Time for a Green New Deal

Dear Friends, If you ever feel hopeless about the climate crisis, yesterday was a real shot in the arm. Nearly a thousand young people occupied the offices of US Representatives Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, and Jim McGovern, demanding action on the Green New Deal. Over 150 participants were arrested at Pelosi’s and Hoyer’s offices. In an affirmation of the power of nonviolent direct action, Rep. McGovern came out of his office to talk with protesters and agreed to sign on to the Green New Deal! The Continue reading →

Legislation to support Native communities

Dear Friends, Bold Iowa was well represented today at a meeting at Senator Grassley’s office. In the fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), Native communities have been hit particularly hard, both in terms of DAPL’s impact on land, water, and climate, and because of the great harm caused by predatory “man camps” that spring up along construction and extraction sites. At the Federal Building in Des Moines, Native and non-Native people met with Grassley’s State Director, Carol Olsen, and two of the Senator’s Washington, Continue reading →

Call to action to stop another pipeline across Iowa!

In a world where it seems that most news is bad news, I’m sorry to have to pile on. But it’s better to know the truth than to live in denial — and if the truth doesn’t always set you free, it at least let’s you know what you’re up against and gives you a fighting chance to push back. So, here’s the bad news: Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) is planning to lay a second pipeline across Iowa! Last week, I received an anonymous call Continue reading →

First Nation – Farmer Climate Unity March: Day 1

Dear Friends, After a stormy night, marchers carpooled to the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) for a press conference to announce the First Nation – Farmer Climate Unity March. Though the IUB was closed, we know board members are paying attention. It’s important for them to hear that they made the wrong decision when granting the authority to use eminent domain to build the Dakota Access Pipeline. Most Iowans agree. Iowa law agrees. Soon, we’ll see whether the Iowa Supreme Court agrees. Blessings by Ako Abdul-Samad Continue reading →

A rainy start to the March

Dear Friends, Over the past three days, we’ve marched from Des Moines to Ames — slogging through thirty-two miles of the wettest, stormiest September the Iowans on the March have ever witnessed. It’s been an intense experience. Yet our unity of purpose in this historic fight keeps us going. Beyond the weather, another challenge is that we still need to raise thousands of dollars to finance this March! Thank you to all who’ve donated. If you haven’t, please take a few minutes to help. Click here Continue reading →

An amazing group of people!

In addition to our support for the lawsuit against DAPL, we march as a living, moving example of how people can find common ground and create a sustainable future, and to recognize what happened in the past to the Indigenous peoples of this land. The March is, in part, a statement as to why it’s essential that we recognize the sovereignty of Indigenous people today.

Unity Through Seed Saving

Dear Friends, Twenty years ago, I began saving seeds from my garden. I now save about fifty heirloom varieties annually. It’s encouraging to see more people understanding the importance of seed preservation, because as our Earth plunges deeper into the New Climate Era, saving heirloom seeds is likely to play a key role in humanity’s ability to adapt and survive. One of my most treasured seeds is the Scarlet Runner Bean, with its purple-and-black beans and beautiful red flowers. I’ve meticulously kept a line of Scarlet Continue reading →

United, We Are Strong

Dear Friends, I’ve been an activist for 33 years and continue to learn something new every day. Often, I learn from my mistakes, so I’m hardly above criticism. In fact, I value it. With that in mind, I need to clarify some things I wrote last week. I first encountered M.K. Gandhi’s writings when I was 21. I knew immediately that I’d found a mentor who would inspire me the rest of my life — despite aspects of Gandhi’s character that are troubling and deeply Continue reading →

Raising awareness for effective action

Dear Friends, I’m a big believer in pacing oneself. We’ve got to take time to smell the roses even in the midst of intense struggle. Yet sometimes — often, in all honesty — the demands of fighting for justice require some pretty exhausting days. The First Nation – Farmer Climate Unity March will be a string of such days. But the importance of this march — raising awareness about the historic lawsuit that could stop the flow of oil through the Dakota Access Pipeline — Continue reading →

Investigating the Doon tar sands oil spill

Dear Friends, Christine Nobiss, David Thoreson, and I traveled to northwest Iowa this week to investigate the June 22 tar sands oil spill near Doon (check out our livestream). We spoke with Iowa DNR and Lyon County officials, a landowner, an engineer working at the site, a reporter with the N’West Iowa REVIEW, and KSFY TV (check out KSFY’s story here). We learned a lot! — Lyon County officials did an excellent job as first responders during the hours and days immediately following the spill. Continue reading →