Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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January 27, 2013

Sullivan’s Salvos 1/29/13 In this edition: *Senator Harkin *Federation of Labor Awards *More On Schools *Democratic Party Convention *Running For Office *Free Tax Help *Did You Know? *Senator Harkin A political bomb went off in Iowa this weekend when longtime Senator Tom Harkin announced he would not seek reelection in 2014. I love politics, and there is much to discuss re: the fallout from this announcement. But before we go there… THANK YOU, Tom Harkin! You have represented Iowa long and well! Enjoy your retirement. And until then, keep givin’ ‘em Hell! *Federation of Labor Awards The Iowa City Federation of Labor held its annual Chili Supper on Thursday, January 17. Part of the agenda was the presentation of some well-deserved awards. My good friend and neighbor Dan Daly was honored with the Jean Martin Community Services Award. Dan is a familiar face and lends a helping hand at Table to Table, the IC Farmers’ Market, Saint Pat’s, and AFSCME, among many other charitable endeavors. Dan was a friend of Jean Martin’s, and honors her legacy every day with his social justice work. Congrats, my friend! Immigrant Voices/the Worker’s Center won the Organization of the Year. The folks who accepted the award on behalf of this group told some very inspiring stories! I urge everyone to learn more about this fledgling organization. Finally, the Lifetime Achievement Award went to my buddy Tom Jacobs. There simply could not be a better honoree. Tom was part of the AFSCME group that first earned the right to bargain collectively in 1975. Since that time, Tom has never wavered in his support for working people. He has also documented the history of the labor movement through photos, buttons and press clippings. You could look long and hard and never find a more honest, genuine, caring individual. He really and truly is one of my heroes. Congrats, Tom, and thanks for all the fish! Congrats to the Iowa City Federation of Labor and President Patrick Hughes on yet another great event! *More on Schools The conversation over the ICCSD Diversity Policy has, at times been very disheartening. There are people of good faith on both sides of the issue. There are also some really sad motives on both sides. Those kids you are afraid of? Those are MY kids. African American, from the foster care system. People on both sides of the river are making it abundantly clear that they would rather have their kids go to school with someone else. That is too bad. While my kids are far from perfect, they have contributed to their schools. I am glad two of my three kids have already left the pettiness of the ICCSD behind, and graduated to the world of adult racism. *Democratic Party Convention The Johnson County Democratic Party is holding a Convention to pick the Democratic candidate for the Johnson County Board of Supervisors. The Convention is Thursday, January 31st at 7pm at Northwest Junior High in Coralville. Only Democrats who were elected as delegates or alternates at the 2012 County Convention are eligible to be seated, though the Convention itself has some ability to alter those rules. Selecting the candidate is the only order of business that evening. The winning candidate will appear as the only Democrat on the ballot for the March 5 Supervisor election. I have yet to hear anything on a GOP convention; I’ll pass it along when I do. *Running For Office I often hear from folks who want to run for office. 99% of the time, by the time they have spoken to me, it is way too late! Do you want to run for office? Do you have a candidate you’d like to support? You are in time if you are looking at the September School Board races or November City Council races. But just barely! Planning and organizing a campaign takes time. Building name recognition takes time. You have to plan in order to succeed. Interested? Give me a call. But do it sooner rather than later! *Free Tax Help! One of my proudest accomplishments as a Supervisor has been instituting the Free Tax Help clinics in Johnson County. These have been tremendously successful, bringing over $1 million annually into the local economy. This service is available for free to taxpayers earning less than $50,000 a year. The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program trains University of Iowa students and AARP volunteers to provide FREE Income Tax Preparation Services to qualifying workers. Additionally, the University of Iowa student volunteers have completed a semester long tax preparation course. There are five (5) locations throughout Johnson County that provide FREE Tax Preparation Services – Garner Elementary in North Liberty, Northwest Junior High in Coralville, Southeast Junior High in Iowa City, the Iowa City Public Library, and the Iowa City/Johnson County Senior Center. Schedules are available on the website. Spanish translators are available at the 4 University of Iowa VITA locations. Johnson County is pleased to partner with the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business, Johnson County AARP, Iowa City Public Library, Iowa City Community School District, Iowa City Housing Authority, and United Way of Johnson County. Financial support is provided by ISED Ventures, University of Iowa Community Credit Union, United Way of Johnson County, and Veridian Credit Union. For much more information, please visit the County web page: *DID YOU KNOW? In 1830, the average adult American drank 88 bottles per year – one every 4-5 days! 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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