Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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November 16, 2017

Sullivan’s Salvos     11/21/17

In this edition:

*Happy Thanksgiving!
*National Adoption Month
*ACA Navigation Available
*Roy Moore
*Charity Versus Justice
*Define “Progressive”?
*Did You Know?

*Happy Thanksgiving!
         Happy Thanksgiving to Salvos readers! In many ways, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. (Imagine that coming from a fat guy, huh?)

         Actually, I love the idea of giving thanks. It is a simple act that does not happen enough.

         While I am at it – thanks to all of you who read Salvos each week. And a special thanks to those of you who follow up by sharing your thoughts. I appreciate it! Happy Thanksgiving!

*National Adoption Month
         November has been named National Adoption Month and November 20th National Adoption Day.

         The need out there is tremendous. In Johnson County alone, there are between 100 and 150 kids in foster care every day. There are nowhere near enough foster and adoptive homes to meet the need.

As many of you know, Melissa and I are the parents of three adopted children. We also continue to serve as foster parents.

It has been a life full of tragedies and triumphs. It has not always been easy, but it has been indescribably fulfilling. Along with marrying my wife, it is the best decision I ever made.

         If you or someone you know is interested in foster care and/or adoption, please let me know. I am always happy to speak with prospective parents.

*ACA Navigation Available
Due to recent federal funding cuts there is no longer an Affordable Care Act (ACA) navigator working to assist Johnson County residents with health coverage enrollment through the Marketplace. Through a collaborative agreement, Johnson County Public Health (JCPH) and Iowa City Free Medical Clinic are sponsoring services to be provided by a Certified Application Counselor (CAC) to address this loss of assistance.

During the Marketplace open enrollment period (November 1 - December 15, 2017), a former ACA navigator, Karen Wielert, will be working with county residents as a CAC. She will assist with enrollment and re-enrollment in Marketplace insurance plans. She will offer office hours at JCPH and Iowa City Free Medical Clinic as well as the Iowa City, Coralville, and North Liberty Public Libraries.

To take advantage of this service, individuals should contact Ms. Wielert directly by phone 319-535-2679 or email to make an appointment. Individuals may also view the calendar of office hours on the Johnson County, Free Medical Clinic, and United Way websites. Appointments are encouraged but not required and those without appointments will be accommodated on a first come first serve basis.

*Roy Moore
         Let’s be honest. Half of the people in Alabama are willing to forgive pedophilia if it means they keep a Republican in the US Senate. Iowa’s Republican Senators and Congressmen have nothing to say on the matter. And that tells you all you need to know about the state of the GOP today.

*Charity Versus Justice
         About 1600 years ago, Saint Augustine said: “Charity is no substitute for Justice.” Truer words have never been spoken.

In the past City Council campaign, I spent a lot of time talking with various people about the difference between charity and justice. You can donate a bunch of pies to a nonprofit (charity) or you can help raise the minimum wage (justice). You can donate money to the Shelter House (charity) or you can advocate for inclusionary zoning (justice). Charity is GREAT, but it is not nearly enough. To really fix our problems, we must strive toward justice.

There are many types of justice. Social, racial, economic, and environmental are just a few of the types of justice too often denied to our fellow travelers.

Most people in Johnson County are charitable people. Many give generously of time and talent. And they should. That is charity, and charity is great. Necessary, even. Necessary, because we lack true justice.

Again, “Charity is no substitute for Justice.” No amount of charity can make up for justice denied. We need a world that strives toward justice of all kinds. We need governments at all levels that strive toward justice of all kinds. It is the only answer.

*Define “Progressive”?
In the recent City Council election, all 5 candidates claimed to be “progressive”. Unfortunately, the media never asked any of them exactly what that meant.

Trust me – this issue is not going away. There are clearly different definitions of “progressive” at play, and this will be an important discussion in the 2018 Democratic Party primaries. So perhaps we should all begin working on some definitions.

In my mind, it is easier to talk about certain positions on certain issues as a way to a definition. What issues define “progressive” for me? Locally, those issues would definitely include affordable housing funding, affordable housing policies, minimum wage, TIF, labor union negotiations, police practices, sustainability, drug reform, and much, much more. Nationally, there are issues such as peace, health care, mental health, civil rights, LGBTQ issues, income inequality, fair taxation, reproductive rights, and much, much more; each of which CAN have important local implications.

Are my lists better than your lists? Maybe, maybe not. But you have to put your list forward for us to know. It would certainly be interesting to hear what candidates feel about this list of issues! If we knew where they stood on even half, we’d be doing well.

Is a local candidate progressive? How does she or he feel about the items on my list? Obviously, you can choose to say each of these items is a litmus test – agree 100% or you are not progressive. I think that would be a mistake, frankly. On the other hand, you can say that these issues are just guidelines that really don’t matter. That would be even worse.

I don’t want campaign rhetoric; I want results. I want to see progressive votes, not labels. I’m not going to quit fighting on these issues. We need a truly progressive government right now. We can get closer to justice on these topics, and we must. So let’s keep talking about what each of us sees as the progressive course of action.

*DID YOU KNOW?  25 million Americans who were previously uninsured gained coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare.

Anyone interested in learning more about County government should take a look at the County website-

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