# Advocacy



Winning the message war: A handbook for Iowa progressives

Katy Siddall is messaging director of Progress Iowa.

A progressive group is encouraging Iowans to use their voice to call for change, and providing polling and research as a resource. Progress Iowa, a statewide research and advocacy organization, released a comprehensive handbook with message recommendations based on the research they’ve conducted during the past year. 

The handbook, Winning the Message War: A Handbook for Iowa Progressives, summarizes the best of 88 different messages Progress Iowa poll tested during the past fourteen months. Progress Iowa hopes the handbook will be a resource for activists, elected officials, and other organizations who want a winning message when they speak out about the policies impacting their communities. 

Winning the Message War and an additional twenty-two message guides are publicly available at progressiowa.org/research

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To move Iowa forward, progressives may need to go it alone

Pete D’Alessandro is co-founder of Campaign in a Box, a national consulting firm that specializes in progressive and first-time candidates. He lives in Des Moines and submitted this commentary prior to the Iowa Democratic Party’s State Central Committee meeting on January 28.

Two years ago, just after winning a seat on the Democratic National Committee, Jodi Clemens—who is one of the best grassroots organizers I have ever been around—ran for Iowa Democratic Party chair. Through the efforts of some longstanding establishment types, she was denied the position. I came to learn (off the record, of course) the winner’s positive qualities included not being “a Bernie person.” I think “Bernie person” is establishment code for not being “in the club.”

A full election cycle has passed, and we can now look at the results of that choice to bear hug the right-of-center, hide-under-your-desk establishment: total ballot box disaster.

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Brittany Ruland for Iowa Democratic Party chair

Tim Nelson is a Des Moines-based campaign staffer.

The Iowa Democratic Party’s State Central Committee will choose the party’s next chair this Saturday, January 28, so I wanted to take a moment to explain why I am backing State Senator Sarah Trone Garriott’s campaign manager Brittany Ruland for the role.

First things first: I want to clarify that my support for Brittany isn’t in opposition to Rita Hart.

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Brittany Ruland: The only choice for Iowa Democratic Party chair

Glenn Hurst is a family physician in southwest Iowa and chair of the Iowa Democratic Party’s Rural Caucus. He was a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in 2022.

The Iowa Democratic Party is about to choose its leadership after another round of disappointing losses to Republicans at the ballot box.

Democratic candidates lost every statewide race except for state auditor. Iowa’s U.S. senators both hail from the Grand Old Party. Republicans now represent every U.S. House district in Iowa. Republicans hold large state Senate and House majorities and can run the table. And Iowa courts are stacked with conservative judges. The Democrats have lost…resoundingly.

None of these situations were sudden unexpected blows. Rather, the trend has been building for at least the last three election cycles. The one takeaway all Democrats should agree on: business as usual is not working.

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The time has come to license midwives in Iowa

Rachel Bruns is a volunteer advocate for quality maternal health care in Iowa.

The 2022 Iowa legislative session saw the most significant momentum in more than forty years of advocacy for the creation of a licensure of direct-entry midwives in Iowa. With the 2023 legislative session underway, I will review the pivotal moments in the 2022 legislative session and explain why the Iowa legislature and Governor Kim Reynolds should prioritize enacting a midwifery licensure bill.

While I have addressed the need to provide a licensure for Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) in previous pieces, I will go more in-depth in providing background on why all Iowans should want and support CPMs practicing in our state.

Note: I would not benefit directly in any way if this bill passed, as I am not a birthworker (doula, midwife, physician), and I do not plan on having any more children. Through my volunteer work with the International Cesarean Awareness Network, I have learned a lot about the different types of midwives and believe Iowans have been “dealt a bad hand” by not having knowledge or access to community birth options that are more readily available in other states and other high-income countries. Iowa families deserve to have all options available for safe and quality maternal health care.

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Why I'm running for Des Moines City Council

RJ Miller is an advocate, activist, and executive director of Greater Opportunities Inc, a Des Moines-based nonprofit. He was an independent candidate for the Iowa House in 2022.

I’m running for the at-large Des Moines City Council seat now held by Carl Voss, because I believe the council needs more diversity and more council members who come from a grassroots background, for and from the people they represent.

I’m running because our city needs real leadership. Des Moines needs someone who will unify and truly fight for the people’s best interests. Residents deserve someone who will fight against gentrification, redlining, and eminent domain. More important, the city deserves an anti-sellout, anti-establishment councilman.

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