Transforming Trauma: Meeting the challenges facing youth

Nate Monson is executive director of Iowa Safe Schools. -promoted by Laura Belin

Collective trauma refers to the impact of a terrible experience that affects a group of people. Collective trauma is what we all are experiencing this year.

Our country has experienced collective trauma in the past but at no time have we had a pandemic, racial injustice, the derecho, a very divisive election, and an economic crisis larger than the Great Recession all at the same time.

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Kim Reynolds set young people up to fail. Now she's setting them up to blame

“Much of the spread that we’re seeing in Iowa continues to be tied back to young adults” between the ages of 19 and 24, Governor Kim Reynolds said during an August 27 news conference, where she announced a new proclamation closing bars in Polk, Dallas, Linn, Johnson, Story, and Black Hawk counties.

Reynolds noted that young adults are spreading coronavirus to classmates, co-workers, and others “by socializing in large groups” and “not social distancing.” She added, “While we still know that this population is less likely to be severely impacted by COVID-19, it is increasing the virus activity in the community, and it’s spilling over to other segments of the population.”

The official narrative seems designed to conceal three inconvenient facts. Reynolds didn’t follow expert advice that could have prevented this summer’s explosive growth in cases. For months, she discouraged young, healthy Iowans from worrying about the virus. And despite her “#StepUpMaskUp” public relations campaign, Reynolds has failed to practice what she preaches when attending large gatherings herself.

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Rural Iowa schools must proactively promote racial equity

Preethi Reddi highlights efforts to change the Shenandoah school district’s curriculum and policies in order to address a “culture of non-inclusion.” -promoted by Laura Belin

From my experience growing up in rural Iowa, I know the appeals of a small town. From the moment my family moved to Shenandoah, I knew we would become a part of an extended family. However, as a predominantly white community, Shenandoah can also be exclusionary to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC).

To address this concern, Shenandoah schools alumni, including myself, have recently developed a petition with more than 600 signatures, urging school administrators to make the commitment to racial justice numerous other school districts have made.

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Deep dive on Iowa's record-setting 2020 primary turnout

More Iowans than ever participated in the 2020 primary, and the event changed some features of the Iowa electorate. For the first time in at least 20 years, people who choose not to affiliate with any party don’t comprise a plurality of registered voters. Democrats and Republicans both outnumber no-party voters now.

In other ways, the 529,586 Iowans who cast ballots in the June 2 election resembled past primary voters. For instance, nearly three-quarters of them were at least 50 years old, while about 13 percent were under age 35. Those proportions by age group are remarkably close to corresponding figures from the 2018 primary, when only 288,749 Iowans voted.

Follow me after the jump for a closer look at this year’s expanded voter universe by party, gender, and age.

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Interview: Rachel Junck on her winning strategy in Ames

Rachel Junck became the second Iowa State University student elected to the Ames City Council this week, winning the runoff election in Ward 4 by 723 votes (55.1 percent) to 589 votes (44.9 percent) according to unofficial results.

Not only did Junck beat a two-term incumbent with strong ties in the business community, her supporters helped push total turnout on December 3 (1,313 votes) higher than the 1,220 who cast ballots in the ward on November 5. Ask anyone who has worked on local campaigns: that almost never happens.

How did she do it? Junck made time for a telephone interview with Bleeding Heartland on December 5.

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Why Mayor Pete will make LGBTQ youth safe

Nate Monson: “When Pete talks about his plans and vision for our country, I see four years of hope for a more united country where everyone can be part of the solution to our nation’s most urgent challenges.” -promoted by Laura Belin

Since 2007, I have served as the Executive Director for Iowa Safe Schools, one of the largest statewide LGBTQ organizations in the country. Our job is to create safe and supportive schools and communities for LGBTQ youth through education, advocacy, outreach, and direct services.

I believe every single candidate running on the Democratic side supports equality without question. But when I look at the 2020 field, only one candidate is working to build a culture of belonging in this country and that is Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

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