Call to action for Iowans united on issues like health care, climate action

Barb Kalbach is the Board President of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement Action and a fourth generation family farmer from Adair County. -promoted by Laura Belin

Caucus season means endless polls constantly taking the temperature of how Iowans are dividing themselves among this year’s over-abundant crop of charismatic politicians. At the Polk County Steak Fry the paid staff and supporters of the campaigns competed to hold the most signs and chant their candidate’s name the loudest.

What gets lost in the caucus circus is how much unites us beyond the candidates, like the Selzer Iowa poll for the Des Moines Register in March, which showed 91 percent support among Iowa Democratic caucus-goers for the Green New Deal, 84 percent for Medicare for All, and 76 percent for tuition-free public college.

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Saturday's other presidential candidate event

Ira Lacher reports on the People’s Forum in Des Moines. -promoted by Laura Belin

While thousands sat in single-lane traffic at Water Works Park hoping to hear seventeen presidential candidates deliver ten-minute stump speeches, several thousand Midwesterners from five states crammed into the Iowa Events Center on September 21 to listen to four candidates explain at length why they deserved the votes of progressives.

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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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Twelve quick takes on the third Democratic debate

First disclaimer: I don’t agree with the Democratic National Committee’s debate criteria and encourage Iowans to keep listening to all the presidential candidates.

Second disclaimer: I doubt anything that happens more than four months before anyone votes will significantly affect the battle for the Democratic nomination. As Dan Guild has shown, history tells us more than half of Iowa Democrats who participated in the 2004 and 2008 caucuses decided in the final month.

That said, here are my thoughts on last night’s three-hour debate at Texas Southern University in Houston.

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Tribal sovereignty and Elizabeth Warren's problem with her Cherokee heritage claim

Tom Witosky is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and was a longtime investigative reporter for the Des Moines Register. -promoted by Laura Belin

Much has been written about U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren and her most recent apology about her Native American heritage claim.

The Massachusetts senator opened her presentation at last month’s Native American presidential forum in Sioux City by acknowledging that the controversy over her claims of Cherokee heritage had caused harm.

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