Guest Columnists

Changes to Chapter 20 take Iowa in the wrong direction

I’m a teacher and this my ninth year in education.

From the very bottom of my heart, I would like to personally thank all senators and representatives who voted against HF 291 and SF 213 gutting the rights of hard working Iowans and their families across our state.

In my eyes, it was the right thing to do and it was a heroic process to vote against gutting Chapter 20. The Iowa GOP would rather stand with big corporations, stand with out of state, right wing special interest groups such as the Koch Brothers, and Skype with the anti-worker and anti -education Governor from Wisconsin, Scott Walker. Shame on the Iowa GOP and how it treated the Chapter 20 debate this past week.

What the current Iowa GOP stands for is not the Iowa I grew up with. What the current Iowa GOP stands for is not what my parent’s era, and my grandparent’s era, and generations before them fought for on issues of worker’s rights, gender rights, and preventing discrimination in various forms.

Gutting Chapter 20 only takes us backward and not forward and in my estimation, only further divides the gap between the rich and the poor. It makes Iowa a follower instead of a leader. No Iowa GOP, not on my watch will I sit back and witness Iowa in a race to the bottom with other states like Wisconsin who has gone down this dark path toward destruction.

I’m highly disappointed that the Iowa House Representative from my District 67, Ashley Hinson, voted to gut Chapter 20. I think it is heartbreaking and truly evil how one of my representatives made the ill-fated and incredibly weak judgment call to support bills that takes away mine and my fellow hard working Iowa family’s rights.

You see, what she and her other GOP counterparts don’t realize is that Iowa labor is the biggest treasure in our community. When you take away the rights of Iowa workers, you are committing a sin … … kind of like what Harper Lee would say,” killing a mockingbird”. You will forever be attached to this legislation and you will never be able to hide from it.

Now, for the good news. Fortunately, we have a judicial branch in government, and I fully support AFSCME local 61 President Danny Homan’s efforts to file a lawsuit in trying to rid Iowa of this truly evil and truly garbage legislation of the gutting of Chapter 20.


But even more so, in estimation, Democrats, Republicans, and Independents alike are not going to ever forgot what happened in this legislative session. We are saying it now and we will be saying it in 2018, Enough is Enough.

The Iowa GOP declared war on working families in Iowa. We will stand united against you in the 2018 election on the campaign trail and at the ballot box.

We the people of Iowa will rise above this because that is what Iowans do. We have seen in it recently in the Great Floods of our time and we will do it again together in the 2018 election. Never underestimate the scorn of Iowa Labor. You started this War and we will defend ourselves. I forever stand with all of the working families of Iowa in the public and private sector. Enough is enough Iowa GOP.

• Adam Harmer, of Cedar Rapids, is a 2011 graduate of Coe College and a physical education teacher in Corridor schools. He is a registered Democrat and a member of the Iowa State Education Association.



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