New Law to Highlight Contributions of Hispanics in U.S. History

CHICAGO - October 10, 2009. Governor Pat Quinn and Rep. Elizabeth Hernandez today raised awareness of a new law that requires the history of the United States taught in public schools reinforce the role and contributions of Hispanics.

"I salute Representative Hernandez for her work championing this important legislation," Governor Quinn said. "The new law ensures that U.S. History is taught accurately to our students and emphasizes the important contributions of Hispanics throughout our nation's history."

Senate Bill 1557, sponsored by Senator William Delgado (D-Chicago) and Representative Elizabeth Hernandez (D-Cicero), was passed overwhelmingly with bipartisan support.

The bill amends Section 27-21 of the School Code by providing that curriculum on the history of the United States is to reinforce the study of the role and contributions of Hispanics, including on issues such as the events related to the forceful removal and illegal deportation of Mexican-American U.S. citizens during the Great Depression.

"It was alarming to learn how Hispanics Americans were treated during the Great Depression, and that it has gone unreported for so many years," Rep. Hernandez said. "It's critical that this period in history be taught in our schools so that we can learn from the mistakes of the past."

Section 27-21 of the School Code currently requires U.S. History to be taught in all public schools, and further outlines that curriculum must include the role and contributions of various peoples and ethnic groups.

The bill is effective as of January 1, 2010.


This year's National Down Syndrome Society's BUDDY WALK has been relocated to the east end of the Ben Butterworth Parkway in Moline, along the riverfront at the boat launch.  The BUDDY WALK is still scheduled for October 10th and will begin at 10:30 a.m.  There will be a shuttle available from the former CASE IH Parking Lot.  For more information, plese contact the Upside of Down Syndrome Family Group at 563-271-3524.

October 9, 2009 - Davenport, IA - Celebrating life through programs and classes that enhance one's spirit, mind and body is the mission of the Scott County Family Y.  On Saturday, October 24, area cancer survivors and their supporters are invited to attend a wellness open house at the West Family YMCA that's especially designed to do just that.

At 9am, BODYVIVE will celebrate life with an energizing and uplifting combination of easy-to-follow cardio steps aimed at lifting the heart rate followed by creative strength building and flexibility exercises. Live Strong RPM group cycling classes geared towards empowering and energizing the whole body will be held at 8am, 9am, and 10:15am.  Inspiration will also be shared from YMCA members who are surviving cancer in addition to informational displays from area health care providers and cancer awareness organizations. Participants should come dressed comfortably and be prepared to have fun.

This Live Strong event is part of a Community Wellness Open House, from 8am to 5pm, Saturday, October 24, at the West Family YMCA, 3503 West Locust Street, Davenport.  In addition to the wellness classes, survivors and the community are encouraged to take part in other open house events and drawings, all aimed at enhancing total health - your Spirit, Mind and Body. Each person who attends will also receive a Livestrong or a Sur-VIVE-or wristband.

For information about this event, call the West Family YMCA at 563-386-4414 or visit the Scott County Family Y website,

# # #

Des Moines, Iowa - The Climate Protection Action Fund's Repower Iowa today issued the following statement on the Senate introducing the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act:

"By passing comprehensive clean energy and climate policies we'll put America back in control of our economic and security future, make our nation more energy independent and create millions of new jobs by harnessing clean energy sources that are made in Iowa and that work for Iowa," said Douglas Niemela, Repower Iowa State Director. "Our dependence on foreign oil hurts our economy, aids our enemies, and puts our national security at risk. The
big oil companies, their lobbyists, and their front groups spend millions to protect their record profits and maintain the status quo, but Iowa knows it's time for change. This is an incredible opportunity to declare America's energy independence, put our economy back on track and leave a healthier planet for future generations."

A Zogby International poll released in August showed that a majority of American voters ? 71 percent ? strongly support House-passed clean energy and climate legislation, citing the job growth that would result from enacting new clean energy policies. According to the Center for American Progress, transitioning to a clean energy economy will create more than 18,000 jobs in Iowa. And a recent report by the Union of Concerned Scientists found that comprehensive clean energy and climate policies can save Iowa households $800 a year by 2030. Iowa's wind energy resources could produce more than
three times the state's current electricity production and enough to power 15 million U.S. homes, according to the American Wind Energy Association.


Provision passed by House paves way for Pentagon to provide benefits to Iowa National Guard troops

Washington, DC - Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) today announced that his Guaranteed Benefits for Our Troops Act (HR 1222) was included in the final FY2010 National Defense Authorization Act, which passed the House today by a vote of 281-146.  The legislation will now be sent to the Senate for passage and then onto President Obama to be signed into law.

Braley's fix will ensure that hundreds of Iowa National Guard members are provided benefits they were promised under the Department of Defense's Post-Deployment/Mobilization Respite Absence (PDMRA) program, commonly known as "Respite Leave."  Over 20,000 Army National Guard members across the country - including almost 800 members of the Iowa National Guard - did not receive benefits they earned due to delay between the announcement of the leave program by the Department of Defense and the implementation of the program by the individual services.

"Today brings us one critical step closer to ensuring that National Guard troops across the country receive the benefits they earned and deserve," Braley said.  "Iowa National Guard troops have served some of the most grueling and lengthy deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we owe it to them to provide these long overdue benefits immediately.  I'm looking forward to seeing President Obama sign this important legislation into law, and seeing Iowa National Guard troops finally receive the benefits they have long been promised by the Pentagon."

Respite Leave was designed to provide service members deployed to places like Iraq and Afghanistan for longer than established rotation cycles additional help to reintegrate back to civilian life, as well as to improve the retention of service members who had experienced especially long tours of duty.

Once the Respite Leave program was announced, however, there were significant delays before its implementation.  The Department of the Army, for example, didn't issue its corresponding policy for implementing Respite Leave until more than six months after the Pentagon's January 2007 announcement of the program.

Because of this gap, thousands of soldiers from the Army National Guard did not receive proper Respite Leave compensation.

Braley first introduced the Guaranteed Benefits for Our Troops Act in July 2008.  The bill, which will allow the Pentagon to retroactively grant up to $200 per day to affected troops, has previously passed the House as part of the FY2010 National Defense Authorization Act and as part of a Department of Defense appropriations bill.

The legislation will now be sent to the Senate for passage and then onto President Obama to be signed into law.

# # #


Braley created 'New Era' program which provides funding for grant.

Washington, DC - Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) announced that the Eastern Iowa Community College District (EICCD) and Hawkeye Community College have been awarded $276,318 in grant money from the Department of Agriculture for curriculum in ag-based renewable energy programs. The grant is made available through the New Era Rural Technology Program established by Braley.

"Community colleges in Eastern Iowa will now be able to enhance their courses and training for students entering the renewable energy field," Braley said. "This grant will not only promote higher education in the field of bio-energy, but give students the resources to be highly-qualified in the competitive job market."

Specifically, the money will go toward the EICCD Agriculture-based Renewable Energy Center (AREC), in partnership with Hawkeye Community College. Its vision is to advance curriculum, programs and resources to increase the number of rural students who pursue and complete a two-year postsecondary degree in ag-based renewable energy.

"I want to thank Congressman Braley for his role in securing the funding for this great opportunity at the college," Eastern Iowa Community College District Chancellor Dr. Pat Keir said. "Through the years, EICCD has become a leader in the area of new and renewable energies. This grant provides us with the ability to tie that into the heart of Iowa and the Midwest, agriculture. Thanks to this funding we will be educating students, other educators and current workers throughout the country in ag-based renewable energy opportunities."

The New Era Rural Technology Program was originally proposed by Braley when he introduced H.R. 872, the National Endowment for Workforce Education in Renewables and Agriculture (NEW ERA) Act, in 2007.  Braley passed these provisions into law in 2008, creating the grant program.

# # #

In addition to the Pumpkin Festival held at Fejervary Park on October 24th, the City of Davenport Parks & Recreation Department has focused their efforts in supporting the men and women of the U.S. armed forces by organizing Operation Tee Off To Iraq. Operation Tee Off To Iraq is an organized effort to collect and distribute donated golf supplies overseas to inspire the men and woman of the armed forces to keep up their efforts during demanding times.

To further support our efforts, inspired donations of used golf clubs, balls, tees, and monetary donations for shipment are greatly appreciated.

Donation table will be present at the front gate of the Pumpkin Festival at Fejervary Park on October 24th.

Interested donors not able to participate in Pumpkin Festival, please contact: Polly Delange -Senior Clerk, Davenport Parks & Recreation at 563-326-7816.

Davenport, IA, October 8, 2009:  Celebrate the beautiful leaves and harvest season with a day filled with old fashion fun.  The City of Davenport Parks & Recreation Department will be host to you and your family on this day filled with physical activity structures, petting zoo, Sancho-the Prize Winning Steer (participants are able to purchase a photo with Sancho), games, pumpkin decorating, crafts, and so much more.  Pumpkins will be available to decorate and concessions will be available for purchase.  There will be something for everyone.

  • Note: In effort to combat childhood obesity, the Davenport Parks and Recreation Department has placed an emphasis on offering only healthy and educational prizes for participants.

  • Date: Saturday October 24th, 2009

  • Time: 10:00am-2:00pm

  • Age:  All Ages

  • Fee:  $2 suggested donation and/or food item for local food pantry

  • Location: Fejervary Park - 1800 W. 12th St. Davenport, IA 52804

WASHINGTON- On Friday, October 2, representatives from faith communities nationwide met with Reverend Joshua DuBois, director of the White House Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, to voice concern about the conflict in Sudan. Members of the Interfaith Sudan Working Group delivered a letter to President Obama, signed by 1,410 Christian, Jewish and Muslim clergy, including Seminarian Josh Ebener and Henry Karp from Davenport.

The letter emphasized the decades of war, famine, and marginalization inflicted upon the Sudanese, and urged the Obama Administration to:

· Continue efforts to enforce the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between North and South Sudan

· Work with the international community to bring lasting and sustainable peace to Darfur

· Ensure that the 2006 agreement in Eastern Sudan is upheld


The letter concluded with a message underscoring the group's diverse religious background, unity around Sudan and Darfur, and support for President Obama's international leadership on the issue.

Dr. Stephen Colecchi, director of the Office of International Justice and Peace for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops delivered the letter to Rev. DuBois. "When I delivered the letter to Rev. DuBois, I emphasized the support for Sudan that the faith community can offer. The letter signed by over 1,400 clergy underscores our commitment to working with President Obama to bring lasting and sustainable peace to Darfur and Sudan," Dr. Colecchi said.

During the meeting, the faith leaders asked Rev. DuBois to convey their message to President Obama that Sudan should be a priority for his administration. The group also asked administration officials to incorporate important policy recommendations from the Interfaith Sudan Working Group when they convene regular meetings prior to the 2010 Sudanese elections and 2011 referendum. Violence against women, which has been reported in staggering numbers recently, was also an area of concern for the faith leaders.

To view the letter, please visit:

Faith Leaders who attended the meeting:


· Ruth Messinger: President, American Jewish World Service

· Galen Carey: Director of Government Affairs, National Association of Evangelicals

· Reverend Gloria White-Hammond: AME Pastor; Co-Founder, My Sister's Keeper

· Alissa Karg: Deputy Regional Director for Africa, Lutheran World Relief

· Pastor Cindy Lapp: Representative, Mennonite Central Committee; Pastor Hyattsville

· Dr. Stephen Colecchi: Director, Office of International Justice and Peace, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

· Bishop David Jones: Bishop, Virginia, Episcopal Church

· Imam Mohamed Magid: Vice President, Islamic Society of North America; Director, ADAM'S Center

· Archbishop Vicken Aykazian: Archbishop, Armenian Church of America.


### giveaway will award $5,000 to a lucky volunteer and his or her cause!

Doing good for others just became even more rewarding. As many Americans face a holiday season of hardship in a struggling economy, Modern Woodmen of America is looking for those who have given the gift of time.

Families and friends who have volunteered together to meet a community need, raised money for a local cause or added a volunteer activity to a social gathering are eligible to win a grand prize totaling $5,000. Through Modern Woodmen's Gatherings with Purpose Giveaway, one winner will receive a grand prize of $2,500 in cash, plus a $2,500 donation for the worthy cause described in a submitted story.

Stories can be submitted online at by 11:59 p.m. CST on Nov. 12, 2009. Submissions should be 400 words or less and describe who gathered, who was helped and how it touched lives.

Five finalists will be chosen from submissions entered online. Finalists' stories will be posted, and the public will vote online for a favorite beginning Nov. 19. The Gathering with Purpose earning the most votes will win the grand prize - $2,500 for the entrant and $2,500 for the purpose described.

Visit for complete rules and details.

As a membership-based organization, Modern Woodmen launched the giveaway to complement national efforts to bring people together to help others and their communities. Modern Woodmen sells financial products not to benefit stockholders, but to support our stakeholders - our members, their families and their communities. How? Through social, charitable and volunteer events where our members gather.

Founded in 1883, Modern Woodmen of America touches lives and secures futures. The fraternal benefit society offers financial services and fraternal member benefits to individuals and families throughout the United States.


For additional information:

Kim Woodward
Corporate Communications
Modern Woodmen of America
1701 1st Avenue
Rock Island, IL 61201