Poetry: Mount Pleasant activist ponders true meaning of respect

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“Often, people try to control discussion through a single word. It sounds logical, until we take a deeper look.” Bob Mueller wrote his poem, “Respect,” to challenge a word oft-repeated, and sometimes exploited. Bob helped found the new Mount Pleasant PFLAG chapter and is active in Iowa Welcomes its Immigrant Neighbors (WINS). He retired to Mount Pleasant, just east of Iowa City, from Chicago’s surburbs, where he lived for more than 26 years with his late partner, Todd. “Respect” by Bob Mueller Respect can come in many forms. And in…

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“Justice for Breonna Taylor” inspires events throughout Iowa, Illinois

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Events are coming together quickly throughout Iowa and Illinois to honor the late Breonna Taylor, the Louisville victim of a police raid shooting earlier this year. Racial justice events are happening tonight in Decatur and Elgin, Ill; tomorrow (Saturday) in Belleville, Ill., and Davenport, Iowa; and next week in West Branch, Davenport and Cedar Rapids in Iowa. The events are organized by many of the social justice groups that have become more familiar since June, Advocates for Social Justice in Cedar Rapids and We FIGHT in Davenport. Online events about racial justice are growing almost daily, and you’ll find several highlighted in the…

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New Calendar of Events helps find the highlights in Iowa, Illinois

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Are you overwhelmed (or underwhelmed) with events to partake of in the COVID-19 era? We’re trying to do our part to help, with the new Calendar of Events for Iowa and Illinois, updated twice a week. You’ll find highlight events here throughout the two states that help promote intersectionality and a more collaborative society. Read here about the latest Calendar, updated Tues., Sept. 22. You can also catch a summary of highlights, like Illinois’ “Pride Fest 2020” virtual celebration, and St. Louis’ art gallery tour of historic depictions of the…

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Final drive in Iowa City for school supplies and masks Sunday


IOWA CITY — Looking for a way to support Iowa’s school kids during these trying times? Check out the outdoor Cars 4 Community Meet & Eat Sunday (Sept. 20), which is hosting a school supplies drive in collaboration with the Corridor Community Action Network (CCAN). From 3 to 6 p.m., you can swing by Mexico Lindo Grill & Cantina 2 and check out supercars, euro-cars, muscle cars, and tuner cars from members of the Iowa Auto Club West, while also bringing wide-ruled notebooks, glue sticks, water bottles and other school…

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Iowa emerges as national leader in Black Voter Day Sept. 18

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The first-ever National Black Voter Day of Action takes place Friday, and Iowa is emerging as a national leader in the movement, which is focused on empowering Blacks to overcome voting barriers they are documented to have experienced throughout history. At least nine Black Voter Day events are happening Friday throughout Iowa. That’s as much or more than larger states such as California, New York, Pennsylvania and Georgia, based on a thorough search of events listed online and in public media. Black Voter Day events are happening in Cedar Rapids,…

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SOMM Wines stays a step ahead, finds new COVID-aware location during crisis

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FAIRFIELD — SOMM Wines’ response to the coronavirus crisis has been like a textbook in “one step ahead.” Before most businesses were even thinking about the virus, back in early March, SOMM owner Krista Matthes put out a summary of heightened disinfection. When “curbside” hadn’t yet become part of the retail lexicon, Matthes was already offering it. Before many businesses were thinking of closing to in-store traffic, SOMM had already shut its doors and begun to focus only on running outside to hand off product to customers. When it was…

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Coralville mom captures the emotion of her teen’s gender transition with “He”

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“Basically, I am a gay mom who is also raising a 13-year-old trans guy. Being the parent of a trans kid is a unique experience, but seeing your child bloom into exactly the person they were meant to be is one of the most rewarding things any parent can witness. There are so many highs and lows, and it’s a massive learning curve. But I wouldn’t trade my guy for anyone.  “A lot of people have questions about parenting a trans kid and have a hard time imagining what they…

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New “TRM Behind the Scenes” blog is an homage to advocacy journalism

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“There are two forms of courage in this world,” writes author Jeff Brown. “One demands that we jump into action with our armor on. The other demands that we strip ourselves bare-naked and surrender. Bravery is a curious thing.” Systemic racism, unequal health access, transgender violence, misogyny, climate change, animal welfare …. many battles remain to be fought, and we’ll be there.  But this new feature I’m sharing today is about the latter: stripping down, revealing, and surrendering. This is our new blog titled “TRM: Behind the Scenes.” It’s a…

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Electoral College must go, but what should take its place? Ranked choice voting

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Soon, we’ll be seeing a lot of posts and articles about getting rid of the Electoral College. We’ll hear a lot about the idea of “one (hu)man, one vote,”  and proposals to use the national popular vote to determine the president.  We’ll hear people point to examples when the Electoral College result differed from the national vote (Trump/Clinton 2016), or to Wyoming’s three electoral votes, as justification for dismantling the Electoral College. The “one human, one vote” solution is popular, but it has many problems. The first is an assumption…

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