How to keep up with Iowa legislative happenings and take action

As Iowa Republicans prepare to undermine public education, reproductive rights, access to health care, collective bargaining, and much more, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the number of battles ahead and the prospects for Democrats to stop the onslaught.

Individuals may feel powerless, but when enough of them contact lawmakers, they can sometimes make a difference. Earlier this month, U.S. House Republicans backpedaled on a proposal to neuter the Office of Congressional Ethics after thousands of constituents jammed phone lines.

Iowa House and Senate Democratic legislators and staff have created a new way for activists to stay informed and get involved in the key battles during this year’s legislative session.

The Iowa Statehouse Progressive Network launched this week in order to “inform, connect, and activate Iowans on Republican proposals at the State Capitol that undermine our progressive values.”

Those who sign up will receive:

Breaking News Updates: Updates from the State Capitol when Republicans introduce bills or plan debate on issues that attack our progressive values

Action Alerts: Steps you can take to help stop Republicans at the Capitol

Weekly Issue Update Email that includes:
* Comprehensive tracking of key anti-progressive bills, including links to read bills, current status, and bill summaries prepared by Capitol Staff
* Key action steps Iowans can take to make a difference
* Links to find forums for Democratic and Republican lawmakers
* Links to find and connect directly with Iowa lawmakers

So many bills are filed during the legislative session that it’s hard for professional reporters and lobbyists to stay on top of them, let alone activists with busy lives. Bill texts, committee schedules, and debate calendars are all available on the official Iowa legislative website, but it would take hours to compile the information that Democratic staffers will provide in these tracking e-mails.

When speaking to lawmakers, you can be more effective if you can quote a specific bill number, and if you know when the proposal is coming up for a vote in committee or debate on the House or Senate floor.

Take a few minutes to sign up for the Iowa Statehouse Progressive Network, and spread the word.

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