Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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October 28, 2016

Sullivan’s Salvos     11/1/16

In this edition:

*Happy Birthday, Rachel!
*North Liberty and the Minimum Wage
*Minimum Wage and the State
*Early Voting
*Yard Signs
*Did You Know?

*Happy Birthday, Rachel!
My oldest daughter Rachel turns 25 on November 6th. Rachel has always been fun to be around; her smile can light up a room. I am proud of the fact that she is maturing and really starting to figure things out.

         Happy Birthday, Honey! I love you!

*North Liberty and the Minimum Wage
         I was extremely relieved to see the North Liberty City Council stick with the next Johnson County increase to the minimum wage. Now, when the minimum wage goes up to $10.10 on January 1, 2017, North Liberty will be joining Coralville, Iowa City, Hills, Lone Tree, University Heights, and Johnson County in giving workers some much needed help.

         Frankly, I don’t think the decision was all that difficult. The evidence is clear; businesses are not failing; in fact, profits are up. Unemployment seems unaffected, and low-wage workers have more money to spend. The increases are working!

North Liberty City Councilor Brian Wayson voted to let the wage increase stand, although he said he was against it. (Not completely certain I understand that, but OK.) Councilor Wayson then suggested that the Supervisors should “leave economic decisions to people who understand economics.”

I get it; there are some sour grapes there. That is OK. But that comment prompts me to note – I have spoken with a few credentialed economists throughout this process. (Those are the “people who understand economics.”) Opponents tend to accuse the Board of a failure to do research, but that simply isn’t true. As a matter of fact, it is the opponents who cannot provide any data. I have yet to see opponents put forward an economist that shares the opinion that this increase is a bad thing!

What’s more, the Governor and Republicans in the Iowa House of Representatives have ignored economists for decades, yet they create economic policy all the time!

         I know ideologues do not like it. But the Johnson County minimum wage increase has been a very good thing!

*Minimum Wage and the State
         Governor Branstad discussed the minimum wage last week, and noted that he had, “signed an increase before.” This comes on the heels of Cedar Rapids Mayor and likely GOP Gubernatorial candidate Ron Corbett calling for a very small increase in Linn County.

Republicans see the polls. They know that increasing the minimum wage is a VERY good issue for Democrats! Yet their biggest funders oppose the existence any minimum wage at all, let alone an increase. So what are Republican lawmakers to do?

         Clearly, Branstad and Corbett have calculated a response. Advocate for a raise, but keep it very small. Do not index it. Then try to remove the power of counties and cities to act on their own. This would give the GOP the ability to say they did something, take the topic off the table, and actually get more of what they want.

The GOP needs to do something, yet keep ABI happy. A small raise plus preemption would be a HUGE win for the Iowa GOP! My fear is that Democrats in the Iowa Legislature give it to them!

         I fear that the Democrats will accept a wage of less than $10.50/hour. I fear that they will not demand indexing. And I fear that they will trade away local control. I hope I am wrong. But I am very concerned!

         We simply must acknowledge the misogyny that exists in our society. This Presidential election, for all its’ many faults, has at least begun to demonstrate the deep gender discrimination that exists in our society.

         We actually have an opportunity here. As a Country, can we rise to the occasion? Can we give misogyny, discrimination, and sexual assault the attention they deserve?

         There have been over 70 female prime ministers and presidents in the world since Sri Lanka elected Sirimavo Bandaranaike in 1960. The length of their tenures have varied immensely, as have the powers that they have held. Some women were in office only days or held largely ceremonial roles, while others played a defining role in their country’s history.

         Electing an African American President did not cure racism, and in fact, perhaps brought more racism out of the shadows. Similarly, electing a female President will not end misogyny, and may well dredge up old resentments.

         I can hardly wait to see future generations of little girls who do not need to use their imaginations to see a female President. How about you?

*Early Voting
         Speaking of this election, I urge everyone who can do so to vote early! It is getting to be very late for mail in ballots, but there are many satellite voting opportunities available in Johnson County.

         For a complete list, please visit the Auditor’s Office website at:

*Yard Signs
         It is just days before the Presidential election, and the typical games of yard sign stealing/yard sign defacing are well underway.

         There have actually been studies on this. While 90% of the victims are certain it was the “other candidate’s people” who did the vandalism, that is completely wrong. In actuality, over 90% of the vandalism is perpetrated by young people, and is not ideologically driven.

         But when this happens to you, you feel violated. And you should! Regardless of motivation, stealing or vandalizing signs is a crime.

         This struck close to home the other day, as our nextdoor neighbor’s Trump sign was stolen. Despite the fact that our neighbors and us disagree on virtually every political issue, we love them very much! They are two of the kindest, most generous, most decent people I have ever met. I would give almost anything I had to ensure their Trump sign is respected.

         So please – if you speak to any young people – strongly discourage this behavior. It is illegal, and it hurts!

*DID YOU KNOW?  “Misogyny” comes from the Greek misogynia based on misos "hatred" + gyne "woman". Gyne also appears in gynecology and is related to Old English cwene which at various points meant "woman", "wife", and "prostitute"—today's queen. It also shares a source with Old English cween "woman, wife, queen", today's queen. The Greek root is also related to the root gen- "give birth", which we find in generate, gene and oxygen.

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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