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Updated: This week in political activism: May 15-21


Ready to take action to build the community, state and nation you want, but not sure what to do next? Here are some opportunities for political activism this week.

Dr Barbara Rakel addresses the crowd before the March For Science. Saturday, April 22, 2017. — photo by Zak Neumann.

Learn how housing insecurity affects your community and how to address it

Homelessness Excludes No One

Greene Square Park (5th St SE, Cedar Rapids) and Cedar Rapids Public Library — Monday, May 15 at 5:30 p.m.

Head to Greene Square Park for a presentation about the Community Overflow Weather Shelter System that serves the homeless population of Linn County, then to the public library for the film American Refugees and a panel discussion.

No Magic Bullet: Collaborative Approaches to Affordable Housing

First Lutheran Church (1000 3rd Ave SE, Cedar Rapids) — Thursday, May 18 at 7 p.m.

Join University of Iowa professor, community development consultant and chair of the Johnson County Affordable Homes Coalition Sally J. Scott for a presentation about the complex issue of affordable housing and its complex solutions.

Raise the Roof Benefit Concert featuring HomeBrewed

The Mill (120 E Burlington St, Iowa City) — Sunday, May 21 at 4 p.m.

Take direct action to help those struggling with both mental illness and homelessness with a $10 donation ($5 for students) to repair the Shelter House Fairweather Lodge, and catch some tunes while you’re at it.

Event organizers prepare to welcome more than 200 Planned Parenthood supporters to a mixer hosted by Raygun in Cedar Rapids. — photo by Akwi Nji

Get to know potential police chiefs of University Heights

Police Chief Public Forum

University Heights City Hall (1302 Melrose Ave, University Heights) — Wednesday, May 17 at 7 p.m.

Hear statements from police chief candidates Kris Lyon and Jeff Quigle, then ask questions at a public forum.

Sit in on the taping of a political podcast

Political Party LIVE! Podcast: Vanessa Marcano-Kelly

The High Ground Cafe (301 E Market St, Iowa City) — Thursday, May 18 at 7:30 p.m.

Signs of disagreement during Sen. Joni Ernst’s town hall meeting at Coe College. Friday, March 17, 2017. — photo by Zak Neumann.

Co-hosts Simeon Talley, Misty Rebik and Stacey Walker talk with Vanessa Carolina Marcano-Kelly about Rep. Steve King, including a racist tweet she received from him, and with New Leaders Council board member Sarah Chabolla about building a progressive activist network. After party at the Motley Cow, $5 suggested donation.

Protect low-income undocumented Iowans’ right to legal aid

Eastern Iowa Community Bond Project Launch Party

RADInc. (123 E Washington St, Iowa City) — Friday, May 19 at 7:30 p.m.

The Eastern Iowa Community Bond Project will aid those detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) who lack the financial means to pay bail. Positive outcomes in these cases strongly correlate with the defendant’s ability to pay.

Rally in support of Medicare for all

Medicare For All Rally — Cedar Rapids

Greene Square Park (5th St SE, Cedar Rapids) — Saturday, May 20 at 12 p.m.

Medicare For All Rally — Iowa City

Ped Mall, Iowa City — Saturday, May 20 at 4 p.m.

Multiple rallies are being held statewide to demand a system that puts the health of Iowans ahead of the profits of insurers and pharmaceutical corporations. In case of rain, the event will be held at The Mill (120 E Burlington St, Iowa City.) The author is an organizer of the Iowa City rally.

Voters cast their ballots at Horace Mann Elementary School in Iowa City on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. — photo by Zak Neumann

Get in on the ground floor of a new chapter of a national organization

ICDSA Chapter Meeting — “Action”

Robert A Lee Rec Center (220 S Gilbert St, Iowa City) — Saturday, May 20 at noon

Help the new Iowa City chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America plan a path forward at their third meeting.

Support InsideOut Reentry Program’s work for criminal justice reform

InsideOut Reentry Summer Concert Fundraiser

InsideOut Reentry Program (500 N Clinton St, Iowa City) — Saturday, May 20 at 4 p.m.

InsideOut helps Johnson County residents returning from incarceration to successfully transition back into the community, and works to reform a broken criminal justice system. Support them with a donation and catch some live music at this annual event.

Get involved with a political party

Linn County Republicans meeting

Longbranch Hotel (90 Twixt Town Rd, Cedar Rapids) — Tuesday, May 16 at 7 p.m.

Find out what the GOP’s doing in Linn County and how you can help at a monthly meeting.

Johnson County Green Party meeting

Room E, Iowa City Public Library — Saturday, May 20 at 3 p.m.

Check in with the Johnson County Greens at this public meeting.

IC Eastside Dems Ground Game Recruitment & Activation Party!

Room A, Robert A Lee Rec Center (220 S Gilbert St, Iowa City) — Sunday, May 21 at 1 p.m.

Seasoned organizers are ready to turn Iowa blue in 2018, but they need volunteers to do it — get informed and connected at this meeting.

Curious what's happening this weekend? Sign up here to stay in the know.

Share your concerns with members of congress

#ResistTrumpTuesday Rally & Office Visit

Federal Courthouse (111 7th Ave SE, Cedar Rapids) — Tuesday, May 16 at 12 p.m.

Bring a written, personal message telling Sen. Chuck Grassley or Sen. Joni Ernst how you feel about FBI Director James Comey’s firing and Russia investigations to share at a rally outside the courthouse. A delegation from the group will meet with each of the senators’ staff and deliver the letters. If you can’t make it, send your letters to SwampCabinet@gmail.com and they will be delivered. This event is organized by MoveOn, Indivisible and the Working Families Party.

Community members share their thoughts with members of the school board at Horace Mann Elementary Tuesday, May 2 2017. — photo by Eleanore Taft

Start local by getting to know your county supervisors and city council

Iowa City Council meeting

Iowa City Hall — Tuesday, May 16 at 7 p.m.

Linn County Supervisors meeting

Jean Oxley Linn County Public Service Center (935 2nd St SW, Cedar Rapids) — Wednesday, May 17 at 10 a.m.

Hiawatha City Council meeting

Hiawatha City Office (101 Emmons St, Hiawatha) — Wednesday, May 17 at 5:30 p.m.

Johnson County Supervisors meeting

Johnson County Administration Building (913 S Dubuque St, Iowa City) — Thursday, May 18 at 9 a.m.

Marion City Council meeting

Marion City Hall — Thursday, May 18 at 5:30 p.m.

Did we miss something? Feel free to comment below with additional events!


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Wed, Oct. 23, 2019

Hilton Garden Inn Iowa City Downtown University at 7:15 a.m. (program starts at 7:30 a.m.)

Keynote address by Dr. Melissa Shivers
Vice President for Student Life
University of Iowa

Buy Ticketes

(No tickets sold at the door)

2019 Award Honorees

Jesse Case
Elizabeth Bernal
Angie Jordan (South District Neighborhood Association)
Inside Out Reentry
Matthew Farrey
Kevin Sanders

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VOTER’S GUIDE for the 2019 Johnson County Elections

Mark your calendar! Local elections for City Council and School Board on November 5, 2019. Polls are open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.