Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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January 23, 2010

Sullivan’s Salvos 1/26/10

Congratulations to Supervisor Janelle Rettig who won a special election last week to maintain the seat to which she was appointed a few months ago.

Rettig won with 58% of the vote. I was impressed by Janelle’s ability to focus on the campaign given the unfortunate incidents of hate directed her way. Vote against her because of her record. Vote against her because of her opinions. But do not vote against her because she is a lesbian.

Unfortunately, some of the responses to her campaign demonstrated that Johnson County still has a lot of work to do. Meanwhile, the people have spoken (for now). We’ll be right back at the primaries in June!

We have recently witnessed one of the most devastating disasters in world history - the earthquake in Haiti. I hesitate to call it a natural disaster… when an earthquake of similar strength hit more densely populated San Francisco in 1989, only about 60 people perished.

Over 100,000 Haitians have died as a result of this event. Haiti was devastated by this event because of the crushing poverty that envelopes that country. Please do what you can to donate to disaster relief in Haiti.

I want to mark the recent passings of two extraordinary local women.

Dr. Margaret Emmons was a retired MD who lived at Oaknoll. Dr. Emmons was a very accomplished woman who had traveled the globe. Dr. Emmons was a Salvos subscriber, and frequently wrote me to share her thoughts. She often mailed me books or articles that she felt I should read. She was particularly interested in the best way to improve medical care in Africa; she had travelled there more than once.

Dr. Emmons was a proud Republican, and let me know that. But she was also open to having a friendship with a person of a different sex, different political party, 40 years younger, and I am a better person for it.

Also passing away recently was Peggy Stokes. Peggy was a longtime social worker at the UI Center for Disability and Development. In that role, Peggy made difficult lives a bit easier for thousands of families. When Peggy read research that indicated that siblings of children with disabilities often struggle, she founded the SibShip program. That program has reached out to siblings of children with disabilities for over 20 years now.

Peggy was also a staunch peace activist. You could see Peggy standing on the corner every Friday, holding a sign with some version of “peace not war”. I asked Peggy once if she felt her efforts were making a difference. She sighed, and said that she needed to do SOMETHING because the Iraq War was wrong. Peggy said if she converted just one person to seeing peace as the way, then she had been successful. I think Peggy was a huge success.

On a more positive note, congratulations on your retirements Dan Daly and Speedy Townsend! I wish you both much good health and happiness. Thank you for your years of service!

The “You Earned It. Now Claim It!” campaign will launch on January 31 for its fourth year of operation. This effort supports the financial security of working families by offering FREE tax preparation services.

This program is possible through a partnership involving Johnson County Social Services, the Tippie College of Business, Johnson County AARP, Iowa City Community School District, Iowa City Public Library, Iowa City Housing Authority, Neighborhood Centers, Johnson County Council of Governments, Iowa Legal Aid, and United Way of Johnson County. Funding is provided by the University of Iowa Community Credit Union, Veridian Credit Union, the United Way of Johnson County, & Hawkeye Community Action Program.

Last year over 950 households secured total refunds over $1 million. This service is available for free to people who earned less than $49,000 in 2009. Volunteers are trained to assist working families to get money back through the Earned Income Credit (EIC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and, at the same time, give a boost to the local economy.

For more information on these FREE Tax Preparation sites, call the United Way toll-free at 2-1-1 or visit the Johnson County website at

Some interesting stats courtesy of Mother Jones magazine: to equal the amount of the $14 trillion US bank bailout?

We could provide 10 years of vaccines to all kids in the 117 poorest countries; we could give 10 years worth of $10,000 bonuses to every US public school teacher; we could send all 2009 US high school grads to private college; we could double the research spending on cancer and HIV; we could purchase 10 years worth of carbon offsets for every American; we could meet UN anti-poverty goals; we could pay for 20 years of universal preschool; we could buy a house for every homeless American; we could afford 10 years of helping developing countries address climate change; we could pay for 10 years worth of health insurance for every uninsured American; we could pay of 1/3 of all US mortgages; AND we could buy every person in the world an iPhone!

Please understand – it is not that we could do ONE of the things on that list; we could do ALL of the things on that list! Do the banks owe the American people? Yes, they do!

DID YOU KNOW? Half of the U.S. population is in the eight largest states (California, Texas, New York, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan).

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!



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