This legislative session has kept the Iowa Environmental Council busy, in part because of a bill that would protect gas company profits at the expense of Iowa customers. House File 555 and its companion, Senate File 455, would hurt Iowans by stopping cities and counties from protecting their local residents from dangerous gas infrastructure, high energy bills, and polluting fossil fuels.Continue Reading...
Governor Kim Reynolds and 21 of her Republican counterparts complained on February 27 that the latest Democratic COVID-19 relief package “punishes” their states.
It’s a strange take on a bill that would provide $350 billion to state and local governments across the country, including more than $2.5 billion to Iowa. In contrast, a smaller coronavirus response proposal from Republican members of Congress would allocate zero new dollars to state and local governments.
Iowa’s seven largest cities are spending more on policing per capita and a greater portion of their municipal budgets on law enforcement compared to the 1990s, according to a new report by the Iowa Policy Project. Over the same time period, spending on social services per capita and as a share of the municipal budget has declined in six of those cities.
Colin Gordon and Peter Fisher authored “Policing, public safety and community priorities,” published on July 22 (also available in pdf format). They examined budgets for the 24 Iowa cities with populations of at least 20,000, because “it is in our larger urban settings in Iowa that the problems with policing — including a well-documented pattern of disproportionate minority contact — are most acute.”
Seven of the cities studied are “metropolitan”: Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Sioux City, Waterloo, Council Bluffs, and Dubuque. Seven are suburbs in large metro areas: West Des Moines, Ankeny, Urbandale, Bettendorf, Marion, Coralville, and Johnston. Three are college towns: Iowa City, Ames, and Cedar Falls. Seven are micropolitan cities: Mason City, Marshalltown, Clinton, Muscatine, Burlington, Fort Dodge, and Ottumwa.
Joe Henry is a community activist who served on the Des Moines Civil Service Commission from 2013 to 2020. -promoted by Laura Belin
The City of Des Moines’ hiring practices do not reflect the diversity of our community.
Nearly 90 percent of the city’s police department employees (472 total) are white. Only 57 officers are Black or Brown. In addition, the majority of police officers do not live in the city and have never lived here!
Bridget Carberry Montgomery sounds the alarm about a bill Iowa Senate Republicans sent to the governor last week. Bleeding Heartland covered its provisions in detail after House Republicans approved the legislation in February. -promoted by Laura Belin
As a member of the Urbandale City Council, I have a responsibility to ensure the safety of residents, employees, and visitors to Urbandale. In that capacity, I implore Governor Kim Reynolds to veto House File 2502, because it interferes with our state’s long history of local control and makes our communities less safe.
We have all become acutely aware in the past few weeks why masks and face shields, respirators and ventilators are so important for hospital workers and their patients.
The supply is not keeping up with the need, and that could have dire consequences for the doctors, nurses, and patients.
Likewise, the novel coronavirus crisis has underscored the importance of another valuable commodity — access to accurate, authoritative information.