Iowa redistricting predictions, part 3: Legislative overview

Evan Burger speculates on how statutory requirements for drawing new Iowa House and Senate districts could impact partisan control of the legislature during the 2020s. -promoted by Laura Belin

Last month, I wrote about the rules governing Iowa’s Congressional redistricting process, and made some predictions. For this post, I’ll do the same for the legislative side of redistricting – but first, a quick mention of two related developments since my last piece. 

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Cutting unemployment during pandemic is immoral, wrong

Charlie Wishman is president of the Iowa Federation of Labor AFL-CIO. -promoted by Laura Belin

The COVID-19 pandemic has been not only a public health disaster, but also an economic disaster. Many Iowans have experienced filing for unemployment for the first time this past year. As a result, many now realize just how important this lifeline can be for working people and their families. 

You can tell a lot about what kind of legislature we collectively elected by looking at how lawmakers respond to the economic disaster that is COVID-19. Right now, the Republican-controlled Iowa House and Senate are moving a bill forward that would reduce unemployment benefits, inexplicably, during a global pandemic. 

Are we as a state going to continue to allow the rich to stuff their pockets during this pandemic while families suffer? Or worse, will we actively encourage it? Unfortunately, that is exactly what is happening now.

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Tanner Halleran for Iowa Democratic Party vice chair

Bryce Smith chairs the Dallas County Democrats. promoted by Laura Belin

As a young Iowan, I got active in Democratic politics during the 2012 re-election of President Obama.  Obama inspired me, and to this day, I find joy and comfort in knowing my volunteerism within his campaign made a difference for so many across Iowa and the country.

I have remained active in Democratic politics since 2012, even running for the Iowa House in 2016. Although I came up short in that election, the campaign pushed me to become even more engaged in the Democratic Party. Since 2017, I have been humbled to be the chair of the Dallas County Democrats. I have found great joy in working with fellow Democrats from across the state to better our party, grow together, elect Democrats and fight the good fight.

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Why Tanner Halleran is running for Iowa Democratic Party vice chair

Tanner Halleran is a college student, chair of the Keokuk County Democrats, and 2nd Vice Chair of the Iowa Democratic Party. -promoted by Laura Belin

About Me & My Political Background 

For those reading this post, I will personally know some of you and be unknown to others. I include this section to give you insight into my life—past & present—so that by the end, you can hopefully have a better sense of my character, my determination, and grit for/within this party.

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Don't give up on rural Iowa

Emma Schmit chairs the Calhoun County Democrats and serves on the Iowa Democratic Party’s State Central Committee. She is also the Iowa organizer at Food & Water Watch. -promoted by Laura Belin

The November election has inspired a new wave of rural analysis. Spend five minutes looking and you’ll find five different opinions. Some claim Donald Trump’s sweep of Midwestern states indicates that Democrats should write off rural voters. Some believe the lower margin of rural Trump victories in 2020 compared to 2016 shows a slight, but not insignificant, shift in political trends that must be capitalized on.

Whatever your opinion, it’s clear that the debate over rural voters will influence strategies, campaigns and policies over the coming years — and this is something both urban and rural residents should pay attention to.

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How prison abolition could save rural America

Casey Erixon: Mounting evidence suggests that prisons add little to local economies and may do more harm than good to the rural communities that host them. -promoted by Laura Belin

In the wake of the Democrats’ mixed success in the 2020 elections, many party elites have taken to blaming progressive activists, and Black Lives Matter organizers in particular, for costing the party votes in key rural areas. Most prominently U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger was characterized as “speaking hard truths” when, on a post-election conference call with House leadership, she claimed that calls by activists to defund the police were used in attack ads against her and other candidates from so-called red districts.

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