Diversity lacking on Iowa Democrats' new governing body

Both major parties held district conventions on April 28. One encouraging sign from the Iowa Democratic Party’s proceedings: activists are much more energized this year than usual. Every delegate slot was filled in all four Congressional districts. Quite a few alternates (including myself) did not receive credentials. According to former State Senator Jack Hatch, it was only the second time in 40 years that an IA-03 district convention “packed a full slate of delegates.” State party chair Troy Price observed in a Facebook post, “Typically, in a non-Presidential year it is a struggle to reach quorum, and this year we had more people than spots available.”

All of the district convention delegates elected at county conventions in March are automatically delegates for the state conventions in June. So the main order of business yesterday was choosing members of each party’s State Central Committee.

Both Democrats and Republicans will have lots of new faces on their governing bodies. But Democrats mostly missed an opportunity to elect leaders who reflect the diversity of the party’s base.

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Exclusive: A review of the new, improved Waterloo Police use-of-force policy

More than two years after outside experts recommended a “complete review” of guidelines on the use of force, the Waterloo Police Department finally adopted a new policy in December 2017. Police leaders didn’t publicize the changes, and to my knowledge, no media have reported on the revisions.

In many ways, Waterloo’s updated use-of-force policy reflects national consensus on best policing practices. Some improved passages appear to be a response to notorious local incidents of officer misconduct.

On the other hand, several important principles on the use of force are missing from Waterloo’s new document.

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Fight racism by voting in local elections

Jeff Cox offers some reasons for Iowans who care about racism to “think local.” -promoted by desmoinesdem

Low levels of voter turnout in America are disheartening. Bernie Sanders showed that large numbers of young, new voters can be brought into the electoral system. But what about local elections for school board and city council elections, not to mention bond issues, and the sadly neglected party primaries for local officials?

Here are some reasons to “think local” about elections if you care about racism, with evidence taken from five recent Johnson County elections.

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Jonathan Narcisse, Remembered

State Representative Ako Abdul-Samad’s tribute to his friend Jonathan Narcisse. -promoted by desmoinesdem

Jonathan Narcisse, advocate, media presence, and publisher of several newspapers, including “The Bystander,” Iowa’s most enduring publication geared towards an African American audience, died last Saturday, February 17. He was 54–young, but not unusual for a black man in America.

He was also my former campaign manager, business associate, peer, and friend. So I write this with sadness in my heart for the loss Iowa experiences as a result of his death, and with joy in my soul that he is no longer in pain.

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