Linn County Democrats Semi-Monthly Update

June 5, 2022

Dear <<First Name>>,

Welcome to the Linn County Democrats Weekly Update. Just a couple updates on election watch parties and also for volunteer activities on Saturday, June 11...and don't forget to vote on Tuesday.

See the source image

The Linn County Democrats and Liz Mathis Campaign for Congress office is officially open.  The office is at 4850 1st Ave. NE, Cedar Rapids with office hours of 11:00 am to 7:00 pm Monday through Friday and 11:00 am to 4:00 pm Saturday.  Closed on Sunday.  Feel free to stop by and say hello!

June 7, 2022: Partisan Primaries *

* Detail courtesy Linn County Auditors Election Service Website      

We will try to include events for organizations that coincide with the beliefs of the Democratic party. If there are upcoming events or items of interest you would like to share, please send them to me. 

Please click here to let me know your interest.

News Updates:

Students Should Refuse to Go Back to School

Despite the hopelessness after Uvalde, we’re closer to understanding the kind of social movement that might actually affect gun reform.

Gal Beckerman, The, May 31, 2022
A silhouette of four students protesting on top of a broken assault rifle
The Atlantic

It’s baffling. How can there be so much consensus among Americans about the need for stricter gun laws—63 percent want an outright ban on assault weapons—while we seem locked in this house of horrors, a schoolroom of slaughtered children around every turn, with no way out?

Yet moments of such misalignment, when the ideals of a critical mass clash with the rules that govern our collective lives, can also give rise to effective social movements. Most of us are unwilling to bear this American ritual any longer. The faces of those children. The unfathomable anguish of those parents, of those broken towns. The cruel inaction of politicians. At the same time, overwhelming evidence from countries such as Australia and Britain shows that reducing the number of guns in a society diminishes the possibility of mass shootings—and, I repeat, this is what a majority of Americans want.

Today, I’m left with one conclusion: The children and parents of our country need to take the summer to organize locally, build a set of national demands, and then refuse to go back to school in the fall until Congress does something.

Let me explain. Social movements need two elements to be successful: narrative and tactics. Borrowing from the political scientist Joseph Nye, we might think of these as soft power and hard power, respectively. Activists need to tell a compelling story that brings people along to a new way of thinking and emboldens them to act. But that isn’t enough. There is also the hard work of mustering actual political power to elect different representatives, change laws, and leverage lobbying.

When it comes to narrative, those whose lives are most at risk in mass shootings make for the best storytellers....(more)


Invoking Uvalde, Trudeau out to freeze handgun sales

“We need only look south of the border to know that if we do not take action, firmly and rapidly, it gets worse,” the prime minister said as he introduced new measures.


OTTAWA, Ont. — The Canadian government is hoping for speedy passage of new firearm-control measures meant to fight rising gun violence in Canada, in the wake of last week’s school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday announced a national freeze on handgun sales.

“It will no longer be possible to buy, sell, transfer or import handguns anywhere in Canada,” Trudeau said during a late afternoon press conference, surrounded by Cabinet ministers, Liberal MPs and gun control advocates.

“In other words, we’re capping the market for handguns.”

The Liberal government also aims to yank firearms licenses from perpetrators of domestic violence or criminal harassment, and a press release promised a “red flag” law that would allow judges to force gun owners “considered a danger to themselves or others” to surrender their firearms.

The government will also mandate that long-gun magazines be altered to carry no more than five rounds...(more)

Here is an update to coming events:

Linn County candidate forums start May 21 for June 7 primary elections
June 7: 
Title: Primary Election Day
When: Tuesday, June 7, 2022, 7:00 am - 8:00 pm
Location:  Election day!  Please see details and links above on voting locations

June 7: 
Title: Liz Bennett for Iowa Senate Election Night Watch Party
When: Tuesday, June 7, 2022, 7:00 pm
Location:  The Bohemian, 1029 3rd St. SE, Cedar Rapids
Join the Liz Bennett team for drinks, a taco bar and messages from local elected and community leaders as primary election results roll in for Iowa's Senate District 39!
May be an image of text that says 'BREANNA OXLEY LINN COUNTY SUPERVISOR DISTRICT Election Watch Party June 7 71 I Double Zs I 7:30pm pm'
June 7: 
Title: Oxley For Supervisor Election Night Watch Party
When: Tuesday, June 7, 2022, 7:30 pm
Location:  The Double Z Bar & Grill, 629 Ellis Blvd NW, Cedar Rapids.
Join Team Oxley as we celebrate all of our hard work on this campaign! Join us for apps and drinks at Double Z Bar and Grill as we watch the election results come in on June 7!

June 11: 
Title: Robins Round Up Parade
When: Saturday, June 11, 2022, 10:00 pm Staging at 9:00 am
Location:  Starting Point: Robins Clock Tower, Staging area in that location.  ​Ending Point: Robins City Hall

June 11: 
Title: IDP Day of Action in Linn County & Liz Mathis Canvassing
When: Saturday, June 11, 2022, 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Location:  Linn County Democrats Campaign Office & Liz Mathis Congressional Campaign, 4850 1st Ave. NE, Cedar Rapids.  Join with other volunteers to phone bank or door to door canvassing for Liz Mathis Campaign.  Time to get the 2022 election campaign going!

June 12: 
Title: Linn Phoenix Club - Democratic Party Unity Rally
When: Sunday, June 12, 2022, 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Location:  Ellis Park Overlook Pavilion in Cedar Rapids.  The Primary will be over and it will be time to for a Post-Primary Democratic Unity Rally.  We'll be featuring U.S. Congressional Candidate Liz Mathis - and all the winners of the June 7 Democratic primary will be given the opportunity to speak at this event.  Free event - Bring your friends, family and neighbors.

June 15: 
Title: Stonewall Democrats Caucus of Linn County Monthly Meeting
When: Wednesday, June 15, 2022, 7:00 pm
Location:  Hiawatha Public Library, 150 W. Wilman St., Hiawatha

June 18: 
Title: African American Museum Juneteeth Celebration
When: Saturday, June 18, 2022, 10:00 am
Location:  New Bo City Market, Cedar Rapids
June 22: 
Title: Linn County Democrats Central Committee June Monthly Meeting
When: Wednesday, June 22,2022, 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Location:  More details to follow on the event. Zoom and In-person.  Hiawatha Community Center

Current List of Candidates:
Position Candidate
Governor Deidre DeJear
Sec. of State Joel Miller
Sec. of State Eric Van Lancker
Attorney General Tom Miller
State Auditor Rob Sand
State Treasurer Mike Fitzgerald
Sec. of Agriculture John Norwood
U.S. Senate Michael Franken
U.S. Senate Abby Finkenaurer
U.S. Senate Glen Hurst
U.S. House  Liz Mathis
House District 73 Elizabeth Wilson
House District 74 Eric Gjerde
House District 77 Jeff Cooling
House District 78 Sami Scheetz
House District 79 Tracy Ehlert
House District 80 Art Staed
House District 83 Kristen Nall
House District 84 Sara Yedlik
Senate District 37 Austin Frerick
Senate District 37 Molly Donahue
Senate District 39 Liz Bennett
Senate District 39 Joey Zahorik
Senate District 40 Todd Taylor
Senate District 42 Jessica Wiskus
Treasurer Brent Oleson
Recorder Carolyn Siebrecht
County Supervisor Dist 1 Bre Oxley
County Supervisor Dist 1 Kirsten Running-Marquardt
County Supervisor Dist 1 James Houser
County Supervisor Dist 2 Ben Rogers
County Attorney Nick Maybanks

Upcoming future events:              
IDP State Convention                                     June 18, 2022
Don't forget to check out the Linn County Dems ( ) website for additional information.

Hope you have a great week and please stay in touch.
Bret Nilles
Chair, Linn County Democrats
Linn County Executive Board
�     Chair: Bret Nilles
�     1st Vice Chair: Valerie Smith 
�     2nd Vice Chair: Peggy Stover
�     Secretary: Breanna Oxley
�     Treasurer: Susan Elliott-Bryan
�     Financial Secretary:  
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