Civic News & Info
A Call for Justice in the Land PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Jo Cohrs   
Tuesday, 01 November 2011 10:18
Currently we are witnessing around the country if not around the world a movement that has been given the name “Occupy Wall Street” after the focus of the very first gathering that seems to have begun this movement that now encompasses over 80 cities in the United States. At its core this is a movement that is calling the nation to think again about justice for all citizens. The Preamble to the US Constitution begins with these words: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice,…” The call for justice, fairness between people was at the core of our coming together.

Yet as a faith based group we also must look at the unique tradition coming from the Holy Scriptures and understand that the call for justice is again central to our mission. When the Prophet Amos was speaking to the leadership of the Northern Kingdom of Israel his message from God was again for justice for many were being ignored by that same leadership. In the 5th chapter of that book and in the 24th verse we find these words, “Let justice roll down like water and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream” Amos was calling for the nation to remember that it needs to see that justice falls on all of its citizens.

In the New Testament in the Gospel of Luke we find Jesus reading from the Prophet Isaiah as he stands before the congregation of his home town. He says, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free. To proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

This then is our directive, to bring good news to the poor and to proclaim release to the captives. As we look at our current society we see a nation where the wealth has been denied to many, where the advances of health care have been denied to many, where  opportunity for worthwhile employment has been denied to many.

Occupy Wall Street and the other occupy manifestations around the country are reminding us that justice is at our core as a people and as a faith community we need to take this opportunity to reiterate that not only is this at the core of the Republic but it is a directive in the center of our faith.

Churches United of the Quad City calls upon the Christian Church to remind the community through word and deed that justice and working for justice is at the center of the faith. We must use this opportunity to lift up the call from the Jesus that we follow and remember those that often get forgotten. Let this be the moment in history when the people of faith say this society must offer compassion to all, fairness to all, justice to all.

“Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family you did it to me.”(Matthew 25:40)

Voted by Churches United of the Quad City Area Board of Directors 10/27/2011

 
IOWA FARM BUREAU SUPPORTS STATE ROAD FUNDING RECOMMENDATION PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Iowa Farm Bureau   
Tuesday, 01 November 2011 09:49

WEST DES MOINES, IOWA – Oct. 27, 2011 – With rural roads making up nearly 90,000 miles of the state’s 114,000-mile road system, the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) applauds the Governor’s Transportation 2020 Citizen Advisory Commission recommendation for an additional 8 to 10 cents per gallon fuel tax.

“Our roads and bridges have been severely impacted over the years by flooding and neglect, negatively impacting all of Iowa, but especially our rural communities, businesses and farms. Our members believe it’s imperative to repair the roads and bridges to help rural Iowa thrive,” said Craig Lang, IFBF president. “We believe that an increase in the fuel tax is the fairest way to fund those repairs because it charges people who actually use the roads whether they live in Iowa or are from out of state.”

Lang notes that IFBF delegates in 2008 passed policy calling for the fuel tax increase to repair the state’s roads and bridges.

The tax increase recommendation was made to the Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT) this week after several listening sessions around the state. The recommendations will be submitted to the Iowa Legislature by the IDOT by the end of the year.  The IDOT reports that Iowa needs an additional $215 million per year to meet critical roadway needs and the recommended increase will generate $184 million to $230 million per year.

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Braley Launches Petition Urging Postal Service to Stop Closures of Iowa Post Offices PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Molly Scherrman   
Tuesday, 01 November 2011 09:47

Braley will mail petition to US postmaster general

Waterloo, IA – Rep. Bruce Braley today launched an online petition urging US Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe to stop the Postal Service’s proposed closures of 178 small town post offices across Iowa.

The petition, which Braley will send – via postal mail – to the postmaster general, can be viewed and signed at the following link: http://www.brucebraley.com/post-office.

“Washington bureaucrats want to close thousands of post offices across the country, including almost 200 here in Iowa,” Braley wrote in an email to Iowans.  “This is the wrong move, and I need your help to make sure Washington gets the message that our post offices must stay open.

“The Postal Service is in financial trouble, but closing post offices in Iowa isn’t the answer,” Braley continued. “One single post office is just a drop in the bucket for the massive Postal Service bureaucracy.  But it can be everything to a small town.” 

The Postal Service has released a long list of post offices in Iowa being studied for potential closure.

Earlier this month, a US House committee endorsed a controversial bill that would, in part, allow the Postal Service to move forward with its plans to those post offices.  Braley is a member of the panel, and opposed the bill.  The bill, known as the Postal Reform Act, now must be approved by the full US House.

The full text of Braley’s email to Iowans can be viewed below:

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From: Congressman Bruce Braley

Subject: Help Save Your Post Office

Dear Susan –

I grew up in Brooklyn, Iowa, and our post office was incredibly important to our small community. Back then, before cell phones, text messages and emails, the post office was our way of reaching folks in the outside world.

And still today in many small towns in Iowa, post offices are part of the economic life-blood of our rural communities.

But Washington bureaucrats want to close thousands of post offices across the country, including almost 200 here in Iowa.

This is the wrong move, and I need your help to make sure Washington gets the message that our post offices must stay open.

Will you sign my petition urging Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe to keep Iowa post offices open?

I will send your name, along with everyone who signs the petition – via Postal Mail – to Postmaster General Donahoe.

Here’s the text of the petition:

We the undersigned urge you to stop the proposed closure of nearly 200 post offices throughout Iowa. Closing small town post offices jeopardizes the economic health of countless Iowa communities, and deals a blow to towns struggling to survive.

The Postal Service is in financial trouble, but closing post offices in Iowa isn’t the answer. One single post office is just a drop in the bucket for the massive Postal Service bureaucracy. But it can be everything to a small town. And I worry that closing post offices could effectively close small towns in Iowa to business.

And that’s why I’m fighting to keep post offices open here in Iowa.

Sign my petition and tell the Postmaster General to keep Iowa's post offices open.

Together, we’ll make sure Washington gets the message loud and clear: Don’t close Iowa’s post offices!

Thanks for all you do,

Bruce

# # #

 
New Reports: Proposed Super Committee Cuts Poised to Weaken State and Local Economies PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Josh Rosenblum   
Monday, 31 October 2011 14:06

Non-lobbyists Show Secret Supercommittee Could Make Cuts to Over $621 Billion in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid in Their States

(Washington, DC) – As lobbyists in Washington converge on the Super Committee, local advocates in states represented by the 12-member “Super Committee” today released new reports detailing the projected fall-out resulting from the committee’s proposed cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.  Information on the new reports was discussed at press conferences throughout the nation and in Washington where the Supercommittee met publicly for the first time in a month.  In the eleven Super Committee states represented, 20.3 million Americans receive Social Security, 18.5 million Americans receive Medicare, and 21.4 million Americans receive Medicaid.

Money Injected in to Super Committee Members’ States Economies By Programs

Social Security in Super Committee States

Medicare in Super Committee States

Medicaid in Super Committee States

Total Spent: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid in Super Committee States

$267.3 Billion

$206.1 Billion

$147.5 Billion

$620.9 Billion

“You can see she would have no housing, day activities, medical, dental or prescription coverage without Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security,” said Tom Taranto and Diane McCormack of Dorchester, MA, with regard to their daughter Christina who was born with severe disabilities.

“Too often political and media elites talk about these programs as just cold, unfeeling facts and figures, as if they are divorced from the people whose lives they touch,” said Eric Kingson, co-director of Social Security Works. “Too often, the programs are talked about as ‘problems’ when in fact they really are ‘solutions’ – solutions that provide benefits that have been earned through the hard work of Americans.”

The so-called Congressional “Super Committee” is just 30 days from its deadline.  As lobbyists attempt to save tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires, the new reports reveal a possible economic crisis for many Americans should the committee vote to cut benefits.  The full reports are available at http://www.strengthensocialsecurity.org/super-committee/.

"The American people oppose any cuts to Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid.  Our elected officials need to know that if they ignore this message, they do so at their own peril," said Ed Coyle the Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans. "This fall, as the Super Committee completes it work, the Alliance for Retired Americans will continue to educate and mobilize seniors and people of all ages on the need to strengthen – not cut – Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid."

Opinion poll after opinion poll show that the vast majority of Americans want no cuts to Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid.

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Lt. Governor Simon, AARP to urge legislators to uphold SB1652 vet PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Kara Beach   
Tuesday, 25 October 2011 14:43

SPRINGFIELD – With legislators back in Springfield, AARP Illinois, other advocacy groups and community organizations are bringing the voice of Illinois consumers to the State Capitol to ensure the Governor’s veto of Senate Bill 1652 stands. The legislation, pushed by ComEd and Ameren, would increase electric rates annually for the next ten years, while eroding regulation that protects consumers. Today hundreds of residents from across the state, joined by Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon, will rally outside AARP Illinois’ State Office in Springfield, before visiting legislators in the Capitol.

TIME: 1 p.m.

DATE: Tuesday, Oct. 25

PLACE: Outside AARP headquarters, corner of College and Edwards, Springfield

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