Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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October 4, 2010

Sullivan’s Salvos 9/7/10

In this edition:

*Mosques and more
*Field to Family
*I-JOBS at Work in Johnson County
*Another Argument for Government!
*Iowa Shares
*Did You Know?

*Mosques and more
I have been extremely disheartened by all the negativity surrounding the mosque proposed for lower Manhattan.

Some have argued that this is too close to a “hallowed” site. It is actually about two blocks. If one assumes the proposed mosque is too close… then how close can it be? There is already a mosque four blocks away. It was there prior to 9/11/2001. Must it now move? What about churches and synagogues in the area? What, exactly, is OK? More importantly, who gets to decide?

So long as the proposed mosque meets the local zoning rules, the property owners have the same right to be there as anyone else.

There is a big push in the US right now to be “true” to the “intent” of our “founders”. I use quotation marks because there are significant differences of opinion as to exactly who qualifies as a “founder”; what their “intents” were; and what it means to be “true” to this vision.

One thing that has always been very clear to me is that the founders felt strongly about freedom of religion. The irony here is almost too much to bear. Some Christians cite their religion as a reason to oppose the mosque, ignoring how they would feel if they were denied the right to worship where they chose.

It is also ironic to see these “Christians” now defending NYC. Prior to 9/11, NYC was viewed by many of those same “Christians” as a godless place, full of Jews and nonbelievers. The first responders that became their heroes were hated union members on 9/10. NYC was “liberal”, “blue”, and not part of “real America”. That all changed on 9/11, when NYC could be co-opted for political purposes.

When people from Kentucky call this building a “slap in the face”… a slap to whom? As a Christian, I try to treat everyone the way I want to be treated. That includes respecting religious freedom.

About 3,000 people were murdered on 9/11… that includes scores of Muslims. The Muslims who died were mostly (but not all) American citizens. These folks share the same rights as you and I.

Let’s call this what it is. It is xenophobia – a fear of foreigners. Fear of Muslims, stirred by the media, is leading many Americans to act in opposition to one of our most dearly held beliefs.

There are over 2.5 million US citizens that are Muslims. That is close to the population of Iowa! These are American citizens being denied their rights. If you allow it to happen to them, you make it more likely to happen to yourself. What’s more, WE are THEM – and THEY are US!

Shameful – absolutely shameful! Thanks to Mayor Bloomberg for his courageous stand for the rights of our fellow citizens.

*Field to Family
The Johnson County Local Food Alliance’s annual Field to Family Celebration runs for the next five or six weeks. JCLFA has some great things planned this year that you should definitely check out. All proceeds will benefit the great work of JCLFA. Complete details are here:

*I-JOBS at Work in Johnson County
In Johnson County, I-JOBS projects total $154,668,799 and investment in disaster recovery projects total $317,842,365. The bonding funds used to finance these projects are paid for primarily with gambling revenues. No general taxpayer funds will be used and Iowa’s state tax rates have not been increased during a period of unprecedented infrastructure investment.

This includes $2.3 million for the new IC Fire Station; $27 million for flood control in Coralville; $900,000 to remove the Old Armory; $3.5 million for the new wastewater treatment facility in Iowa City; $1.3 million for roads projects; and $2.6 million for the new Shelter House facility.

All of that does not even count $100 million to help rebuild the UI campus!

*Another Argument for Government!
Johnson County participates in the National Flood Insurance Program. That is a GOVERNMENT program, and a damn good government program. (No pun intended!) It allows residents of Johnson County to access flood insurance. Again, this is an excellent government program that has paid for itself many times over.

Well, Supervisors in Delaware County are still trying to defend their decision to forego participation in the National Flood Insurance Program. Flooded homeowners there are rightfully angry because they couldn’t buy flood insurance.

The justifications I have heard for nonparticipation would make me laugh if the situation were not so tragic. Hatred of anything “Gubmint” in Delaware County has cost people millions of dollars.

*Iowa Shares
Iowa Shares is a statewide coalition of social change, environmental and cultural nonprofit organizations. Iowa Shares makes a direct impact on our communities through research, education, advocacy and direct service.

You can be a part of supporting Iowa Shares through workplace giving and direct support. Your gifts, no matter what size, will make it possible for Iowa Shares member organizations to provide meals to children, support the arts within our community, educate the public on threats to our air and water, provide housing for low-income families, and so much more.

For more info, see:

*DID YOU KNOW? Kirkwood Community College will have 77,000 students this year; 18,000 in credit programs! 6,000 of those students will attend the Iowa City campus.

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

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



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