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Adam Mason, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement
515-282-0484 or adam@iowacci.org

Iowans to Legislators & Officials: People Matter More than Money
Everyday People Push for Local Control, Consumer Protections & Clean Elections

March 5, 2008, Des Moines, Iowa – Nearly 100 members of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement and Iowans from across the state rallied at the Capitol March 4, just three days prior to the funnel, for people to matter more, and money to matter less at the Statehouse this legislative session. Following the rally, the group met with Governor Chet Culver and DNR Environmental Services Division Administrator Wayne Gieselman to discuss key bills and upcoming legislation.

At the rally, CCI members pushed their legislators to move forward critical bills addressing clean elections, local control, and consumer protections while also making sure Iowa doesn’t waste taxpayer money on the odor study bill (HSB679 & SF2234). Their efforts passed the consumer protections bill (HF2142) out of committee the same day.

Governor Culver, in his meeting with CCI members, said he would continue pushing for local control of factory farms, an issue he pledged his support of during his campaign and for which his commitment was questioned. “I commend your commitment to this important issue,” Culver stated.

Culver also said he was “more open than ever before” to supporting Voter-Owned Iowa Clean Elections, a system where candidates can choose to run using public funding instead of fund raising and accepting monies from powerful special interests. After seeing the impact of special interests in the legislature firsthand, Culver stated, “We have to do something.”

And after hearing concerns from Iowans on the proposed $23 million odor study for which taxpayers would foot the bill, Culver was open to other methods of improving our state’s air and water quality, “Maybe we could use [the money] for something else.”

DNR official Wayne Gieselman, in a meeting with CCI members, agreed to tell the Environmental Protection Commission to support the No Manure on Soybeans Rule, which would limit liquid manure application with a complete ban after five years. Gieselman also stated that he would be, “more than happy to take a tour” of factory farm facilities in Taylor county.

These meetings followed a Senate subcommittee meeting that approved SSB3180 – a bill that gives cities the option to exercise authority over factory farms within two miles of city limits. Nearly 20 spoke in favor of the bill, while none spoke in opposition.

“We made an impression and gained a lot of ground today,” said CCI member Tommie Stoner from Afton. “Our officials know we’ve got the power and pressure to make things happen.”

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement members will continue to pursue these critical issues following the March 7 funnel, remaining active throughout the legislative session, standing up for policies that benefit the common good.

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Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement is a group of everyday people who talk, act and get things done on issues that matter most. With thousands of members from all walks of life – urban and rural, black and white, immigrants and lifelong Iowans – CCI has been tackling tough issues and getting things done for more than 30 years.