Letters From Iowans Point To Changing Political Landscape

Not everyone lives and dies by social media. Many people still read newspapers. If you’ve ever considered writing a letter to the editor we would highly recommend it.  You will have a much greater impact reaching people who live in your community than you will by Tweeting a clever retort online.  Not that there is anything wrong with Tweeting but you should also get your opinion out there to the newspaper reading crowd.

Every local knows what is in their town’s paper even if they do not subscribe. The local newspaper content is talked about at work, can be found in the doctor’s office, dental office, waiting rooms, gyms, churches, bars, restaurants, etc. It is person-to-person contact, the most effective way to influence voters. Your opinion will have far more credibility by putting your name on it and having it appear in your local newspaper.

So with that in mind, we would like to share some great letters we are seeing in some unlikely places.

Here’s a couple we spotted in the Burlington Hawkeye:

Wrong-headed bills will damage Iowa

Among the pile of wrong-headed bills proposed by Republicans still alive in the waning days of the Iowa legislature are some that will cause real damage:

1. One would make it a crime for teachers to add to their curriculum anything the Republican legislators believe is disgusting or pornographic. You can expect that this will include any discussion of white supremacy, gay marriage, homosexuality or transgender to name a few.

2. Another takes resources from public schools to fund vouchers for private schools. Iowa’s public schools historically were tops among the states. Republicans are taking them to a race to the bottom and driving away teachers.

3. Republicans are determined to starve government’s ability to provide important services. They have proposed a tax plan that will significantly lower revenues from the income tax mostly to the benefit of high income taxpayers.

4. Another would limit the prices the Department of Natural Resources can pay for land it purchases for conservation purposes, meaning farmers would not receive fair market value for their land. Nevertheless, many rural voters in Iowa, to their detriment, regularly vote for these Republican office holders.

5. Republicans in Iowa are in lockstep with Republicans nationwide in making it harder to vote. The bill currently advancing will increase the complexity of voting by mail which is the method increasingly favored by voters.

There seems to be no stopping these people with their control of all branches of the Iowa government. They must be voted out of office.

Keith Schulz, Burlington


Fake news drives GOP attack on public schools

Mary Jo Riesberg’s excellent letter in The Hawk Eye dated Feb. 16, “Republicans’ war against teachers” speaks to the degradation of my proud profession by some legislators.

The letter explains how driven our Republican state legislators are in targeting Iowa’s public schools, classroom teachers and school librarians who they say are “corrupting” our youth.

At a recent legislative forum, State Senator Jeff Reichman (R) was bothered by an illustration he claimed was in a school library book, a photo of which he had on his cell phone. As it turns out, the illustration was not even in the book.

He likely scooped the photo from a twisted message on social media.

There lies the real danger to our children — when Sen. Reichman and others use unsubstantiated social media posts stated by them as fact. Meanwhile, he does nothing about the harm of social media platforms such as Instagram, Tik-Tok, Facebook and many others.

Educators use their years of training and knowledge to select appropriate books and resources for our schools. It’s a long and well-thought process, and always done in the best interest of the child.

Providing the best education in a safe environment is a responsibility educators take very seriously.

This is a responsibility our state lawmakers must shoulder as well, not with fabricated problems, and laws to penalize the people who work in our schools.

If we really want to attract and keep families in Iowa, let’s work together to provide the very best education for every child, and build public trust in our schools.

Cathy G. Helman, Salem


Here’s one I submitted last week. It was published in the Iowa City Press-Citizen and the Tipton Conservative.

Iowans must replace Grassley to get reasonable gun laws

Sadly for Iowans, the gun lobby, in April, named U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley “Legislator of the Year,” calling him a “champion of the firearm and ammunition industry on Capitol Hill.”

Minutes after President Joe Biden addressed our nation about the gun violence that is devastating American families, a shooter opened fire on two women in Ames, killing them.

Grassley responded by posting condolences and prayers on Twitter.

Grassley has accepted more than $225,000 from the gun lobby. I won’t list Grassley’s voting record on guns. His new title from the gun lobby speaks for itself.

Americans want Republicans to join with Democrats to close the “boyfriend loophole” that likely would have prevented the Ames shooter from purchasing guns and ammunition. Federal law prohibits domestic abusers from having guns, but the law excludes dating partners. This gap in the law is known as the “boyfriend loophole.” Those two young women should be alive, enjoying their summer.

Americans support background checks, gun legislation that removes assault weapons from our streets, and raising the purchase age so kids can’t kill.

This election cycle is an opportunity for Iowa to elect a senator who will support reasonable gun laws and work for Iowa again.

-Trish Nelson, Iowa City

So even though it seems like it at times, especially if you live on social  media, it’s not just right wing gun nuts/Trumpsters that are out there making their opinions known. Here is a sampling of just the titles of letters calling for action on gun reform we spotted in a variety of papers across the state, just to give you an idea.

Law-abiding citizens should stand up to gun violence
It’s time to do something about guns
Send a message on gun violence in November
It’s time to regulate wartime rifles
Shooting deer with an AR-15 is dangerous to humans
Time to rethink guns
Violence is plaguing society
I’m a retired soldier from Davenport. Get AR-15s out of civilian hands
Vote out opponents of gun control
Americans want new gun laws
18 is too young to buy an assault weapon
Time to act on guns
Assault weapons are weapons of war
and on and on…

Are the political winds shifting? Are we reaching a tipping point? Change is in the air.

Write a letter! Here is a short list of newspaper addresses.

Submit a letter to the editor | Des Moines Register

Find any Iowa newspaper here: https://inanews.com/find-iowa-newspaper/

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