April 30, 2010"The only solution to any problem is
to get to work on it."
That phrase is the motto of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (CCI) profiled on THE JOURNAL. In its 36 year history the CCI has addressed a number of issues through grassroots organizing and political action.
Like the original populists
of the 19th century south and west, the CCI began its organization around the battle between individual farmers and corporate farming interests. Today they are trying to battle a bill that would allow industrial-scale farms to spread liquid manure on top of frozen or snow-covered fields, a practice deemed hazardous to the environment and a potential health risk.
The CCI has also taken on the challenge of preserving a core aspect of the American dream fighting abusive lending as well as offering financial classes and counseling to encourage and safeguard home ownership. And the CCI is embracing the changing demographics of their state by supporting the many Latino immigrants who are working the in meatpacking industry. The CCI has taken on labor, discrimination and immigration issues. And again hearkening back to those early populists the group is a firm supporter of getting big money out of American politics through it's arm, Voter-Owned Iowa.
As member and farmer Larry Ginter puts it, the founding fathers liked a good fight so should their heirs.
"There's a saying, 'Revolution begins in a peasant hut.' You got to fight for the justice. You got to fight for the fair wage. You got to fight for housing. You got to fight for healthcare. Fight for the elderly, fight for family farmers and workers. Fight for the environment. And that's what Iowa CCI does."
Special Profiles: Making a Difference in the Community
View profiles from BILL MOYERS JOURNAL of people who are making a difference in their communities.
Anger and the Economy
Organizers George Goehl and Heather Booth on turning anger into action.
James Thindwa, whose campaign for economic fairness for working people in Chicago has brought him up against the city's powerful political establishment and corporate giant Wal-Mart. Steve Meacham: Fighting Foreclosure
The JOURNAL profiles Steve Meacham, a Massachusetts community organizer fighting to keep working people in their homes.
People who've made a difference in America from Thomas Paine to Ralph Nader. (March 20, 2009) Leo Gerard
Bill Moyers sits down with United Steelworkers' International President Leo Gerard to discuss seeking economic justice for workers in the middle of an economic crisis and how he sees the future of American manufacturing. Gerard shares his thoughts on how unions will fare under the Obama administration, what kind of stimulus might be needed and what the future of American industry might look like. (January 9, 2009) Grace Lee Boggs
Bill Moyers talks with 91 year old activist, Grace Lee Boggs, about the cultural revolution brewing in our country at the grassroots level. (June 5, 2007)
Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (ICC)
Find out more about the work of the ICC.
National People's Action
The ICC is a member of this network of community power organizations from across the country. The NPA's current focus is bank reform.