Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

Previous Posts


August 29, 2009

Sullivan’s Salvos 9/1/09

Happy Labor Day next Monday! I love Labor Day. Every Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day we set aside time to recall the folks whose service has given us our freedom. I have long felt we need to treat Labor Day in a similar fashion.

Please take a moment this Labor Day to remember the people who fought (and often died) to give us child labor laws, 40 hour weeks, weekends, overtime, vacations, the minimum wage, sick leave, parental leave, OSHA, employment nondiscrimination, pensions, Social Security, health insurance, and so much more.

Unions continue to provide the best protection working people can have. I feel as though I have accomplished some good things as a member of the Board of Supervisors. One of the accomplishments of which I am most proud is starting an employee appreciation lunch every year the week of Labor Day. Johnson County employees deserve much more, but this is one extra opportunity to say thank you.

Trust me – the average person has nothing to fear from unions. We all benefit when folks have safe and healthy workplaces. We all benefit when workers get adequate rest. We all benefit when workers receive good training. We all benefit when folks earn a living wage and have health insurance. Unions help improve the quality of life for all of us.

I am proud to be a member of Local 716 of the American Federation of Teachers, an affiliate of the Iowa City Federation of Labor. Happy Labor Day!

The Iowa City Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, will host its annual Labor Day picnic on Monday, September 7, starting at 12 Noon at Upper City Park, shelter 2. Burgers, brats, veggie options and beverages provided. Political speeches and a good time guaranteed. Free to all Friends of Labor. For more information call Patrick Hughes, President, Iowa City Federation of Labor, 319-828-4541.

On a final labor note, I want to mark the passing of Larry Omann of Iowa City. Larry was an old and dear friend of my father’s, a member of Laborer’s 43 and business agent for Teamster’s 238, and a person who dedicated his working life to fighting for the little guy. RIP, Larry.

School Board elections are Tuesday. I am supporting Sarah Swisher for election in the ICCSD, and Dick Schwab in Solon. Good luck to all the candidates – we have plenty of work ahead!

The United Way is holding its annual Campaign Kickoff this Thursday. I am a big believer in the mission of the United Way. I usually spend some time in this forum asking folks to give, then give some more.

I am not going to do that this year. The Reverend Doctor Martin Luther Ling Junior once said, “Charity is a poor substitute for justice.” I agree.

The United Way allows people to feel good about themselves. But let’s not confuse charity with justice. If you fight to lower your income tax rate, lower your tax rate on capital gains, lower the inheritance tax, hand tax dollars to private companies, decrease government regulation, stop consumer protection lawsuits, prevent people from unionizing, increase criminal penalties, segregate communities, limit voting, limit marriage rights, etc…then give $1000 to United Way?

Your $1000 in charity is no substitute for the real justice you oppose.

I am sure my friends at the United Way will be horrified that I write this. They did not authorize it, and they have every right to distance themselves from it. They try very hard to keep donors of all stripes happy. And that is fine.

This also does not mean that people who do all those things above are bad people. In fact, it is likely the opposite; I imagine most of them want to live in a better world - that is why they have tried to help the United Way.

I simply hope that some of the donors will look deep within themselves, and recognize that as Doctor King said, “charity is no substitute for justice.”

The Sutliff Bridge Authority is holding its annual street dance fundraiser Sunday, September 6th. The Sutliff Bridge Authority no longer has financial responsibility for the bridge, but they are continuing to raise money with an eye toward possible bridge restoration.

“Fryday”, September 4, will serve as every Hawkeye enthusiast’s dream. Witness the official unveiling of Hayden Fry Way, immerse yourself in a sea of black and gold at the World’s Largest Hawkeye Tradeshow and Tailgate Party, meet Hawkeye student-athletes, coaches, gear up for the 2009 Hawkeye football season and enjoy a large-scale, outdoor concert featuring Charlie Daniels.

With numerous activities planned throughout the day, this will be a true celebration of all that is Hawkeye – something you don’t want to miss! For more info, see

Go Hawks! The University of Iowa football team kicks off the 2009 season on Saturday, September 5 as they play host to UNI.

I love Hawkeye football, and I love hanging out in the areas around Kinnick with lots of old friends. I do have a couple words of advice for my fellow Hawkeye fans:

*Do unto others. Let the other person go first. Be a good sport, a good host, and a good guest.

*Remember, things are never as good as they seem when the Hawks win, and things are never as bad as they seem when the Hawks lose. It is only a game!

*I think the Hawks are going to have an excellent team, but they have a KILLER schedule. If they can go 8-4 with this schedule, they will have really accomplished something. That said, now is the time to dream! The Hawks are capable of doing even better; I hope they do!

*Beware UNI! The Hawks are playing an excellent team right off the bat. A win is not guaranteed! I hope the Panthers lose to the Hawks, then win the rest of their games, and win the elusive championship of their division. They have what it takes!

Now please remind me of what I just said in mid-October. GO HAWKS!

DID YOU KNOW? I have attended the vast majority of all Hawkeye home football games since 1973.

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

"Sullivan’s Salvos" is sent once per week to any interested party. It will give a brief update on issues of interest to Johnson County residents.

These messages come solely from Rod Sullivan, and neither represents the viewpoints of the whole Board of Supervisors nor those of groups or individuals otherwise mentioned.

If you do NOT want the weekly E-mail, simply reply to this message, and type "unsubscribe" in the subject line.

If you know anyone else who might be interested, just forward this message. They can E-mail me at with "subscribe" in the subject line.

As always, feel free to contact me at 354-7199 or I look forward to serving you!



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, you really gave it to them, Rod old boy. I hope you didn't hurt yourself patting yourself on the back.

Everyone is certainly entitled to their opinion about charitable giving, but I would encourage you to think about what the United Way does on the grassroots. What services the dollars UW raises enable. How many people were assisted through the floods last year directly or indirectly by the programs of the United Way. How much impact does the UW dollar have in making Iowa City a better place to live?

Social issues and justice? It is a incumbent that people learn to live they way they talk. The UW promotes Social Justice issues in every dollar repurposed in the community.

I can only speak for my self, but my money is going to The United Way of Johnson County. So, in your honor, I am giving any campaign money I amy give to you to the United Way and I will also give my vote to someone else. I am sure you will understand, open minded as you are.

August 31, 2009 at 5:24 PM  
Blogger Peace Through Strength said...


So let me get this straight..If I work hard for a living..and I'd like to see more of MY money that I earn to stay in my pocket to use as I wish..that somehow I'm opposed to "justice"?

That's about as patently absurd and offensive a statement as someone can make. giving MORE of my money to you in higher and higher taxes..that's going to bring about "more" justice?

Why don't you tell that to people in Iowa who are having to wait on AVERAGE a total of 541 days to get disability benefits.

I dare you to look in the face of someone served by the United Way's efforts..and tell them that because someone chose to donate money to them, instead of paying more taxes to you..they're "stealing" the government's money...because that's what you're essentially saying here.

September 1, 2009 at 4:02 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home