Iowa City Building Trades Council announces Monica Vernon

Endorsed for Iowa’s First Congressional District

Cedar Rapids, IA – Today, the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City Building Trades Council has announced the endorsement of Monica Vernon for Iowa’s First Congressional District.

Ray Dochterman, President of the Council, stated, “We are very excited to announce this endorsement of Monica.  She worked tirelessly with us after the devastating floods in 2008 and made sure that the Building Trades played a key role in the rebuilding of Cedar Rapids.  She is a problem solver and gets things done.  She’ll do the same in congress.”

The Cedar Rapids/Iowa City Building Trades Council represents 18 building trade unions and 15,000 members in the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City corridor:  Boilermakers Local 83; Bricklayers & Allied Craftsworkers Local 3; Carpenters Local 308 (Cedar Rapids, Iowa); Carpenters Local 1260 (Iowa City, Iowa); Cement Masons & Plasters AFL-CIO Local 21; Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers (IAHFIAW) Local 81; Ironworkers  Local 89; Laborers Union Local 43 (Cedar Rapids); Laborers Union Local 309 (Quad Cities/Iowa City); Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) Painters Local 447; Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) Glaziers; Architectural Metal and Glass Workers Local 581; Operating Engineers  Local 234; Plumbers, Pipefitters, Welders and HVAC Service Techs Local 125; Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers  Local 182; Sheet Metal Workers Local 263; Sprinkler Fitters Local 669 District 23; Teamsters Local 238; and UBC Millwrights Local 2158.

Each trade union provides skilled workers for building construction projects (industrial, commercial and residential) throughout the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City corridor and surrounding communities.

     President: Raymond A. Dochterman (UA)

Vice President:  Pat Loeffler (UBC)

Vernon for Congress e-mail blast, September 26 (subject heading “Actions speak louder than words”):

Dear Friend,

I’ve been involved with a lot of political campaigns here in Iowa but I’m sending you this email today to ask you to support my good friend, Monica Vernon.  She’s going to make a fantastic member of Congress.

Monica’s background sets her apart from every other candidate in the race. Her 30 years of experience as a small business owner, city council member, community activist, wife and mother give her a breadth and depth no other candidate has.

Monica’s campaign has an important fundraising deadline coming up on September 30th. Please consider a donation of $5, $10, $25, or whatever you can do TODAY to help support Monica’s campaign.  

Monica has been an advocate for progressive causes all of her life.  She was part of a group of women that raised $1.7 million to build the first shelter in their community for homeless women and children. She worked to rebuild rundown federal housing and make sure that more affordable housing was available to families in her community. And when Cedar Rapids was devastated by the historic 2008 flood, Monica was a driving force in bringing her community back from that disaster.

She’ll represent you well in Congress, because her actions speak louder than these words.   She knows how to convene diverse groups to solve problems and get things done.

Please consider supporting Monica’s campaign before the critical September 30th deadline with a contribution of $5, $10, $25, or whatever you can afford.


Jean Lloyd-Jones

Former Iowa State Senator

  • Vonica Mernon said it best

    The faux “Vonica Mernon” Twitter account usually offers little more than snark about her 2009 R -> D party change. But on this point, there might be some insight: “The CR Building Trades endorsed me because they know I’ll be on the CR Council instead of Congress & need my support on Council.”

    I have no knowledge of who “Vonica Mernon” is but I can comfortably say it’s not someone associated with Team Kajtazovic.

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