Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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December 21, 2017

Sullivan’s Salvos     12/26/17

In this edition:

*Happy New Year!
*Salvos Salutes!
*Did You Know?

*Happy New Year!
         Happy New Year to all Salvos readers! I hope you and your loved ones enjoy a wonderful 2018!

*Salvos Salutes!
2017 is coming to a close, and it is time for honoring a few select Johnson County residents with that most treasured of honors, the Salvos Salute. A few observations:

* This is the eleventh annual set of awards, and there are always more people who deserve awards than there are awards to give. We live in a great County!

* The focus is on Johnson County. It is certainly worth noting the daily heroism of someone like our firefighters, police, and paramedics. There are also examples that garner international attention. But we have everyday heroes right here in Johnson County that deserve a shout out.

* There are some people out there that could win every year. I am trying to honor different folks, but repeat winners are not out of the question.

* Salvos Salutes do not have specific criteria, but you can bet that in general, most of the winners are courageous, advocate for peace and justice, have good ideas, speak truth to power, avoid hypocrisy, and look out for the less fortunate.

Without further adieu, your 2017 Salvos Salutes go to:

Mazahir Salih: Iowa City’s first black female Councilor. Iowa City’s first Muslim Councilor. The first Sudanese American elected to office in the WHOLE USA! Mazahir is not just a trailblazer, but a smart, kind, caring individual who will serve Iowa City very well.

Ryan Hall: While UI student Ryan Hall was not elected to the Council, he ran a 58-42 race against a longtime incumbent. Ryan proved bright, articulate, and passionate, and acquitted himself well. More importantly, he reminded many in Iowa City that students ARE members of this community, and SHOULD have a voice.

Meghann Foster: Coralville’s Old Guard and progressives do not agree on much. They DID all agree that Meghann Foster was the best candidate for the Coralville Council. Now the real challenge – can Meghann translate this popularity into coalitions that make progressive changes? I’m betting she can!

Karen Nichols: An activist extraordinaire, Karen has become the Queen of politics and social media. Check out Iowans for Public Education to get a taste! I am so glad we have activists like Karen in our midst! And I hope she has some success during the upcoming Legislative session; Iowa’s kids need it!

Kate Revaux: Kate burst onto the Johnson County political scene as a staff person for Bernie Sanders. Her passion for making the world a better place was clear from the beginning; now folks have had an opportunity to witness the fact that Kate is not going to stop until things actually get done! Get on board or get out of Kate’s way!

Steve Cook: If you have ever attended any kind of fundraiser in Johnson County, you’ve probably seen Steve in action. An expert sound man, Steve volunteers his talent and equipment for countless events. Without his contributions, the show would not go on! In addition to donating thousands of dollars worth of services to the community every year, Steve is a union and political activist, and a darn good guy!

Mark Patton: The Johnson County community has made great strides when it comes to affordable housing. It was just a couple years ago that most local elected officials refused to even discuss the topic. How has this change happened? Through the hard work of a small group of committed individuals – led by Mark Patton. Mark is retiring this year after leading Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity from a small, obscure organization to a real powerhouse. His impact on affordable housing has even bigger than that. Congratulations, Mark!

Tim Carty: I had never met Tim until we worked together on the One Community One Bond campaign. I found Tim to be smart, kind, hard working, and a genuinely great guy. I also found him to be a person that deeply cares – for his wife, kids, schools, community, sports teams – whatever the case, he really cares! Tim serves as the Director of Member Services at the Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce, and I imagine he is excellent in that role, too!

Greg Hearns: The President of the Iowa City Federation of Labor, Greg led the organization through a challenging year of merger and reorganization. No one worked harder on labor issues, and this bore fruit when Greg’s union (Teamsters 238) won an overwhelming number of their recertification elections. He also managed to find the time to mobilize union members to work on local elections. Through it all, Greg has kept his focus squarely on the needs of working people.

Forest View Residents: Groundbreaking. That is the only way to describe the agreement developers reached with the residents of Forest View Mobile Home Court. Developers will be building what they want, and will undoubtedly earn a nice profit. In addition, Forest View residents will get their own small, clean, safe, efficient, affordable homes! There has never been a redevelopment like this before. Never. All credit goes to the amazing residents at Forest View!

Darius Moore: Like many African Americans, this young man has had enough of the disparities that exist in our society. So like other African American athletes, this Clear Creek Amana Senior took a knee during the National Anthem. Darius knew this was going to bring some venom his way, and it did. But he handled the whole episode with a determination, maturity, and grace that was very impressive.

Joe Marron: A longtime Labor activist, Joe is one of the hardest-working union volunteers I have ever been around. He is also a really good human being. I have known Joe for well over 20 years, and I have never heard him take personal credit for anything. And now, Joe is a retiree! Thanks, Joe, for all you do!

Larry Baker: The prolific Iowa City Author has served as a City Councilor, Commission Member, teacher, and man about town. Now, in the wake of his latest book (From a Distance), Baker has made his final public appearance. His spot on Iowa City’s Literary Walk of Fame does not do justice to Baker’s impact on our community. You can’t be a City of Literature without authors. I hope he keeps writing, because I love his books. I hope he keeps raising Hell, because I love his passion. Thanks for everything, Larry!

The Encounter Café: Sharon Bethel Mennonite Church opened a café in downtown Iowa City. In addition to providing a welcoming space for everyone, all proceeds go to local charities. How simply beautiful!

*DID YOU KNOW?  159 individuals/groups have received a Salvos Salute since they were started in 2006.

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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