Progressive Agenda for Iowa (Very Very Early Draft)

Progressive Agenda for Iowa

(Very Very Early Draft)

By Sam Garchik

As <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Iowa Progressives, we propose not just to change our state’s policies, but even more important, to restore the bonds of trust between the people and their elected representatives.

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That is why, in this era of official evasion and posturing, we look for a detailed agenda for state renewal, and a written commitment with no fine print.


This election offers the chance to bring to government a new majority that will transform the way our leaders work. That change would be the end of government that is too remote, too intrusive, and too easy with the public's money. It can be the beginning of a government that respects the values and shares the faith of Iowans across the state.


Like Henry Wallace, Iowa's foremost progressive, we believe that the political parties are of value only insofar as they make it possible to put into action certain principles of social justice.”


To do so, we aim to restore accountability to Government, end its cycle of scandal and disgrace, and make us all proud again of the way free Iowans govern ourselves.


Iowans running for office in this need to support the following principles:

  • FIRST, support citizen access to government and media outlets;
  • SECOND, condemn the uses of the death penalty in all cases;
  • THIRD, support an unlimited access to abortion;
  • FOURTH, support open and verified voting systems;
  • FIFTH, condemn a constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage;
  • SIXTH, support development of proven alternative sources of energy;
  • SEVENTH, support responsible budgets, which include increased funding for education and social welfare programs;
  • EIGHTH, support greater cooperation between candidates and campaigns in Iowa;
  • NINTH, support increased uses of sustainable agricultural practices;
  • TENTH, consider peace as much an option as war in international dealings.

Candidates promising to uphold these planks must bring action on these items as soon as feasibly possible.

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9 Responses to Progressive Agenda for Iowa (Very Very Early Draft)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Sam mentioned that this was a very early draft and also that he didn't cover eminent domain. Here is a suggested addtion/change: State something to the effect of upholding the constitution? That could serve as an umbrella to cover eminent domain, and a host of other issues that progressives have big problems with including media reform and dear Alta's 2nd ammendment issues. Another suggestion–Universal Healtcare!
    Tim Weitzel


  2. Anonymous says:

    I think those are good ideas. I like the idea about how upholding the constitution instead of dealing with eminent domain specificaly. Do you think we should expand the number of things we have? consolidate? eliminate? I kind of like keeping it short.
    And by Constitution, you mean U.S. or state?
    Feel free to create or modify any parts, and we can create working drafts of what I put up.


  3. Anonymous says:

    I have a few suggestions. I feel, as I'm sure many of you do that we can bring many Iowans who have been alienated by Democrats back into the fold under the Progressive banner, particularly rural Iowans. To do that I think we need to make some mention of regulating huge ag conglomerates that choke out family farms as well as vertical integration. I also think we need to make some mention of workers' rights and the right to unionize. I also think we need to say something about public financing of elections. I understand the advantages in keeping this short, but I don't want to do so at the expense of making this so vague that anyone can claim to support it. For instance, what Democrat would say they don't believe in upholding the consitution? It also leaves what constitutes upholding the consitution to the candidate's discretion. We need to be clear in what we believe is upholding the constitution. Also, the eminent domain issue is a great way to bring in the rural folks. I'm not quite sure of the way the abortion plank is worded. To me it sounds like we are supporting entirely unrestricted abortion, going even further than Roe v. Wade. Are we talking about allowing anyone to have 3rd trimester abortions under any circumstance? I guess I'm kind of confused. I read an e-mail a couple of days ago mentioning the person at convention who said something to the effect that all Democrats are Progressive. I think an important part of differentiating ourselves is how we believe the party should go about fighting for progressive policy goals, because the vast majority of Democrats are progressive on the issues. We need to say that we reject incrementalism, that now is the time for bold initiatives that inspire people. The reason why the media always says that the Democrats have no vision is because they're still operating through incrementalism. The other day I was talking to a friend of mine who was a big Blouin supporter, and she was trying to convince me that Blouin believed in all of the same things as Fallon, but that he recognized that we need to work within the current political reality. I think that's the difference between Progressives and regular Democrats. They believe in working within the current political reality, while we believe in creating a new one. I think our mission statement needs to reflect that difference. Sorry for the long rambling post, hopefully it'll help.


  4. Anonymous says:

    I just also wanted to mention that it was my dad who stood up and made the vote go to a ballot, he was the top parliamentarian at the business professionals of america national competition. I'm pretty proud of him and just wanted give him props for standing up.


  5. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the post. We totally need a parliamentarian if we are going to get this done in 08 (so we keep track of what's going on. Kind of like having our own replay official, if you know what I mean.). Would your dad do that for us?
    I love the part of your post that says, “Now is the time for bold initiatives that inspire people” I like the wording, and it totally serves to set us off from the folks you talk about.
    The other thing I think that we do is that we are uncompromising – for example, Blouin is against the death penalty, but also against choice. Culver is for choice, but against civil unions. so we have to pick one? No, we favor Ed. I know that's specific to this cycle, but if we can figure out the wording, we might be in good shape.
    Also, I want to know more about eminent domain. Who were the folks who voted for it in the legislature? I think they'll override the gov's veto, so it might be a moot issue in 08, but perhaps its something we can work on here and now. Would you be interested in stalking the issue and posting on it here? Perhaps with some rural support like you said?
    Sorry for the long reply, but I like what you say.


  6. Anonymous says:

    Dan said, “Now is the time for bold initiatives that inspire people”
    Those who agree with the above please check out and
    It is no longer sufficient to suspend citizen control of govt for long periods between elections. It is time to give the power to the people to take their initiative and implement a constitutionally codified initiative procedure to achieve the kind of citizen oversight of our governance which will not only allow us to Take Back America, but to Keep It. America's manifest destiny is to become an actual democracy. Populists and progressives, from the era surrounding the turn of the century, 1st established initiative rights so citizens could then pass laws which their legislators wouldn't seriously consider. I hope a contemporary progressive agenda for Iowa will include lengthy consideration of very substantive electoral reforms including strengthened initiative powers. Let's change how things get done in this country. If the business of govt is business, then our international/domestic situation was a foregone conclusion, just a matter of time.
    A lie will be half way around the world before the truth puts its boots on.
    We're gonna have to sleep in our boots for a while.
    Geo Rip
    p.s. let's update the constitution as well as uphold it. The 1st bold initiative to claim is the people's right to the initiative in every jurisdiction throughout the land. This is a unifying effort, we have to trust each other for a better future. When we establish a more timely and responsive citizen supremacy over Congress, politics will become less partisan and more respectful.


  7. Anonymous says:

    I really like the idea of an initiative. I grew up in California, where recalls, referendums, and initatives were de jour. And it really got some good policies enacted that people talk about, Prop 13 (a famous one limiting property taxes passed by Howard Jarvis in the 1970s)being one of many.


  8. Anonymous says:

    How can one be anti-capital punishment yet pro-abortion? And, please don't tell me that this doesn't indicate “pro-abortion” when it talks about access to abortion. This is an honest question and I am looking for a concise answer. I can tell you exactly why I am pro-capital punishment and pro-life in one clear and well thought out sentence.


  9. Anonymous says:

    Capital punishment has been proven to be arbitrary and capricious, while outlawing abortions creates a dangerous environment that favors the wealthy who can afford better medical care.
    What's your rationale?


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