# Poverty

Smart move

John Edwards cancels all speaking engagements before the November election:

“Nothing is more important than electing Barack Obama and Joe Biden,” Edwards, the former Democratic senator from North Carolina, said in a statement released by the agency. “I don’t want my appearance at these events to be a distraction from the important issues of the election, or from the important purpose of these meetings.”

Last month he canceled plans to deliver the keynote at Iowa first lady Mari Culver’s Conference on Solutions to Poverty on September 16. That event was originally scheduled for June but had to be postponed because of floodwaters threatening downtown Des Moines.

Keeping a low profile is the right thing for Edwards to do now. The unfortunate side effect is that we don’t have any nationally-known Democrat talking about poverty or what to do about it.

In one of his last public appearances before admitting his extramarital affair, Edwards delivered the opening remarks at the AARP Foundation’s Poverty & Aging in America Symposium. Click the link to read edgery’s post about that speech and the policies that the “Half in Ten” poverty eradication program is advocating.

UPDATE: On the other hand, the Buffalo News says Edwards still plans to debate Karl Rove at the University of Buffalo on September 26. Perhaps Edwards’ representative has not yet informed the university about the change in plans, or perhaps he is making an exception for this event. I would think it prudent to cancel this appearance too, although when it was first announced I thought it would be fantastic to watch Edwards take on Rove.

SECOND UPDATE: Wesley Clark will debate Rove in place of Edwards. Should be worth watching, although it is scheduled for the same night as the first Obama-McCain debate.

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Events coming up this week

As always, please send me an e-mail or put up a comment if I have left out any significant event.

In many communities, this week will be dominated by flood clean-up activities. Stay safe if you are volunteering for any of those.

Note that First Lady Mari Culver’s Poverty Conference in Des Moines, which was originally scheduled for June 19, has been rescheduled for September 16. John Edwards was to be the keynote speaker for that event. It is not yet clear whether he will deliver the keynote in September.

If you already registered for this conference but won’t be able to attend in September, go here to update your registration:


Tuesday, June 17:

Rob Hubler, Democratic candidate for Congress in Iowa’s fifth district, will be at a picnic with the Schaben family at Pleasant View Park in Dunlap 6:30pm. BBQ and an auction, including a signed copy of Obama’s book! Call (712) 352-2077 for details.

Congressman Bruce Braley will hold a first-ever telephone town hall meeting at 7 pm “to discuss gas prices and the need for a new direction in our energy policies.” Iowans who wish to call in to the town hall themselves should contact one of Rep. Braley’s district offices for a call-in number and passcode.

Thursday, June 19:

Johnston’s Green Days weekend begins on Thursday evening and runs through Sunday with a long list of events and activities:


Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa is holding its annual event from 5:30 to 9:00 pm at the Marriott Hotel in West Des Moines. The special guest will be the “Shoe Lady,” Miss Meghan Cleary. Miss Meghan, author of The Perfect Fit: What Your Shoes Say About You, can tell your personality just by looking at your shoes. How fun! Plan on kicking up your heels at Celebrate Shoes! Tickets cost $125/person or $75/person for 35 years old and under. To reserve your seat at the event, call 515-235-0406 or e-mail JGood AT ppgi.org.

Friday, June 20:

Ankeny Area Democrats annual Garage and Bake Sale will be held at the home of Arvid and Mary Oliver 1709 NE Lowell Court, on June 20 and 21. Start gathering the items you would like to donate to the sale. These items can be delivered the any time during the week of the sale. Your help is invaluable to a successful sale. We will be setting up and pricing on Thursday the 19h.  For further information either email Ankenyareadems@msn.com or, call Arvid or Mary at 964-1227.

Johnston Green Days events begin on Friday at 5 pm. More details are here:


Saturday, June 21:

Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa and the Healthy Families project will be at the Des Moines Farmer’s Market this Saturday, June 21st. Volunteers will represent the Planned Parenthood mission, and help educate people about the need to reduce unintended pregnancies in Iowa.  Of course we’ll be handing out lots of goodies as well! Past Farmer’s market volunteers have had a lot of fun, and say it’s one of the best volunteer opportunities available. Help educate the public and have fun too. Any time you can give is much appreciated: work for a couple of hours, or the whole time. Shifts are available from 8am – Noon. Click here to e-mail Chelsea Hammond to volunteer or call (515) 235-0415

Congressional candidate Rob Hubler, Council Bluffs Mayor Hanafan, Senator Gronstal, Representative Shomshor, Kurt Hubler (house district 99 challenger), other local candidates, and the Pottawattamie county democrats will be at the grand opening party of the county office at 722 Creek Top in Council Bluffs. Rob Hubler will be speaking and answering questions from 5-7pm. Details 712-352-1192.

As part of the Juneteenth celebration in Des Moines, Neighbors Day will run from noon to 7:00 pm on Saturday at Evelyn Davis Park, 14th and Forest Avenue in Des Moines. Come out, enjoy some tasty food and listen to some great performances from the Ambassadors of Praise Choir of Cornerstone Family Church(directed by Rev. Tina Williams), Big Bang!, Comfort Zone, Des Moines Boyz, Sumpin’ Doo and more.

Johnston Green Days event schedule:


Sunday, June 22:

Last day for carnival at Johnston Green Days event from 1 pm to 5 pm at the Johnston Commons.

Looking for a reason to boycott Burger King?

As far as I can remember, it’s been 10 to 15 years since I ate at a Burger King, so there’s little point to my declaring a boycott of the company’s restaurants.

But let’s say you want to eat less fast food and are looking for a little extra motivation not to stop at Burger King. I recommend this diary by orangeclouds115.

Apparently Burger King hired someone to infiltrate and spy on a student group that is trying to raise wages and improve working conditions for migrant workers who pick tomatoes in Florida. Click the link for details, and cross Burger King off your list.

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