# Advocacy



Vote Shaimaa Aly in a critical down-ballot race

Tim Nelson is a Democratic activist based in Polk County.

Broadlawns Medical Center, the public hospital in Polk County, Iowa, doesn’t provide elective abortions. But the hospital’s staff do perform medically necessary, life saving abortions.

As a public hospital, Broadlawns has elected trustees, unlike private hospitals.

This means we choose the members of the Broadlawns Board of Trustees.

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I hate door knocking

Jim Chrisinger is a retired public servant living in Ankeny. He served in both Republican and Democratic administrations, in Iowa and elsewhere. 

I hate door knocking. I’m not an extrovert; bothering people in their homes isn’t my thing. But our democracy is dear to me and I know I need to do everything I can to preserve it.  

So Sunday afternoon, door knock I did. My list consisted of 26 Democratic doors (households) with 39 voters. No one answered at fifteen of those doors, so I left Democratic campaign literature and my flyer describing ways to vote and offering my help. I’ll follow up with texts where I have a number.  

I asked those with whom I did speak what their most important issue was for November. The plurality answer was some form of abortion/Roe/women’s rights. 

Schools was second: “Don’t defund our schools.” “Reynolds is mutilating public schools.”  

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Help cover Pieper Lewis' restitution

An Iowa teenager who was abused and sex trafficked will be forced to pay $150,000 in restitution to the estate of her alleged rapist, under a decision issued on September 13.

Polk County District Court Judge David Porter did not order Pieper Lewis to serve time in an adult prison when he sentenced her for voluntary manslaughter and willful injury in the June 2020 death of Zachary Brooks. Instead, he accepted the prosecutors’ recommendation for five years of probation while Lewis lives at the Fresh Start Women’s Center in Des Moines. The judge also agreed to the defense attorneys’ request for deferred judgment, which means Lewis may be able to have the crimes expunged from her record if she abides by the terms of her probation.

But Iowa law requires restitution payments of at least $150,000 to the victim’s estate in “all criminal cases in which the offender is convicted of a felony in which the act or acts committed by the offender caused the death of another person.” Lewis’ attorneys had argued the law should not apply to their client, who was 15 years old and homeless when she was exploited by multiple men, and repeatedly raped by Brooks. But Porter rejected the defense arguments.

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How to vote early in Iowa (2022 edition)

As of August 30, Iowans can submit absentee ballot request forms to their county auditors for the November 8 election.

I’m a strong advocate for voting before election day, and Iowa Democrats need to bank early votes in midterms, to counteract the GOP’s longstanding turnout advantage.

But Republicans have substantially changed Iowa’s voting laws since the last general election. So even if you’ve voted by mail before, I would encourage you to make different plans to cast your ballot this year.

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Monarchs merit royal care

Kurt Meyer writes a weekly column for the Nora Springs – Rockford Register, where this essay first appeared. He serves as chair of the executive committee (the equivalent of board chair) of Americans for Democratic Action, America’s most experienced liberal organization.

Who doesn’t love butterflies, especially monarch butterflies?

Let me share several verbal bouquets I encountered in reading articles about monarchs. “Showy looks.” “Extraordinary migration.” “One of the natural world’s wonders,” and, “one of the continent’s most beloved insects.” Unfortunately, I also came across some very troubling terms, like “endangered,” “vulnerable populations,” “declining precipitously” and “teeter(ing) on the edge of collapse.” Suffice to say, it all captured my attention.

Monarchs have been in the news a great deal lately. Appropriately so.

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A science-based case against carbon dioxide pipelines across Iowa

Seventeen academics, farmland owners, and environmental advocates have urged the Iowa Utilities Board to reject permit applications for a carbon dioxide pipeline that would run across Iowa. A July 29 letter to the board laid out four science-based objections to the projects proposed by Summit Carbon Solutions, Navigator CO2 Ventures, and Archer Daniels Midland partnered with Wolf Carbon Solutions.

Matt Liebman, Iowa State University professor emeritus of agronomy, took the lead in writing the document. Citing “relevant scientific and engineering studies,” the letter explained how the pipelines would damage soil and crop yields without significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Allowing the use of eminent domain for this project would be “a betrayal of public trust and a corruption of the ideal of private sacrifice for public good,” the letter argued.

Those who wrote to the Iowa Utilities Board include six retired professors from Iowa colleges or universities and several Iowans with professional conservation experience at the federal or county level. I also signed, having been an environmental advocate for the past 20 years. I did not draft the letter or make editorial changes to it.

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