Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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January 8, 2016

Sullivan’s Salvos     1/12/16

In this edition:

*Vote Lisa Green Douglass!
*About That Last Special Election…
*Local Foods Event
*Did You Know?

Next Monday marks the federal holiday celebrating the birthday of the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Junior. I am so pleased that our country has chosen to honor this great man, and I hope you enjoy the holiday in his name. As usual, the Board of Supervisors will be doing a proclamation in his honor; this year, that will be Thursday, January 14 at 5:30 PM.

         We often hear about Christians who feel that Christmas has lost its meaning, and workers who feel the same about Labor Day. I fear that this could be happening to MLK Day as well.

         America has come a long way since the 60s, and overt racism is now typically (but certainly not always) frowned upon. We still have a long way to go, but some things have certainly improved. I think many Americans see MLK as the embodiment of this change, and rightfully so.

         But look at America today. Black Lives Matter is a response to the epidemic of black men being killed by police. The US Supreme Court killed much of the Voting Rights Act, and they are likely to kill Affirmative Action. Black men are more likely to go to prison than college. The list goes on and on. Our society still has a deep racial divide.

We also need to recognize that King was a radical. America grudgingly accepted racial reforms because they were less dangerous to the status quo than the other issues King championed. King took seriously the Biblical teachings that the love of money is a sin, and that rich men will not be welcomed into Heaven. (Yes, King was a Social Democrat!) He proposed seismic changes to the political and social structures that exist in America. In addition, King was adamantly anti-war. To the status quo, he was the most dangerous man in the world.

         Take some time this week to read some of the great books that are out there on Dr. King. More importantly, take some time to read the things he wrote himself.

And if you are so inclined, there are several worthwhile local celebrations. Here are just two:

The Consultation of Religious Communities is holding its annual MLK service on Sunday, 1/17 at 7 PM at First Mennonite Church. The theme this year is the King quote "Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy."

I would also urge you to attend the community celebration held Monday, January 18 at The Spot in Iowa City. From 9-11 and 2-4 will be a time of “giving back”; food and a ceremony begin at 11 AM. The event is co-sponsored by Johnson County.

We have SO much work to do. We cannot forget that. But we also need to take the time to celebrate our successes. Happy MLK Day!

*Vote Lisa Green Douglass!
Lisa Green Douglass of rural North Liberty is the Democratic Party nominee for County Supervisor.

Green Douglass has been involved in Democratic Party politics for a long time, serving 14 years on the Party’s Central Committee. Professionally, Lisa is a former Spanish professor who now teaches Spanish language/cultural competency to public safety workers, such as law enforcement, EMT, jails, etc. Lisa is the mother of five children, including triplets! As a result, she has been very involved as a volunteer in the Clear Creek Amana School District. Lisa has also volunteered as an interpreter at the Center for Worker Justice.

         I have known Lisa for quite some time; as a matter of fact, she received a Salvos Salute way back in 2006! At the time, Lisa was serving as Chair of the Clear Creek Amana drive toward a new high school, and the State of Iowa was cutting Johnson County a deal on local option sales taxes for schools. Lisa got the Salvos Salute for her efforts to make the LOST less regressive.

         That is the type of effort I really respect… it is easy to be against something. It is much more difficult to attempt to negotiate a solution that makes things better. Lisa has proven that she is willing to roll up her sleeves and work toward a solution.

         Folks, this is a smart, progressive, female Democratic candidate! This is EXACTLY the type of person you want in office! Do not let this opportunity pass us by!

         I wholeheartedly endorse Lisa Green Douglass for the office of Johnson County Supervisor! I hope she will have your support, too!

         You can vote early any weekday at the Auditor’s Office, plus three satellite sights: Thursday, 1/14 from 10-4 at UIHC; Friday, 1/15 from 10-4 at the ICPL; and Saturday, 1/16 from 10-2 at the Coralville Public Library.

*About That Last Special Election…
         The last time Johnson County had a special election for the office of County Supervisor, Republican John Etheredge defeated Democrat Terry Dahms. This was a huge upset, and Etheredge was defeated in the next general election.

         So why did it happen? Well, it was literally a perfect storm – a big snowstorm on election eve left all the schools closed. But that is not the sole reason. The big reason Democrats lost is because we were lazy and complacent.

         I sincerely hope that does not happen again. I hope Democrats will get out and go to work on behalf of our candidate.

*Local Foods Event
Alliances—Rediscovering our Food System
Thursday, February 4th, Montgomery Hall, Johnson County Fairgrounds.
5:00-6:45 pm: Networking & Organization Expo: Meet the agencies, organizations, and businesses working within the Johnson County food system.
7:00-8:30 pm: Panel and discussion: Alliances—Rediscovering our Food System

The food system is a complex network made up of the processes that keep us fed. Each link of the food system is vital, yet as a culture we are often removed from many of the components that make the food system whole. How can we, through our alliances in the community, rediscover our food system, reassert our individual roles, and build together toward a common vision?

Join us Thursday, February 4th, 2016 from 5:00 to 8:30 p.m. for Alliances—Rediscovering our Food System, a public forum where we will discuss six identified sectors of the food system—land stewardship, food production, distribution, retail, the eater, and the waste stream in Johnson County—and how they all come together to create a vibrant, intact, community-based food system in which each and every one of us can participate. This event is free and open to the public. Food and refreshments will be provided.

*DID YOU KNOW?  There have been four special elections for County Supervisor since 1994. The winners of those elections were Don Sehr, Carol Thompson, Janelle Rettig, and John Etheredge.

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.

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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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