Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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June 19, 2015

Sullivan’s Salvos     6/23/15

In this edition:

*Coralville Murder
*Charleston Terrorism
*RIP Dow Voss
*Did You Know?

*Coralville Murder
         My heart goes out to everyone affected by the recent murder at Coral Ridge Mall. I have heard a couple people say, “You never think something like that would happen here.”

         It does happen here, of course. We simply tend to forget about all the victims over time. Worse yet, we vote every two years to ensure that more homicides will happen.

         Since 1968, more Americans have died from gunfire than died in all the wars of this country's history. The totals are 1.4+ million firearm deaths compared with 1.3+ million deaths in war. About 60,000 American lives were lost over roughly 20 years in Viet Nam; meanwhile, gun deaths total about 32,000 annually.

         This murder is a horrible, tragic event. But it is not unexpected. We will claim there is nothing we can do. We will soon forget about this violence, and we will then have more violence. Then we will forget about this event. And so it goes.

*Charleston Terrorism
         I wrote the above paragraphs a few days before writing this. I wish I had not been so prescient. By now, you have likely all heard about the mass murder in the African American church.

         The public wants to label the murderer as mentally ill. But most murderers are NOT mentally ill. That is a fact. We might wish it were otherwise; it might help explain how one person can kill 9 innocent beings. But the fact remains – most murderers are NOT mentally ill. They are seeking to exercise power over another person.

         This guy was a racist. That is why he did it. He said so himself. Why are we surprised? He has been told his whole life that he needs to “take his country back.” He is simply following through on that message. The Confederate flag flies high above the Capital in South Carolina, sending a clear message as to what he is fighting for.

         And now I return to the paragraph I wrote just a few days earlier, and repeat it:

         This murder is a horrible, tragic event. But it is not unexpected. We will claim there is nothing we can do. We will soon forget about this violence, and we will then have more violence. Then we will forget about this event. And so it goes.

*RIP Dow Voss
         Local Labor leader Dow Voss passed away last week. Dow was a great storyteller, a funny guy, and a diehard liberal.

Dow brought another thing to the table that I believe is sorely missing in our country today. He was able to discuss sensitive subjects (politics, religion, etc.) with people with whom he disagreed. We need so much more of that!

RIP, Dow. You will be missed.

The Johnson County Juneteenth Community Committee is hosting a day of family fun from noon-6 p.m. on Saturday, June 27, at the Robert A. Lee Recreation Center in Iowa City to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the end of slavery in the United States. Free parking will be available in the Rec Center lot and upper level of Chauncey Swan Parking Garage; later in the afternoon, free parking will also be available in the main level of Chauncey Swan Parking Garage.

The free event will include free food, live music, a theatrical performance, and games and activities for the whole family. Activities for children include a puppet show, story time, a bouncy house, face painting, water games, and a “discovery tour” of the community garden near the recreation center.

Live entertainment will be provided by local youth from The Dream Center Performance Art Academy, the Funk Daddies, Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre, and a live play written and performed by local writers and actors. In addition, the African American Museum of Iowa and the Iowa City Public Library will set up informational displays about the history of slavery and black Iowans.

At the indoor health fair, small children can get free vision screening while adults can get free blood-pressure checks, donate blood, and explore the resources offered by a variety of local programs.

         The event will begin promptly at noon with a brief presentation that will include reading proclamations by the City of Iowa City and Johnson County, followed by a balloon drop of 150 balloons dropping from the ceiling.

The winning essay of the Iowa City Human Rights Commission’s Youth Essay & Art Contest may be read during the opening ceremony, as well. Essays submitted by youth ages 14-18, and visual art displays submitted by youth ages 5-18 are due by June 12. Prizes range from $50 to $150.

Learn more about the contest and the Juneteenth event online at

“This is our group’s fifth year hosting this event, and with it being the 150th anniversary of the abolition of slavery in the United States, we have gone all out to provide a variety of informational and fun activities,” program coordinator LaTasha DeLoach said. “I am thrilled that we have been able to pull together so many events for both adults and children to honor the strength of those who endured slavery.”

Event sponsors include the City of Iowa City, the Johnson County Community Partnership for Protecting Children, Johnson County Social Services, the Iowa City Parks & Recreation Department, Veridian Credit Union, the Iowa City Human Rights Commission, Southgate Development Co., and New Pioneer Co-op.

*DID YOU KNOW?  Terrorist Dylann Roof had Confederate Flag license plates.

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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