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Weekly Action: June 19, 2017

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Photo of Senators Grassley and Ernst captioned "Make Them Listen: We Oppose TrumpCare" with Indivisible Iowa Logo

Stand Indivisible and take action this week to fight back against the Trump agenda.


  1. Paris Climate: Contact your city council member and mayor to express support for your city to join the Paris Climate Agreement as over 250 cities across the US have done. (http://www.climate-mayors.org/partner-cities/)  Just because the president has decided he doesn’t care about the environment and leaving an inhabitable planet to the next generation doesn’t mean the rest of us can’t act to combat climate change.
    • Council Member ____, has the ____ city council had any discussions about joining with the over 250 other US cities who have signed on to continue engagement with the Paris Climate Agreement? President Trump does not have our country’s best interests in mind when he decided to pull our, but for the health of our community, we need to continue working toward a healthier planet?  Can we work together to bring this to the council’s attention for consideration?


  1. Plan coordinated visits and sit-ins at your Senator’s office using the new Indivisible Stop TrumpCare June toolkit. Showing up in groups of 5-10 is an effective way to show a force of energy while at the same time allowing each person to have a chance to say their part.  Gather ahead of time to discuss your specific message and ensure that everyone has a request that is on that message.
  2. Call Senators Grassley and Ernst daily to ensure they hear from constituents that oppose TrumpCare on both substance and process. Use the following script as a base.


Caller: Good morning/afternoon! Can you let me know Senator ______’s position on TrumpCare (the American Health Care Act)?


Staffer: Thank you for calling. Senator ______ supports AHCA / hasn’t made up their mind yet.

Caller: That’s terrible. I’m very disappointed to hear that. This bill would take away health care from millions of Americans, including over 145,000 in Iowa, cut the Medicaid program, increase premiums and allow states to get rid of protections for people with pre-existing conditions. All that to give hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to the wealthy. This is unacceptable to me.

[I/my family member] [am/is] at risk of losing [my/his/her] insurance. [I/ my family member] [have/has] a pre-existing condition that before the ACA could be used by insurance companies to discriminate against [me/them]. [My/their] health depends on Senator [Grassley/Ernst] voting against the American Health Care Act.

Staffer: The Senate version of the bill will not be the same as the one that passed the House. The Senator will make sure that Americans are protected.

Caller: That is not true at all. It does not matter which version passes if the effects are the same or similar. As a constituent, can the Senator guarantee me that…

  • …no one will lose coverage as a result of this bill?
  • or
  • …there will be no cuts to the Medicaid program?
  • or
  • …the Senator won’t vote for ANY bill unless it has received a score from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO)?

Staffer: Obamacare is collapsing. The Senator has a responsibility to act to protect Americans from the disastrous ACA.

Caller: The health insurance market created by the ACA is healthy and stable, even with seven years’ worth of Republican efforts to undermine it. Despite lies from Trump, experts agree that there is no risk of it collapsing unless the Trump Administration actively sabotages it.

Caller: Expanding Medicaid in our state has helped  almost 85,000 people who get coverage. Will the Senator commit to keeping the Medicaid expansion in place?

Staffer: Senator ______ cares deeply about Medicaid and won’t vote for any bill that cuts people off of Medicaid. The bill currently being discussed would provide a long phase-out period to make sure that no one loses their coverage immediately.

Caller: That is not good enough. A phase-out period still means that millions will lose their coverage. If the Medicaid expansion is helping people, why eliminate or phase it out at all? Why not keep it in place? Is it to pay for tax cuts that will primarily benefit the 1 percent and profitable corporations?

Will the Senator commit to opposing any legislation that phases out the Medicaid expansion while also cutting taxes on unearned income for the wealthy, and on profitable health insurance companies, pharmaceutical firms and medical device makers?

Staffer: I will certainly pass on your concerns to Senator ______.

Caller: Please do. This is extremely important to me and I will be watching closely. Thank you for your time.

[If dodges/ undecided]: Please take down my contact information to let me know when Senator ______ has made up his/her mind. I’m eager to hear what he/she decides.

Weekly Action: June 12, 2017

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Stand Indivisible and take action this week to fight back against the Trump agenda.

State Actions:

  1. Help out in the HD22 (Council Bluffs area) Special Election.  The progressive candidate, Ray Stevens, missed the deadline to be on the ballot and is fighting for write-in votes (more details via Bleeding Heartland) Can’t make it to Council Bluffs to door knock? Sign up for online phone banking – probably the easiest way to support a campaign! Details: https://www.rayforiowahouse.com/
  2. Contact your State Senator to inquire about what they will do about DHS. The Senate Oversight Committee was in session last week and a lot has come to light about how kids fall through the cracks. (See DSM Register editorial.)
    1. Senator ____, I have been following the Senate Oversight Committee hearings with grave concern for the children in the care of the state and those who have transitioned out.  It is very clear that a lack of proper funding to DHS as led to staffing levels that are not realistic to safely take care of Iowa’s kids.  I encourage you to push Governor Reynolds to appoint a new director who will work diligently for a better future for these kids AND to properly fund the department. The last thing we should wake up to read in the paper is that another child who was in the foster care system has died of abuse.


National Actions:

  1. Sign up to join the chorus of people standing up to Trump.
  2. National Senate Call-In Day to Stop TrumpCare – June 14, 2017. The U.S. Senate is expected to push through their version of an Obamacare repeal over the next couple weeks. Reports from the capital indicate that the call volume is down fivefold from the height earlier this year.  Make sure that Senators Grassley and Ernst know where you stand on healthcare.  Increased call numbers will show all Senators that the US American people are watching and we care about this issue.  We might be able to swing a few votes making McConnell & Trump miss the 51 vote requirement! The more calls the better, so call every day this week to express your outrage to Grassley and Ernst. Indivisible reports Iowa has a lot to lose:


    Average Premium Increase in 2018 Total Health Insurance Coverage Losses Medicaid Coverage Losses  Employer-Sponsored Coverage Losses Individual Market Coverage Losses
     $722  146,900 84,800 32,900 29,300
    • Call Grassley and tell him you care. His DC number is: (202) 224-3744.
    • Senator Grassley, this is ____ from ____, Iowa. As your colleagues work behind closed doors developing the Senate’s version of Obamacare repeal, I want to make sure you understand my priorities when it comes to healthcare for US Americans. Any healthcare reform should be focused on making insurance more affordable and more accessible to Iowans.  Kicking millions off of their plans is not the solution we need. Cuts to Medicaid are not acceptable. Giving a tax break to the rich is deplorable. I encourage you to push the Senate for a transparent procedure – open committee hearings covered by the media, question and answer sessions, put the text of the bill on the internet and allow for a comment period, and allow the CBO to score the bill and do not vote until that score comes back. Democracy is not done in secret. 
    • Call Ernst and tell her you care. Her DC Number is: (202) 224-3254.
    • Senator Ernst, this is ____ from _____, Iowa. As a special group of your male colleagues work behind closed doors developing the Senate’s version of Obamacare repeal, I want to make sure you understand my priorities when it comes to healthcare for US Americans. Any healthcare reform should be focused on making insurance more affordable and more accessible to Iowans.  Kicking millions off of their plans is not the solution we need. Cuts to Medicaid are not acceptable. Giving a tax break to the rich is deplorable. As you said in your townhall in Des Moines earlier this year, proper medical health care is key in combating gun violence-I encourage you to review the bill for any cuts to mental health care coverage and services. We cannot sit by while more people are killed. I encourage you to push the Senate for a transparent procedure – open committee hearings covered by the media, question and answer sessions, put the text of the bill on the internet and allow for a comment period, and allow the CBO to score the bill and do not vote until that score comes back. Democracy is not done in secret. 
  3. Tell your Representative to vote no on H.R. 2581, the Verify First Act. Another Affordable Care Act sabotage—and anti-immigrant—bill is on the House Floor this week and Republicans plan to vote on it on Tuesday. Demand that they vote no.

Weekly Action: April 23, 2017

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Federal Actions

  1. Fill out the following form to nominate El Cheeto’s trips to Mar-A-Lago for one of Joni’s “Make ‘Em Squeal” Awards. We need EVERY. SINGLE. INDIVISIBLE MEMBER. to do this to make a real impact. It’s easy: Sign the petition here.
  2. THE BUDGET. The Federal Government is facing a shutdown if Congress cannot pass a budget, or if Congress does not include some egregious “must pass” policies as riders to the budget (including “The Wall” and TrumpCare). Please contact ALL your Members of Congress to let them know you:
    1. oppose funding a border wall and providing additional funds for a “Deportation Force”;
    2. you oppose any attempts to strip access to affordable healthcare that covers pre-existing conditions and essential health benefits such as mental health care and pre- and post-natal care; and
    3. You oppose defunding the EPA, NIH, and CDC.

State Actions

  1. Coordinate with other Indivisible groups in your area. An upcoming Regional get together is this Saturday, April 29, at Lake Darling. More details are available at the following link, and more events are being planned for other Iowa Senate District groups. The events are free and open to all. https://www.facebook.com/events/163076914216079/
  2. Now that the state legislative session has ended, consider the following ideas:
    1. Write a thank you note to some deserving state senators and reps.
    2. Gather with some Indivisible Iowa and like-minded friends to celebrate all your hard work over the past several months and invite someone new to the group!
    3. Start a conversation in your senate district (SD) group about managing an Indivisible Iowa booth at a local farmer’s market, fair, or other community event this spring/summer. The booth can be used to recruit members, but more importantly register voters and educate voters on the changes that will likely take place when the new voter I.D. bill is signed by the governor.
    4. Start a conversation in your SD group about targeting districts in the 2018 election by looking at the district map (see link), then deciding if you will need assistance or will give assistance. Start strategizing and contacting partnering districts this spring/summer. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2_LGZciNVGpMk12d0FzcnBLeDA/view?usp=sharing

Speak Up This Week to Stop More Harm to Iowans (Updated)

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In a circulating email, Iowa Senate Democratic Leader Rob Hogg asks Iowans—particularly those in rural areas—to help stop a dozen bills (“The Dirty Dozen”) from advancing out of committee this week. We’ve shared his message in full below, with any additional emphasis and formatting (bolding, italics) added by Indivisible Iowa. We’ll be updating this post throughout the week as changes are made to bills each day.

Today, I am writing to ask you to help us stop a dozen bad bills from advancing out of committee this week. Friday marks the “first funnel” under legislative rules, which is a first procedural hurdle that will stop some legislative proposals for the year. If we can stop these bills this week, it will reduce the damage that could be done later.

The new Republican majority has already done a lot of damage to Iowans, including:

  • Major mid-year budget cuts (SF130) that closed correctional facilities and laid off correctional workers, forced court closures, and led the University of Iowa to renege on promised scholarships.
  • The third lowest school funding level (1.11%) (SF166) in the history of the school finance formula, after the worst six-year funding stretch in our state’s history.
  • An attack on our teachers’ and public workers’ rights to organize and negotiate for fair wages, benefits, and other working conditions (HF291).

Now, there is even more harm coming to Iowans under Republican proposals pending in committee. With your help, we can stop at least some of these proposals in committee this week, and take them off the table for the rest of 2017.

Please speak up with Republican legislators this week on one or more of the following issues by emailing them or calling them at their preferred contact information (available at www.legis.iowa.gov). You can also call and leave messages at the House switchboard (515-281-3221) or the Senate switchboard (515-281-3371).

“The Dirty Dozen” – Help Us Stop These Bad Bills In Committee

  1. Prohibit Local “Pre-Qualification” for Bidding (SSB1145)
    This bill would prohibit local governments from using “project labor agreements” or other “pre-qualification” for bidders on building projects, taking away the ability of local government to ensure timely, quality construction. Speak up for qualified workers and local control.Who to contact: Republican members on the Senate Labor Committee: Jason Schultz (chair), Brad Zaun, Mike Breitbach, Waylon Brown, Jake Chapman, Mark Costello, and Dennis Guth.
  2. End Licensing For Occupations (HSB138)
    This bill would end licensing for many professional occupations including social workers, mental health counselors, massage therapists, dieticians, funeral home directors, respiratory therapists, and athletic trainers. Speak up for these professionals and the protection of consumers, public health, and public safety.
    Who to contact: Republican members of the House State Government Committee: Ken Rizer (chair), Kevin Koester, Rob Bacon, Chip Baltimore, Michael Bergan, Peter Cownie, Lee Hein, Jake Highfill, Bobby Kaufmann, Tom Moore, Dawn Pettengill, Mike Sexton, Ralph Watts, and Louie Zumbach.

    Update: HSB138 is officially dead (Bobby Kaufmann finally did something we agree with), but word is that Governor Branstad is introducing a new version.

  3. Government Barriers to Voting (HSB93/SSB1163)
    This bill would create new government barriers to voting including photo identification requirements where only few forms of identification would qualify. Speak up for Iowans who do not have the specified forms of identification and should not have to face more government barriers to voting.Who to contact: Republican members of the House State Government Committee (see HSB138 above) and Republican members of the Senate State Government Committee: Roby Smith (chair), Jake Chapman, Bill Anderson, Waylon Brown, Dan Dawson, Randy Feenstra, Charles Schneider, Jason Schultz, and Brad Zaun.
  4. So-Called “Personhood” Bill (SF253)
    This bill would ban all abortions and many common forms of birth control. Speak up for individual rights to make personal health decisions and access to birth control to prevent abortion.Who to contact: Republican members on the Senate Judiciary Committee: Brad Zaun (chair), Dan Dawson, Jeff Edler, Julian Garrett, Charles Schneider, Jason Schultz, Tom Shipley, and Amy Sinclair.

    Update: This bill advanced in the Iowa Senate on 2/27 and was recommended for passage.

  5. Partisan Take-Over Of Judicial Nominations (SF327)
    This bill would remove attorneys from the judicial nomination process and replace them with all gubernatorial appointments, politicizing the judicial selection process.Who to contact: Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee (see SF253 above).
  6. Reinstate Death Penalty (SF335/SF336)
    These bills would reinstate the death penalty in Iowa for the first time since 1965. Iowa doesn’t need the death penalty. We have life in prison without the possibility of parole. Encourage legislators to do more instead to resolve unsolved murders (“cold cases”).Who to contact: Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee (see SF253 above).
  7. Eliminate Permits to Acquire Firearms (HSB133)
    This bill, which has 40 sections over 25 pages, would eliminate the annual permit to acquire a pistol or revolver among many other provisions. Speak up for annual permits, criminal background checks, and public safety.Who to contact: Republican members of the House Judiciary Committee: Chip Baltimore (chair), Jim Carlin, Stan Gustafson, Greg Heartsill, Lee Hein, Ashley Hinson, Megan Jones, Kevin Koester, Andy McKean, Zach Nunn, Ross Paustian, Ken Rizer, and Matt Windschitl.
  8. Allowing Firearms on Campus (SF256)
    This bill would prohibit our community colleges and universities from limiting the carrying of firearms. Speak up to keep firearms off campus.Who to contact: Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee (see SF253 above).
  9. Required Video Cameras in Classrooms (SF294)
    This bill would require schools to install video cameras in every classroom, cafeteria, library, and other “student use area” of a school. Speak up against wasteful spending and excessive surveillance.Who to contact: Republican members on the Senate Education Committee: Amy Sinclair (chair), Jeff Edler, Jerry Behn, Mark Chelgren, Tom Greene, Craig Johnson, Tim Kraayenbrink, Mark Lofgren, & Ken Rozenboom.
  10. Political Test for University Faculty (SF288)
    This bill would subject current and future university faculty to a political test for employment to achieve “political balance.” Speak up against this infringement on personal liberty and in favor of merit-based hiring.Who to contact: Republican members on the Senate Education Committee (see SF294 above).
  11. Take Away Local Control Of Water Supply (SSB1146)
    This bill would take away local control over water supply and impose regional and state control. Speak up for local control and against political retribution for clean water advocacy.Who to contact: Republican members of the Senate Agriculture Committee: Dan Zumbach (chair), Waylon Brown, Mark Costello, Jeff Edler, Tim Kapucian, Ken Rozenboom, Mark Segebart, and Tom Shipley.
  12. Restrict Property Right To Bring Nuisance Lawsuit (SSB1144)
    This bill would restrict a property owner’s right to bring a nuisance lawsuit against livestock producers. Speak up for property rights, including the right to be free of nuisances.Who to contact: Republican members of the Senate Agriculture Committee (see SSB1146 above).

Call to Action: February 27, 2017

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Since it’s funnel week, we’ll have a statewide call to action every day. Buckle up!

Follow up TODAY with your Senator and House Rep concerning:
(a) VOTER ID, and
(b) School choice/vouchers/ESAs

My name is ____________ and I am a constituent living in _________. I recently contacted you concerning my opposition to any proposals making voter registration more difficult or requiring voter ID. I still oppose any such measures and urge you to keep our elections easily accessible to anyone wishing to vote.

My name is ___________ and I am a constituent living in ___________. I recently contacted you concerning my opposition to any proposals for school choice, vouchers, or education savings accounts/grants that would divert funds away from our public schools. I still oppose any such measures, as they would be most harmful to our rural communities, and I urge you to support public education for all.

Call Gov. Branstad’s office opposing House Study Bill 138, which would remove the licensing requirement for a number of professions, including massage therapists, athletic trainers, mental health counselors, social workers, dieticians, and respiratory care workers.

My name is ____________ and I am a constituent living in _________. I oppose HSB138. Licensure assures employers and consumers alike of the quality of services provided by practitioners. Please stop this bill from advancing in the legislature. Thank you.

Weekly Action: February 19, 2017

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(1) Contact your Iowa State Senator telling them you oppose SF29, the proposal for education savings grants (a.k.a., VOUCHERS).

Sample Script:
My name is ________. I am a constituent living in __________. I am calling to voice my opposition to SF 29. Taxpayer dollars are for public schools where 93% of Iowa’s children are educated. We must fully fund Iowa’s public schools, not ESAs/vouchers.

(2) Contact Joni Ernst and nominate 45’s weekly trips to Mar-a-Lago for a squeal award. These trips cost taxpayers $3 million EACH WEEK.

(3) Attend one of the Grassley or Ernst public events this week during the congressional recess. Check out our calendar for locations and times.


Weekly Action: February 5, 2017

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What to do: Contact your State Senator and House Rep as well as Secretary Pate (515-281-5204; sos@sos.iowa.gov).

Sample script/text:
My name is ____________. I live in _______. I oppose Paul Pate’s proposed bill, or any bill, that will make voting in Iowa more confusing and burdensome through implementation an expensive new voter ID requirement.

Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate has stated that Iowa holds among the most honest, well-run elections in the country. I view this bill, and any other bill like it, as a frivolous and unnecessary misuse of my tax payer dollars. Please vote NO on this measure.


What to do: Contact Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst

Sample script/text:
Good morning/afternoon. My name is ____________. I live in _______. I was deeply disappointed to hear Senator Grassley/Ernst defend President Trump’s Executive Order halting refugee admissions and banning muslims.

This ban is a violation of our fundamental American values and everything that our nation stands for. This ban will tear families apart and hurt the most vulnerable people in the world. And it will also be a huge loss to America, which has always benefited from diversity and immigration. I hope Senator Grassley/Ernst will reconsider his/her opinion.

(Don’t forget to list your name and zip code for your call to be tallied!)