Why I'm running for Davenport city council

Bleeding Heartland welcomes guest posts by candidates. -promoted by Laura Belin

With modern American politics being what they are, is it any wonder most everyone is disenchanted with our elected officials and government? In recent years, our government has exhibited extreme incompetence, a level of insolence that is unacceptable from the federal government.

That is why, despite my young age of eighteen, I plan to run for city council this November in Davenport, the city I was born and raised in. The city I love with all my heart.

Given my age, am I the most qualified to run for office? Why would I even want to, considering the vicious game of partisanship? Well, I would propose the idea to you that our elected officials don’t need fancy degrees or some extreme circumstances that make them ‘qualified’, instead they should have a deep seeded concern for the welfare of their friends and neighbors, and for the future of our society.

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Three words

Bruce Lear helped negotiate educator contracts for 27 years as a regional director for the Iowa State Education Association. -promoted by Laura Belin

After February 16, 2017, I heard three words across the bargaining table that sent chills up my spine and tears to my eyes.

We were bargaining at a community college. The college had made an initial proposal to eliminate all provisions of the Master Contract except the base wage. We pushed to hear why. After all, those provisions had been in place for over 30 years, and they worked for both parties.

We didn’t get an answer. We pushed harder and a little louder. Still, there was silence from the other side. Finally, forgetting about everything except getting an answer, I used my undiplomatic voice and shouted, “We expect an answer, and we expect it now!”

The outburst was met with eye averted silence. Finally, in a voice barely above a whisper, the human resource director said, “Because we can.”

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Our new year of progress

On Wednesday, January 2 2019, Linn County Supervisor-elect Stacey Walker was sworn into office and voted chair of the new three-member board. Walker is the first African American to hold the position and serve as chairperson of the governing body of Iowa’s second most populous county. After he was sworn in, he shared the following remarks. -promoted by Laura Belin

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Royceann Porter overcame hidden racism in historic victory

Let’s start with the good news: Democrat Royceann Porter made history by winning the December 18 special election for Johnson County supervisor. The longtime community activist and labor organizer gained 5,444 votes (56 percent) to 4,167 votes (43 percent) for Republican Phil Hemingway, a member of the Iowa City school board. Porter is the first African American to win a county-wide office in Johnson County and will be one of four women on a five-member board that never had more than two women serving at the same time before this November’s election.

John Deeth took a granular look at the county’s urban and rural voting patterns in his preview of this election and his analysis of the unofficial results. He sees signs of a possible “watershed moment in county politics.”

While a Democrat winning in “the People’s Republic of Johnson County” might not seem newsworthy, Porter’s victory was not a foregone conclusion. A Republican won a low-turnout special election for a county supervisor seat in 2013. The compressed time frame for the special election gave Porter only four weeks to build up her name recognition. Her opponent was better-known, having already won local office. The Farm Bureau chapter drummed up support for Hemingway with a mass mailing, which was unprecedented for a county race, according to longtime area politics-watchers.

Porter also had to contend with a tremendous amount of implicit bias among voters who probably would not consider themselves racist.

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Part 5: How to corrupt Dallas County

Latest deep dive by Tyler Higgs. -promoted by desmoinesdem

If you’ve followed part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4 of this series, you get the drift. I create a short guide about how to corrupt some aspect of local government to hopefully hook you into reading on as I nerd out on a bit of campaign finance disclosures or local political controversies.

But this time, I’ll provide a little bit of good news and relief: many Dallas County political campaigns have clean finances.

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Iowa can learn from other states on nutrient-driven water pollution

John Norwood is a candidate for Polk County Soil and Water Commission. -promoted by desmoinesdem

Nutrient leaching from land use activities is a national issue. Solutions require systems thinking and robust financial support.

In some surprising news this week, Ohio Governor John Kasich, a former Republican presidential candidate with three months remaining in his term, fired his state’s Agricultural Director David Daniels over his slow response to Lake Erie algae. The algae are feeding on nutrients from fertilizers that drain into the lake and fuel these blooms. [Note to readers: In the State of Ohio like many others, the Governor appoints the state’s Agriculture Director.]

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