Siouxland’s League of Women Voters, Sioux City

19 Apr

The Sioux City League of Women Voters is a group of people dedicated to getting people involved in the political process of their community, and to keeping the area residents informed about what is occurring, especially what is happening in Iowa’s state legislature. The group hosted a town forum toward the end of March where three local State Legislators attended to give people an overview of what was happening in the Legislature and to get feedback and answer residents’s questions. The three attending legislators included House Representative Dave Dawson, Representative Chris Hall, and Representative Chuck Soderberg.There were some contentious moments as those attending hammered Rep. Soderberg with questions, but it mostly was a respectful event with questions asked and answers given, or the promise of finding the answer and getting back to that person. Rep. Soderberg had another engagement and I was not able to speak with him after the event, but did chat briefly with Reps. Dawson and Hall.

Those individuals I spoke with attending the town hall meeting had high praise both for the forum and chance to talk and listen to their legislators and for the legislators themselves. Even with disagreements about some policy issues and view points, these individuals believe the local Iowa state house representatives are bright and responsive to their constituents. The history of the League of Women Voters begins with an Iowan as stated on the organization’s website: “Carrie Chapman Catt, long-standing leader of the women’s suffrage movement and 1880 graduate of the present Iowa State University, brought the League of Women Voters to life in 1919. Her purpose was to harness the political energy of millions of women who were working diligently for the right to vote. Mrs. Catt envisioned an organization dedicated to informed citizen participation in government and to advocacy for progressive legislation on carefully studied issues.” The organization states its mission as a….” nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.” The local organization’s co-president Pat Hammerstom said there would be future town hall meetings to help keep local residents informed about what is going on with their state government in Des Moines, Iowa.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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