Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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August 25, 2012

Sullivan’s Salvos 8/28/12 In this edition: *Labor Day *Labor Day Picnic *Uptown Bill’s *United Way *Go Hawks! *Congratulations, Margo! *Did You Know? *Labor Day 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. Do not be fooled! These benefits were not GIVEN to workers by benevolent corporations! They were earned by workers who sacrificed! It is a shame that so many average Joes have chosen to support our corporate masters versus supporting those whose efforts really benefit the masses. 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. One example of a way in which unions benefit everyone: much is made of the automobile industry expanding into the southern US. While these are not union plants, workers still have good wages and benefits. Some see this as an indictment of unions. It is precisely the opposite. Do not think for a minute that these companies pay $22 per hour because they WANT to. They would be much happier to pay $4 per hour. And, when China’s workforce improves in quality to the point that they can do automotive work, the companies will move there. Understand – big companies exists for one reason, and that is to earn a profit. If the laws allowed slavery, companies would use it. Because it is cheaper. So why do they pay $22 in the southern US? Because of the threat of the United Auto Workers (UAW). If the wages or benefits ever sink too low, UAW could unionize those workers. The car companies don’t want that, so they pay the lowest possible acceptable wage. See? The UAW does not represent the workers at those plants. But they have driven up the wages and benefits for the workers there all the same. 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! *Labor Day Picnic The Iowa City Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, will host its annual Labor Day picnic on Monday, September 3, starting at noon at Lower City Park, shelter 6. Burgers, brats, veggie options and beverages provided. Please bring a dish to share. 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. *Uptown Bill’s Extend the Dream Foundation in cooperation with nearly everybody will again offer a Fair and Flea Market in the WSUI parking lot on Labor Day (Sept. 3rd) from 8-3. As in the past, PATV and Uptown Bills will again have great open houses, lots of music and things for the kids. The event features over 30 vendors, antiques, collectibles, books, furniture and more, with local musicians and entertainers playing or performing all day at Uptown Bills Coffeehouse and Neighborhood Art Center. *United Way The annual United Way Campaign kicks off this week. My family and I are longtime United Way supporters. Now is the time for you to join us! No donation of time or money is too small! For more information on the United Way of Johnson County – including donating and volunteering – see: *Go Hawks! The Iowa Football season kicks off this weekend. As my friends know, I am a bit of a Hawkeye sports nut. But I try to refrain from putting much about sports in Salvos – I figure you can get that from many sources, all better than I. What I will say is this: football fans – remember, football is only a game. Non-fans – much as you may hate it, bleeding black and gold has some very positive effects on our community. So let’s try to get along and enjoy the fall. Go Hawks! *Congratulations, Margo! Congratulations to my friend Margo Magee Swim on her retirement! As most of you know, Melissa and I are foster and adoptive parents. Like every other foster parent and foster child in Johnson County, we owe a huge debt of gratitude to Margo Magee Swim. Margo is retiring after 30 years of service to the most vulnerable people in Johnson County. She has always gone above and beyond to ensure that foster kids got what they needed. Margo would be, borrow, and steal to get a kid a coat or a pair of tennis shoes. Literally THOUSANDS of kids have better lives because of her work. That includes my own children. Congratulations on your retirement, Margo! You quietly made the world a better place! *DID YOU KNOW? The following poem was written in response to the Lawrence, MA textile worker’s strike in 1912 – it was very much about women’s rights in the labor market. It still rings true today: “As we go marching, marching, we bring the greater days, The rising of the women means the rising of the race. No more the drudge and idler, ten that toil where one reposes, But a sharing of life's glories: Bread and roses, bread and roses. Our lives shall not be sweated from birth until life closes; Hearts starve as well as bodies; bread and roses, bread and roses.” 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! ---Rod


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