Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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April 14, 2016

Sullivan’s Salvos     4/19/16

In this edition:

*No Salvos Next Week!
*Environmental Forum
*Remember the Upcoming Wage Increase!
*Uber in Iowa City?
*Bur Oak Land Trust
*DMC Public Event
*Democratic Party Hall of Fame
*Did You Know?

*No Salvos Next Week!
         I will be out of the state next weekend, helping my niece celebrate her wedding. So we are going to skip a week of Salvos. Expect your next edition (dated 5/3/16) somewhere around April 29th or 30th.

*Environmental Forum
         April 20 is the first candidate forum for the 2016 Democratic Primary for County Supervisor. It is a forum put together by a number of environmental groups.

         I am going to go ahead and be a little proactive here… the moderator of that event hates me, and has worked against my election previously. I am certain he will paint my absence as an affront to any and all environmental concerns.

         As I pointed out above, I will be out of state at my niece’s wedding. It has been planned for over a year. I was never offered any input into the date of the forum. I have been deeply committed to the environment my whole life, and will continue to act thusly despite the criticisms of my “hater”. I look forward to future opportunities to talk about my record as an environmentalist. I just needed to get that on the record.

*Remember the Upcoming Wage Increase!
Remember - the minimum wage in Johnson County will increase another $.95 to $9.15 per hour starting May 1st!

Johnson County raised the wage $.95 to $8.20 on November 1, 2015. Since then, the unemployment rate has remained static, while low-wage workers have enjoyed a higher standard of living. So far, so good!

There are still plenty of critics out there. But their protestations are sounding more and more like a case of ideological sour grapes. Increasing the minimum wage has been a very good thing for Johnson County.

         Remember - this law applies to everyone who works in Johnson County more than two hours in a two-week period. No other employment laws were changed when the minimum wage was raised. If you have questions about the minimum wage in Johnson County, please visit the County website at

*Uber in Iowa City?
         Let me just say it – Uber is Wal Mart. I haven’t shopped at a Wal Mart since the ‘80s, and I won’t be using Uber anytime soon.

         People just LOVE those Wal Mart low prices… but those low prices are a result of the destruction of main street businesses, the closure of US manufacturing plants, the gutting of unions, the abuse of workers, and a general lowering of the US standard of living. So yes, that piece of crap you bought at Wal Mart was cheap. But it was not inexpensive. We have all paid the price, and we have been doing so for decades.

         Uber is the same thing. Make sure workers have low pay and no benefits. Make sure the onus for expenses are on the workers and not the billionaire owners. Make sure riders have no one to sue when they are paralyzed in a wreck. Make sure to enter into a local market and drive down the standards for everyone.

         Screw Uber. I know there is an “outcry” from Iowa Citians who want to ride Uber past any semblance of worker’s rights, all the way down to indentured servitude. They can take that trip, but I’m not going to help them.

         Sure, individuals want access to Uber. But there are often situations where what is cheapest and easiest for an individual is not the best thing for our community. You can buy a cheap, quick burger at McDonald’s, then throw the wrapper on the ground. That is cheaper and easier for the individual, but much worse for our community. This is the same thing.

         Visitors want it? I’m sure several do. I’m also certain that several visitors would like it if we opened a couple brothels. Are we that certain that the customer is always right?

         Perhaps there is a way for the City of Iowa City to create/maintain high standards that protect our citizens. That will force Uber to either change the way they behave or stay out of our community altogether. Uber is just an expensive trip to the bottom.

*Bur Oak Land Trust
         The wonderful folks at the Bur Oak Land Trust are kicking off the Conserve. Protect. Grow. campaign Wednesday, April 20 at 1PM at the Big Grove Addition, 3999 Starry Night Lane NE outside of Solon.

         The event will have refreshments, walking tours, and environmental education. In case of rain, the event will be at the Celebration Barn. Please join the fun!

*DMC Public Event
The Johnson County Disproportionate Minority Contact Committee (JC-DMCC) is excited to announce a community forum entitled The Impact of Racial Injustice on Youth. This event will be held 6:00-8:30pm April 28, 2016 at the Iowa City Public Library in Meeting Room A. An optional community meal will be provided prior to the forum at 5:00pm. This event is free and open to the public.

The Impact of Racial Injustice on Youth is designed for families and community members to learn more about the racially biased outcomes within the school and justice systems, and what an individual’s rights and resources are in Johnson County. The forum will feature three informative sessions including: a youth panel consisting of Iowa City Community School District students detailing their experiences with disproportionality in the community, assistant county attorneys, Pat Weir and Emily Voss, discussing legal information and neighborhood relations with the police, and a presentation of the results of the ICCSD equity research project.

For more information please visit We hope to see you there!

*Democratic Party Hall of Fame
Save the date! The Johnson County Democratic Party is holding our Annual Hall of Fame Awards event on Saturday, May 7 at 7pm at Brown Deer Country Club in Coralville.

Please join us for coffee, desserts, and plenty of old war stories! A cash bar will be available. Parking is free.

The Hall of Fame inductees for 2016 are: Pauline Taylor, Beverly and Dog Jones, and Eileen and Peter Fisher. We hope you can join us in recognizing this remarkable group!

Tickets are available for a $25 suggested donation. People who cannot afford that amount should still feel welcome, but please call 354-7199 so we can get a count.

Sponsorships are available at the following levels:
$100         includes two tickets
$250         includes 4 tickets
$500         includes a whole table (8 tickets)

Checks can be mailed to:
Johnson County Democrats
PO Box 1773
Iowa City, IA 52244

If you have any questions, please contact Rod Sullivan at 354-7199 or We hope you will join us for a fun evening, and lend your voice to those who are honoring these very deserving people. We look forward to seeing you!

*DID YOU KNOW?  5 more Iowa counties are considering local increases to the minimum wage.

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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