Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

Previous Posts


August 17, 2017

Sullivan’s Salvos     8/22/17

In this edition:

*Still Fighting for $10.10!
*The Green Room
*Viet Nam War Book
*ICCSD Bond Facts
*Did You Know?

         What to say? Nazis and other white supremacists take over a mid-sized college town in an attempt to “Make America Great Again”. People get hurt; people die. A third of the population is aghast, a third loves it, and a third doesn’t care.

And you know who defends the racists? Our President. It is despicable. There is no equivocating here; don’t even try. My heart aches for this country. So many people are so very wrong. We must do SO much better!

*Still Fighting for $10.10!
         As you know, Republicans in the Iowa Legislature and the Branstad/Reynolds team took away minimum wage increases from tens of thousands of Iowans.

Thousands of those people were here in Johnson County, where the minimum wage had been $10.10 for six months with no ill effects, and many benefits. Because we know $10.10 truly is a minimum here, the Center for Worker Justice (CWJ) has been working on an effort to get employers to voluntarily remain at $10.10.

The CWJ effort has been going well – over 150 businesses have agreed to make $10.10 the minimum wage despite the efforts of Kim Reynolds.

So what can you do? There are several things:

1.)          Talk about $10.10 where you do business. If they pay $10.10, thank them.
2.)          Only shop at establishments that pay $10.10. If you stop going to an establishment, tell them why you stopped.
3.)          Help the CWJ to canvass businesses in Johnson County. Many have yet to be approached.

We can still create an economy that works for everyone, but we need your help! Contact the CWJ if you’d like to get involved.

*The Green Room
The Green Room is the latest effort from my friend Dave Gould. If you are not familiar with his work, you should be!

The Green Room is a University of Iowa Honors Program course based on a series of questions: How does a community become smarter… employ that knowledge to uplift the lives of its residents… join with cities and towns across the country… and collectively change the world? Along the way, The Green Room will explore a new pedagogy for higher education around issues that matter.

How will it work? For starters, imagine a series of thought leaders, musicians, writers, and local nonprofits speaking and performing in a historic 700-seat theatre filled with students and community members - all inspired to make a difference.

Before each session, the class will host a “real” green room experience, connecting students with national and local leaders. These conversations are poised to create avenues of involvement and service.

To activate both the heart and mind, elements of music and literature will be interwoven into each class. At the end of a Green Room session, an activity will be revealed for the entire audience to complete within 24 hours—a collective push intended to generate momentum – an “aftershock” honoring our time together. In short, The Green Room is more than just a class; it’s a community-wide learning experience.

         For more info, see: The Green Room on Facebook and Twitter.

*Viet Nam War Book
Fifty years after the Vietnam War, an original collection of stories has been released to honor and remember those who served. A Time to Honor: Stories of Service, Duty, and Sacrifice, and its corresponding documentary film The Journey Home, are available, free of charge, to any Johnson County resident who served in Vietnam.

Copies of the book are available at the Johnson County Veterans Affairs office, Suite 109C in the Johnson County Health and Human Services Building at 855 South Dubuque Street in Iowa City. Veterans should bring a copy of their DD214. Books are also available to surviving spouses of Vietnam veterans; spouses should bring proof of Dependency Indemnity Compensation (DIC). Contact Johnson County Veterans Affairs Director Gary Boseneiler at 319-356-6049 or for more information.

Stories in the Vietnam 50th commemorative gift represent all states and branches of service; however, the first several pages of this volume include Iowa-specific information. The book is available as a state-sponsored gift to Vietnam veterans through 2017. Supplies are limited and will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis

ABOUT THE JOHNSON COUNTY COMMISSION OF VETERANS AFFAIRS: The Johnson County Commission of Veterans Affairs assists County residents who served in the U.S. Armed Forces, their relatives, beneficiaries, and dependents in receiving aid and benefits to which they may be entitled. The Commission also provides temporary emergency financial assistance to honorably discharged Johnson County veterans who meet eligibility criteria. The Johnson County Veterans Affairs office is located in the Health and Human Services Building, 855 South Dubuque Street, Suite 109C, Iowa City, and can be reached at 319-356-6049 or

*ICCSD Bond Facts
As you probably know, I am a big supporter of the upcoming bond referendum in the ICCSD. Since this is a really important topic, I am going to dedicate a bit of time to it each of the next few weeks.

         This week, I would like to address growth in the ICCSD. The ICCSD is home to 14,000 students k-12, making it the 4th largest School District in Iowa.

         We add an average of 300 students to the ICCSD EVERY YEAR. Think about that for a moment. An elementary school might have 2 sections of 25 students per grade. 50 kids per grade, times K-6 equals 350 students. In other words, the ICCSD would need to build an elementary every year just to keep up!

         Of course, we have not been building an elementary every year. What has happened instead is schools are overcrowded. Temporary buildings surround our schools. These temporary classrooms are notorious for poor climate controls.

         If the bond fails, over 60% of the children in the ICCSD will end up having class in a temporary classroom. Many schools are not air-conditioned. Many schools lack rooms for PE, art, and music. Many buildings exist in violation of the ADA. We can do better. We must do better.

         Some claim that we are overbuilding. Others claim we are underbuilding. Frankly, given the choice, I would much rather overbuild! Remember those 300 new kids every year? They do not enter into a single school. They are spread across all 25 of our schools.

So adding space for a section or two at virtually every school makes some sense. Especially considering the Weighted Resource Allocation Model (WRAM), which creates lower class sizes in needier neighborhoods. When you hear people claim that Alexander was underbuilt? That is because the Board passed the WRAM. If WRAM is going to be the District policy, then we need more capacity. (The alternative to WRAM is bussing, which the community decried!)

When my kids went to Hoover, the neighborhood couldn’t fill the school. Many kids transferred in. Even then, there was extra space. And you know what? That was OK!

Those are but a few of the important numbers. For more info, please visit And please join me in voting YES on or before September 12!

*DID YOU KNOW?  Republicans in the Missouri Legislature followed Iowa’s lead, and passed statewide legislation that eliminated higher local minimum wages in Saint Louis and other local jurisdictions.

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!



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home