Des Moines takes courageous first step to a Climate Action Plan

UPDATE: The council approved the ordinance by 5 votes to 2, with Mayor Frank Cownie, Connie Boesen, Chris Coleman, Bill Gray, and Josh Mandelbaum voting yes. Joe Gatto and Linda Westergaard opposed the ordinance.

Sheila Knoploh-Odole is an attorney and local sustainability consultant who served on the advisory committee for the Des Moines Energy Policy Task Force. -promoted by Laura Belin

With a surprising vote of 7-0, the Des Moines City Council voted on April 22 (Earth Day) to advance a proposed ordinance for energy- and water-use benchmarking in buildings over 25,000 square feet throughout the City. On Monday, June 3, they will take the final vote to make this ordinance city policy.

By measuring the energy and water use of large buildings, Des Moines is poised to address its goal of lowering citywide greenhouse gas emissions 28 percent by 2025. This ordinance won’t cover the entire goal, but will put the city on a path of reducing up to 16 percent overall – IF certain unpopular parts of the ordinance are maintained.

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Black man profiled, arrested while knocking doors for David Young (updated)

A West Des Moines police officer followed and eventually arrested an African American man who was canvassing on behalf of U.S. Representative David Young. Keilon Hill came to Iowa to work for a Republican-aligned super-PAC and recorded his interactions with Officer Clint Ray on October 29. Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement released those videos today, saying the incident provides “more evidence of racial profiling among police officers in the Des Moines metro area.”

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Historic meetings seek to end racial profiling in Des Moines

Laural Clinton is a member of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement’s racial justice team and the mother of Jared Clinton, who was the passenger in a recent racial profiling video released to the public. -promoted by desmoinesdem

Racial profiling. It’s a tough topic to discuss. But for us in the Black community, racial profiling is a reality we deal with every day–when we go to the store, when we drive our cars, when we eat at restaurants.

As a mother of three Black sons, I am intimately familiar with this issue.

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Did Windsor Heights, Des Moines improperly advocate for sales tax?

Iowa’s campaign regulator may soon break new ground on interpreting language that forbids government bodies from spending public money for political purposes. When deciding whether two city governments went too far in encouraging residents to vote for a local option sales tax, the board will determine whether “express advocacy” can include language that stops short of explicitly urging citizens to vote a certain way.

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I'm voting no March 6 (twice if I don't get caught)

Heather Ryan makes her case against the local option sales tax for Iowa’s largest county. -promoted by desmoinesdem

In case you haven’t heard, there is a special election scheduled on the intentionally obscure date of Tuesday, March 6, 2018. Polk County residents must decide if they believe an additional 1 percent sales tax will help solve their financial woes. I will be voting “No.” Twice if I don’t get caught. Here’s why:

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