The LWV's first "Legislative Wake-up" event of 2017 was held January 14. The event was co-hosted by the Ames chapter of AMP, or "Achieving Maximum Potential," a youth-driven group of Iowa foster and adoptive children who learn, among other things, to advocate for their cause. George Belitsos, the day's moderator, commented that he was "really impressed with the courage" of the youth in asking four questions of their legislators.

The purpose of the Wake-ups is to provide voters a chance to keep tabs on developments in the Capitol and to express their concerns and priorities directly to their elected officials. There are five Legislative Wake-ups scheduled for the 2017 session: two in Ames, two in Nevada, and one in Gilbert. The next Wake-up is this coming Saturday, Jan. 28, 8:4 a.m. in Nevada City Council Chambers.

Unfortunately, Senator Herman Quirmbach (D-23) and Representative Beth Wessel-Kroeschell (D-45) were the only legislators in attendance to answer questions. It is hoped that the public will get an opportunity to address representatives of the party in power--Senators Bill Dix (R-25) and Jerry Behn (R-24) and Representatives Dave Deyoe (R-49) of Nevada and Rep. Rob Bacon (R-48)--when the Wake-ups move to the surrounding communities.  

Nonetheless, public attendance at the event was strong, indicating people's strong desire to be involved in this Legislative session. Reporter Austin Harrington gave the event good coverage in the Ames Tribune.

The schedule for further wake-ups is as follows. Credit goes to Donna Elliot for coordinating these events, as well as other dedicated LWV board members who have been pitching in:

  • January 28  Nevada 
  • February 11  Gilbert
  • March 25  Nevada
  • April 8  Ames

Some selected audio from the event.

Rep. Beth Wessell-Kroeschell's opening remarks:

Senator Herman Quirmbach's opening remarks:

Beth and Herman respond to a question about mental health care: