Archive for  April 12th 2018

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DES MOINES, Iowa — Protesters gathered for a rally at the Capitol Wednesday Night, opposing the new law, saying it will break a trust that’s been created between the immigrant community and local law enforcement.

“Our local law enforcement, throughout the years, have created a relationship with the community in and of itself, especially even the hispanic community, a relationship of security and safety,” said Jessica Hernandez, with Dream Iowa Coalition. “And, now with them, local law enforcement working with higher federal officials, that relationship in itself is getting tainted with that collaboration and that working together.”

Hernandez was one of many protesters who rallied to show solidarity with the immigrant community, especially youth and young adults who are DACA recipients, but also on behalf of all immigrants who are afraid and have anxiety about the Governor signing SF 481 into law.

“It makes Iowa a really dangerous place for everyone, not just immigrants,” said Madeline Cano, a Community Organizer with Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement. “It forces our police to have to pick a side and to choose who they actually serve and we think immigration is the job of the federal government. It’s not the job of local government to decide that.”

Also on hand for the rally was State Senator Rob Hogg, a Democrat from Cedar Rapids

“The legislation that the Republican Legislature passed and Governor Reynolds signed does not reflect Iowa,” said Senator Hogg. “Iowa`s a very welcoming state and unfortunately that legislation was motivated by prejudice.”

But the Republicans who passed the legislation say Senate File 481 simply enforces the rule of law by ensuring cooperation between local, state, and federal authorities.

“The majority of immigrants that are here illegally just came here for a better life, and those are not who we`re talking about here,” said State Representative Steven Holt, a Republican from Denison. Holt made his comments last week, when the bill was debated and voted upon. “We`re talking about individuals who have committed additional crimes and traditional cooperation with law enforcement, because there are individuals here illegally, with violent criminal pasts that are disobeying other laws and placing citizens and their fellow immigrants at risk through dangerous disregard for the law.”

When asked for comment, the Governor’s Office provided the following statement:

“Governor Reynolds is strongly opposed to any city or community in Iowa becoming a sanctuary city for illegal immigrants who have chosen to commit a crime. This law will simply require our local jurisdictions to work with immigration officials when dealing with illegal immigrants who have knowingly broken the law.”


JOHNSTON, Iowa — It is a problem finance professionals, like Serve Credit Union Marketing Manager Mike Farley, are running into a lot with members. “Paying yourself first, how to save, what does it mean when you take out a loan and things like that,” he said.

Iowa is one thirty-three states that still does not require high school students to take a financial literacy class to graduate. It is leaving many without a clue about handling their money until it may be too late.  Farley said, “We are not just talking to people in their twenties or thirties, we are talking to people in their forties and fifties still learning some of those tools.”

The Johnston Community School District recognized the problem a decade ago by offering financial literacy classes but made the class a requirement for all Juniors starting with the 17/18 school year and beyond.  Johnston High School business teacher Kayla Bousum said, “Financial literacy is probably the most important thing we can teach kids. It doesn’t matter if you become a doctor or you work minimum wage, you need to know how to manage your money and this class can teach them that.”

Next Gen Finance Group says 1 in 6 american students graduate with a financial literacy course.  Here in Johnston all students will be required to take the class.  It is a trend they hope the rest of the state follows suit with.  Bousum said, “I think states should be embarrassed if they are not making it a requirement because they are doing a disservice to their graduates.”

For senior Jennah Johnson, who will be heading off to Winona State University in Minnesota, she believes the class is vital.  “A lot people don’t feel prepared going into college and they run into all these things as life goes on like I don’t know how to open a credit card account. What are the rates and my options? So this class really helps,” she said.

Teaching the class, Bousum sees the benefits.  “A kid comes in and says can we meet after school? I have $700 that I got for my birthday and I want to invest it and I want your help in starting a Roth IRA.”

Real life answers for real life problems.  Johnson said, “Think of your future and look at your parents and what they have to do and all the bills they have to pay because that is going to be you someday, so paying attention now will benefit you later.”

Iowa could soon become the thirty-fourth state to make financial literacy a requirement for graduation.  A bill has recently passed through legislation and will soon be sent to Governor Kim Reynolds.