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Mole's Progressive Democrat

The Progressive Democrat Newsletter grew out of the frustration of the 2004 election. Originally intended for New York City progressives, its readership is now national. For anyone who wants to be alerted by email whenever this newsletter is updated (usually weekly), please send your email address and let me know what state you live in (so I can keep track of my readership).

Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

I am a research biologist in NYC. Married with two kids living in Brooklyn.

  • Help end world hunger
  • Friday, May 21, 2010

    IOWA FOCUS: Blogs, Food Co-ops, Alternative Energy, Sustainable Agriculture, Groups and Events

    IOWA 2010: I now have my Iowa 2010 Act Blue Page up. Act Blue is a way for many small political contributions to add up to some serious political impact. For 2010 I am highlighting the College and Young Democrats of Iowa PAC (supporting the future of the Democratic Party), several local (county-level) Democratic Party organizations in key districts, and highlighting the IA-5 and 2010 Senate races. Both IA-5 and the Iowa Senate Seat will be tough races, but well worth fighting. Both are currently held by extreme right wing Republicans and Iowa has been tending bluer and bluer, so I think we can take them if we try hard. I also highlight Citizens for our Land, Water and Future because our heartland needs a sound Land and Water policy and we need elected officials who recognize that. I particularly want to see Democrats do well in Iowa because in genral I have found Iowa Democrats (like Tom Harkin and Dave Loebsack) to be among the best in the country and Iowa actually tends to be among the most progressive states when push comes to shove (even more progressive than California on LGBT issues!). Give a donation or two to keep momentum going.

    Roxanne Conlin for Senate

    Obstructionist Republican Chuck Grassley has a challenger for Senator from Iowa. Roxanne Conlin is running for US Senate:

    To find out more about Roxanne, go here.

    To volunteer, go here.

    To contribute, go here. Or donate to the IA Senate general fund which will support which ever Democrat becomes the candidate. (NOTE: there may be a primary and this diary is not intended to be an endorsement of one Democrat over any other.)

    Michael Mauro for Secretary of State in Iowa

    Michael Mauro has been an excellent secretary of state for Iowa and he has been endorsed by the Secretary of State Project. Here is what they have to say about him:

    Michael Mauro is seeking his second term as Iowa’s Secretary of State. He has worked to strengthen Iowa’s rich history of quality elections, which had the fifth highest voter percentage turnout in the nation in 2008. In the fall of 2009, Iowa’s election laws and procedures implemented by Secretary Mauro gained national attention when the state ranked first in a study focusing on the ease of voting for members of the military and U.S. citizens living overseas. In just his first term, he has worked with the state legislature to allow same-day voter registration and to establish a uniform voting system for all 99 counties. As a result, legislation is now in place to ensure a voter-verified paper trail for all future elections. He has also helped create electronic poll books available for use across the state, enhancing precinct officials’ ability to process voters effectively and consistently and adding another layer of security to Iowa’s voting process.

    Among Mauro's accomplishments is to encourage and bring out the military vote, as outlined here (PDF):


    And here is a video from 2009 of Iowa Secretary of State Michael Mauro at Capitol Youth Day:

    Please take some time to volunteer for Michael Mauro's campaign. You can help keep Iowa's elections fair and accurate.


    Bleeding Heartland is a community blog for Democrats and progressives in the state of Iowa. I find this a very good source of Iowa news.

    Blog for Iowa is a progressive source of information in Iowa.

    Iowa Independent

    Progressive Populist: The Independent Journal from the Heartland

    LeftyBlogs Iowa is the place to find out what's happening in the progressive blogosphere across Iowa.

    Iowa Liberal

    SCREENING LIBERALLY DES MOINES: A Liberal Movie Club in West Des Moines, IA
    "Reel Action Inspiring Real Action"
    * When? Friday of each month, 5:30 pm
    * Where? Chicken Coop Bar & Grill, 1960 Grand Ave
    * Hosted by Jenny Irlmeier | Jerre Collins | Atul Sahrawat

    And for those who are focused on combining fun and politics, here are the local Drinking Liberally groups in Iowa:

    Ames, Iowa
    * Every Friday, 5:00 pm onward
    * Legends American Grill, 200 Stanton Ave, 7th Floor (in Campustown)
    * The group will meet in the large accessible party room left of the elevators unless it is booked by a larger group. We will then be in the Sky Box. Ask a waiter for our location.
    * Hosted by Jan Bauer and Brent Wynja, ames (at) drinkingliberally.org

    Des Moines
    * Every Thursday, 8:00 p.m. onward
    * The Lift, 222 4th St (between Court Ave and Walnut)
    * Hosted by Amanda Mittlestadt, Tricia Kell, Cassie Samspon and Matt Jesson, desmoines (at) drinkingliberally.org

    West Des Moines
    * Third Friday of each month, 5:00-7:00 pm
    * Tonic, 5535 George M Mills Civic Pky (within West Glen Towncenter)
    * Hosted by Cassie Sampson, Mikael Brown and Jenny Irlmeier, wdsm (at) drinkingliberally.org

    Eating Liberally
    * Second Monday of each month, 6:00-7:30 pm
    * Continental Wine Bar, 428 E Locust St
    * Hosted by Marcus Walsh and Tricia Kell, desmoines (at) eatingliberally.org

    Iowa City, Iowa
    * Every Thursday, 8:00 pm onward
    * The Mill Restaurant, 120 E Burlington StBlg

    Republican Senator Chuck Grassley has a 2010 challenger. Here is an announcement from Iowa:

    To find out more about Roxanne, go here.

    To volunteer, go here.

    To contribute, go here. Or donate to the IA Senate general fund which will support which ever Democrat becomes the candidate. (NOTE: if there a primary and this diary is not intended to be an endorsement of one Democrat over any other at this time.)


    It took nearly 7 years living within a few blocks of one of the biggest food co-ops in America before Joy and I joined it. We were definitely reluctant. But, in the end the lack of good produce and the decline of our local supermarkets led to us joining. And the result is a slighly more inconvenient shopping trip each week, but much healthier, higher quality and cheaper food. I recommend joining a co-op if there is one nearby. You will save money and eat healthier. So I will list some local food co-ops in Iowa:

    Wheatsfield Cooperative Grocery
    413 Douglas Avenue
    Ames, Iowa 50010
    Phone: (515) 232-4094
    FAX: (515) 233-0040

    Our mission is to serve our members, employees, and the Central Iowa community by offering the highest quality local, natural and certified organic foods, related products and services in ways that best promote the health of the individual, the community, and the earth while honoring the cooperative tradition.

    New Pioneer Bakehouse and New Pioneer Co-op
    498 1st Avenue
    Coralville, Iowa 52241
    Phone: (319) 358-5513
    FAX: (319) 358-5514

    22 South Van Buren Street
    Iowa City, Iowa 52240
    Phone: (319) 338-9441
    FAX: (319) 338-0635

    New Pioneer is a member-owned grocery specializing in natural foods, local foods, and other healthy products for your active lifestyle. Come to the Co-op to hang out with your friends and get to know your neighbors, to learn more about your food from our friendly, expert staff, and to pick up hard-to-find gourmet items.

    Explore New Pi to find the area’s best locally-grown produce, artisanal cheeses and breads, hand-selected wines, and mouthwatering cakes and pastries, just for starters. Everyone is welcome to shop the Co-op and become a part of our shared vision of a cleaner, healthier world. Eat smart and have fun doing it when you shop your Co-op!

    They have an extensive list of classes events as well.

    Fight for Healthcare reform in Iowa: sign up here to volunteer for the Health Care for America Now campaign in Iowa. About Health Care for America Now:

    Health Care for America Now (HCAN) is a national grassroots campaign of more than 1,000 organizations in 46 states representing 30 million people dedicated to winning quality, affordable health care we all can count on in 2009. Our organization and principles are supported by President Obama, Vice President Biden, and more than 190 Members of Congress.

    We are building a national movement to win comprehensive health care reform by helping mobilize people in their communities to lobby their U.S. Senators and Representatives in Congress to stand up to the insurance companies and other special interest groups to achieve quality, affordable health care in 2009.

    Sign up to fight for health care reform in Iowa now. Or contact:

    Charlie Wishman, Iowa Citizen Action (USAction)

    Alternative Energy and Sustainable Agriculture:

    Some figures from Repower America:

    # Iowa surpassed California in 2008 to become the No.2 state for wind power with its 2,790-megawatts of wind power generation. Combined, these wind developments produce enough electricity to power over 720,000 average homes!

    # The state's energy efficiency programs save enough electricity to power over 30,000 homes for a whole year, save more than $30 million in energy costs, and prevent the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to taking over 47,000 cars off the road. Although great progress, the state still has much more potential to increase its energy efficiency.

    # Iowa has one of the fastest growing wind industries, up 198% from the state's mere 936-megawatts in 2006.

    Alternative energy and YOUR energy bill: YOU can be part of the solution for America by signing up to purchase your energy through a Green Power Provider. My wife and I have been doing this in NYC for years. All our energy usage is provided through wind energy generation on American farms. So we use clean energy AND help American farmers. It costs us three cents per kilowatt-hour more per month, but we feel great about it. Although our actual energy may come from anywhere, we are paying to purchase wind energy for the energy grid. Each state has different programs available, usually through yuor existing energy provider right on your existing energy bill. To find such options in Iowa, go here and pick your energy provider from the list. If you need help, you can email me and tell me who you get your bill from (don't give me any other info!) and I can tell you who to contact to go green through that energy provider. Or you can do the same thing using Renewable Energy Certificates through an organization that works with utility companies, though in this case it is a separate bill. One off the cheapest (.4-1 cent per kilowatt-hour), but still e-Green certified, ways to do this is through Good Energy. Or, for about half a cent per kilowatt-hour you can purchase renewable energy certificates through Carbonfund.org. ANY of these ways you do it, you are helping the environment, helping America, and helping cut carbon emissions.

    The Leopold Center is a research and education center with statewide programs to develop sustainable agricultural practices that are both profitable and conserve natural resources. It was established under the Groundwater Protection Act of 1987 with a three-fold mission:

    *to conduct research into the negative impacts of agricultural practices;
    *to assist in developing alternative practices; and
    *to work with ISU Extension to inform the public of Leopold Center findings.

    In 2002, a vision statement was adopted: The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture explores and cultivates alternatives that secure healthier people and landscapes in Iowa and the nation.

    Sustainable Farming Connection: Where farmers find and share information

    Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS) is a nonprofit scientific and educational organization -- founded in 1943 -- that serves as an advocate for conservation professionals and for science-based conservation practice, programs, and policy. SWCS has over 5,000 members around the world. They include researchers, administrators, planners, policymakers, technical advisors, teachers, students, farmers, and ranchers. Our members come from nearly every academic discipline and many different public, private, and nonprofit institutions


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