Photo of Bill Moyers Bill Moyers Journal
Bill Moyers Journal
Bill Moyers Journal
Watch & Listen The Blog Archive Transcripts Buy DVDs
Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (CCI)
Watch Video
Read Transcript
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."
Related Media:
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
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.

American Dissidents
People who've made a difference in America — from Thomas Paine to Ralph Nader. (March 20, 2009)

Leo Gerard, photo by Robin HollandLeo 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)

References and Reading:
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.

Also This Week:
Acclaimed author Barry Lopez joins Bill Moyers to discuss nature, spirit and the human condition. Lopez is an essayist, author and short-story writer, whose many books include ARCTIC DREAMS, winner of the National Book Award and OF WOLVES AND MEN, a National Book Award finalist.

Bill Moyers sits down with populist Jim Hightower to look at the history and legacy of people's movements and discuss how ordinary people can reclaim political power.

Explore American history, from the long tradition of dissent to Lincoln's life in pop culture.

The Journal also travels to Iowa where one group has been helping ordinary citizens fight for change for more than three decades.

View profiles from BILL MOYERS JOURNAL of people who are making a difference in their communities.

For Educators    About the Series    Bill Moyers on PBS   

© Public Affairs Television 2008    Privacy Policy    DVD/VHS    Terms of Use    FAQ