DSM SURJ News & Action 1/12/2021

“What we are seeing unfold is part of a predictable and historic pattern of white backlash and violence in response to Black-led movement victories. What has unfolded this week – both the good and the bad – underscores the need for those of us who are white to be organizing within our own communities. When we join up as part of Black-led multiracial coalitions, we contribute to winning powerful progressive victories. When we neglect the work of organizing our own white supremacy festers and grows, escalates violence and undermines democracy.” -Erin Heaney, SURJ Director (1/6/21)


Thank you to special guest Sen.Claire Celsi(D-21) and all presenters and attendees who made the Effective Advocacy for Racial Justice event a success on 1/10!

Resources are shared below to empower you to stay engaged on Capitol Hill throughout this legislative session. The session just got underway yesterday, so there’s never been a better time to read up and show up!

1. Find your legislators (https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislators/find) 2. Contact your legislators

  • Senate Switchboard – 515.281.3371
  • House Switchboard – 515.281.3221
  • Attend meetings with legislators – ask questions
  • Contact via phone call or emails
  • “Letters to the Editor” and name legislators

3. Look up bills by number or keyword (https://www.legis.iowa.gov/)

  • Use this information to attend subcommittees
  • Bring a friend–or many friends

4. Track Bills and Rules (https://www.legis.iowa.gov/portal/subscriptions)

5. Get the latest State House advocacy and news updates from the below groups/sources:

In addition to the State Capitol, DSM SURJ regularly engages with the Des Moines City Council. Communicate with your councilmembers, attend City Council meetings, and consider joining DSM SURJ’s new City Council working group. Info below!

Contact: Noah Beacom
Local Legislative Education Coordinator (nmbeacom@gmail.com)


DSM SURJ is exploring the creation of a deep canvassing program. Deep canvassing is a form of community engagement, usually carried out through door knocking, that emphasizes empathetic two-way conversations about social issues. It has proven effective in decreasing prejudice and bias, as well as mobilizing voters around specific causes.

Learn more about deep canvassing, which has been done the Leadership Lab in LAPeople’s Action in the general election, and SURJ chapters across the country

Please reach out to us if you are interested in joining the program’s planning committee.


DSM SURJ is excited to welcome back Kathy Ferguson as Economic Equity Reporter!

Thank you, Kathy, for all that you do to promote economic equity in the Des Moines area–and for all that you have done for racial justice over the years.

Thank you for reading!

Please stay in touch with us and reach out at any time to dsmsurj@gmail.com

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