Sunrise Movement dawns on Iowa

Charlie Mitchell reports on what the Sunrise Movement is up to in Iowa, one of only three states where the group’s deploying dedicated field teams. -promoted by Laura Belin

Sunrise Movement, the high-profile youth-led climate activist organization, has stationed six full-time organizing staff in Iowa, with the goal of galvanizing young voters to caucus for candidates who are progressive on climate.

Sunrise, which is not making an endorsement in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, is on the ground to cultivate youth political leadership and activism, engage candidates in person on climate issues, and support progressive and climate-oriented events and actions. The locus of the movement’s political change is its flagship policy, the Green New Deal. Candidates who support that policy stand to earn political support from Sunrise. (Here is a comprehensive guide to the 2020 candidates’ climate positions.)

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Remembering my dear friend, Jerry Tormey

Many central Iowa Democrats are grieving for Jerry Tormey, a tireless activist who passed away on July 23. Tamyra Harrison now works for The Salvation Army but got to know Jerry well as executive director of the Polk County Democrats, a job she held from 2004 to 2017. -promoted by Laura Belin

There are a lot of different people we meet on the journey through our lives. Some people bring joy to a room just by being present. Some people are so kind of heart they bring out the very best in those around them. Some people radiate joy. Some people always think of others, putting their needs, or that of a greater cause, above themselves. Some people give more of their time to make the world a little better than seems possible, yet always makes time for doing a little more when asked. Some people perform little, seemingly insignificant, acts of kindness every single day without even trying, just by calling to say hi, checking on someone who had bad news, being an ear when needed, remembering a birthday and so much more.

It is rare to find all of this in one individual, but that was Jerry Tormey. We were so blessed to have had our lives touched by him in so many ways, and his influence and legacy will live on.

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In defense of survival

Ed Fallon: We need an all-out assault against climate chaos. We need bold action, not timid half-measures. We need a cascade of people rising. -promoted by Laura Belin

Earlier this month, while testifying about climate change before the British Parliament, renowned naturalist David Attenborough said, “We cannot be radical enough in dealing with the issues that face us at the moment.”

Indeed, as people wake up to the utter urgency of our situation, it’s easy to understand how desperation might set in. I witnessed that five years ago on the Great March for Climate Action, when marchers proposed actions that, to me, seemed crazy:

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I don't want allyship when it's conditional

Kyla Paterson chairs the Iowa Democratic Party’s Stonewall Caucus. -promoted by Laura Belin

You’ve heard in the past about trans people becoming targets for hate crimes, but their stories are largely ignored. You may be part of the LGBTQIA+ community, and you may even give your one day of support to stop trans people from being murdered, but will you continue being supportive of your trans siblings? Are you a genuine “ally”?

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Revolution Redux?

Ira Lacher comments on signs of growing youth activism: “The revolution will not be televised. But it may be streamed, Instagrammed and tweeted.” -promoted by Laura Belin

“The revolution will not be televised,” Gil Scott-Heron wrote in an iconic 1970 anthem that many of us digested over and over while we considered what should happen with America.

My generation marched to end the Vietnam War and police brutality, advance the Equal Rights Amendment and other “socialist” causes. We said we want a revolution, but well, you know, there were the needs of getting jobs, starting families, buying homes, putting children through college. The ideals of revolution transmogrified into the reality of Reaganomics, fear of being blown up by terrorists and the creaks of advancing age.

But if recent events in New York City are an indication, the revolution may be stirring once again.

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Are Democrats also climate deniers?

Ed Fallon is a former Iowa lawmaker who directs Bold Iowa. He is the author of Marcher, Walker, Pilgrim, a memoir about the 2014 Great March for Climate Action. -promoted by Laura Belin

“The Democrats Are Climate Deniers.” That’s the jarring headline of an article this week in Jacobin that Jon Neiderbach brought to my attention. The sub-heading reads, “If the Democrats really believed the science on climate change, they’d be offering far more radical proposals. We have to make them.”

Sad but true. It’s one thing for a politician to say, “I support the Green New Deal (GND).” But when pushed for specifics, most aren’t on board with GND’s “transition to 100 percent renewable energy within 12 years — the time frame set by the world’s leading climate scientists.”

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