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The following post is submitted by Mark Langgin, Mike Delaney and Rob Davis, board members of Iowa Conservation Voters. Langgin is a partner with GPS Impact and has worked with a number of local and national conservation organizations. Delaney is founder of the Raccoon River Watershed Association and a leading environmental activist. Davis is a former broadcast journalist, former business owner, and in retirement worked as a clerk in the Iowa House of Representatives.
If you’re interested in clean drink water, protection of Iowa’s water/land/wildlife, access and permanent protection of public lands, and fighting global climate change, listen up.
The 2016 legislative session was a major disappointment – with little to no progress on significant water quality legislation, continued underfunding of REAP and a wide array of other environmental failures. The lone exception was legislation to help protect turtles from overharvesting for profit.
If you are as disappointed as we are, then you know Iowa needs legislators who are committed to protecting Iowa’s water, land and wildlife from pollution and climate change.
Iowa Conservation Voters is a political action committee created for one purpose: to raise money for legislative candidates who will champion these issues in Des Moines, with their constituents, and when the going gets tough.
Iowa has many environmental groups working on many issues. Many of us believed that a well-reasoned argument on good public policy would be enough to carry the day. But despite lobbying by many groups, REAP is never fully funded, water quality legislation goes nowhere, and the Natural Resources & Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund remains unfunded six years after passage.
The environmental community needs to take a page from other interest groups. We need to directly support environmental candidates with financial contributions. Iowa Conservation Voters will be vetting candidates, educating them on our issues and funding those who we believe will be there for us on the tough votes when the time comes.
Some environmental folks wince when they hear the term “PAC”. It conjures up images of dark money, the Koch Brothers etc.
But Iowa Conservation voters is what a PAC is meant to be: a group of citizens who agree on certain principles, coming together and pooling their money for a common goal. Our goal is to change the dynamic in the state legislature. We will not accept corporate contributions. We will disclose all donors and all expenditures and we are being very transparent about our goals – cleaner water, cleaner air, protections for Iowa’s wildlife, and acknowledgement that climate change is a real human-produced problem that we need to address immediately.
The PAC had a very successful fundraiser in May in Des Moines. We sense a pent up frustration with both parties about Iowa’s failures on the environmental front.
The PAC is having another fundraiser on Thursday, June 23rd in West Branch at the acreage of Tony and Nancy Warren. This couple, former Iowans, returned to our state recently after successful careers elsewhere. They love our state, and want to make it better. Tony is an angler, and he and Nancy would love to meet some outdoorsmen and women there.
Speakers at the event include Iowa environmental legend and former legislator David Osterberg, and former deputy and interim director of the DNR, Pat Boddy.
Please like our Facebook page, Iowa Conservation Voters. An event page has (simple) directions to the Warrens’. Find out more about the PAC and get involved. Or send a check to Iowa Conservation Voters, 5825 Waterbury Circle, Des Moines IA 50312.