Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (CCI)
Bill Moyers Journal
"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."
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