Our shared future is at stake

Kurt Meyer is chair of the Mitchell County Democrats, the Tri-County Democrats and the Iowa Democratic Party’s Finance Committee. Earlier this month he was elected president of Americans for Democratic Action. He delivered these remarks to delegates who braved a snowstorm to attend the Mitchell County Democratic convention in March. -promoted by desmoinesdem

Good morning, Democratic friends and neighbors.

As you see, this morning I brought with me this gavel, not because I think we’ll get unruly – I don’t think we will – but rather because of what this gavel symbolizes: a system of justice, the rule of law, and a social code committed to process and fairness. We need to be reminded of these things every so often. Indeed, let me suggest this is one of those times.

You know me and you know I’m an incurable optimist. It’s true… guilty as charged! In addition, I am a student of history, a field of study that generally undergirds my optimism.

It’s this historic perspective I want to touch on for a moment. Despite considerable optimism, my read of history suggests we are now in an unprecedented and frightening time. Our country, and yes, even our state, are in peril. By their actions, elected leaders at multiple levels indicate they have minimal interest in actually representing us. It’s all very sobering, especially the thought that we may well be approaching a tipping point, a countdown of sorts to something even more disastrous than what we’ve seen in the last 15 months.

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Exclusive: A review of the new, improved Waterloo Police use-of-force policy

More than two years after outside experts recommended a “complete review” of guidelines on the use of force, the Waterloo Police Department finally adopted a new policy in December 2017. Police leaders didn’t publicize the changes, and to my knowledge, no media have reported on the revisions.

In many ways, Waterloo’s updated use-of-force policy reflects national consensus on best policing practices. Some improved passages appear to be a response to notorious local incidents of officer misconduct.

On the other hand, several important principles on the use of force are missing from Waterloo’s new document.

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John Norris in a league of his own

James Pierce is a Democratic volunteer in Iowa City and a junior at the University of Iowa. Bleeding Heartland welcomes guest posts advocating for Democrats in competitive primaries. -promoted by desmoinesdem

Not long ago, I thought this primary might be the first time that I would walk into the voting booth undecided. A lot of candidates I like are running for governor, all of whom bring different qualities and ideas to the table.

As I observed the primary however, it become increasingly clear that only one candidate had everything I was looking for. As a proud progressive Democrat, I want a governor who exemplifies those values. That every human life is equal in value. Every Iowan matters and deserves to have their government work for them. That every Iowan deserves a seat at the table and an opportunity to thrive and succeed.

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Fight racism by voting in local elections

Jeff Cox offers some reasons for Iowans who care about racism to “think local.” -promoted by desmoinesdem

Low levels of voter turnout in America are disheartening. Bernie Sanders showed that large numbers of young, new voters can be brought into the electoral system. But what about local elections for school board and city council elections, not to mention bond issues, and the sadly neglected party primaries for local officials?

Here are some reasons to “think local” about elections if you care about racism, with evidence taken from five recent Johnson County elections.

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Iowa’s collective bargaining law, one year later

Randy Richardson has previously written about the consequences of Iowa collective bargaining changes here, here, and here. -promoted by desmoinesdem

Teachers in West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Kentucky have walked out of classrooms and shut schools across their states in protest of poor funding and attacks on pensions. Arizona teachers have joined the protests after years of underfunding schools in that state. In Iowa the new collective bargaining law has been in effect for a little over a year and many teachers are just now realizing the impact of the dramatic changes brought about by the legislation.

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IA-01: Abby Finkenauer out-raised Rod Blum

The latest fundraising numbers from Iowa’s first Congressional district confirm what was already apparent: Representative Rod Blum is among the country’s most vulnerable U.S. House incumbents, and Abby Finkenauer will be the prohibitive favorite in the June 5 Democratic primary.

Follow me after the jump for highlights from the first-quarter Federal Election Commission filings for Blum and his four challengers.

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