By Scott Galindez
Hundreds of members of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (CCI) rallied, waved signs and chanted slogans Tuesday during a day of action at the Iowa Capitol Building.
Iowa CCI members held several meetings with lawmakers on issues ranging from clean water to voting rights. At one point they flooded a hallway outside Gov. Terry Branstad’s office demanding to speak with the governor and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds before agreeing to read a two-page letter to Branstad’s chief of staff outlining their issue positions.
Tuesday’s event was held in conjunction with Our Revolution, the Bernie 2016 successor organization. They said their message was to decry corporate influences at the Statehouse and to address “bread and butter issues” including clean water, raising the statewide minimum wage, wage theft, racial justice, and getting big money out of politics.
After spending the morning at the Capital the group boarded buses and went to a Wells Fargo branch to call for the bank to divest from the Dakota Access Pipeline. Earlier in the day, Donald Trump signed executive orders clearing the way for both the Dakota and Keystone Pipelines.
CCI Members who came from across the state ranged from students to farmers and land owners.
Scott Galindez attended Syracuse University, where he first became politically active. The writings of El Salvador's slain archbishop Oscar Romero and the on-campus South Africa divestment movement converted him from a Reagan supporter to an activist for Peace and Justice. Over the years he has been influenced by the likes of Philip Berrigan, William Thomas, Mitch Snyder, Don White, Lisa Fithian, and Paul Wellstone. Scott met Marc Ash while organizing counterinaugural events after George W. Bush's first stolen election. Scott Moved to Des Moines in 2015 to cover the Iowa Caucus.