Policy should be for
Those in charge have continuously chosen their own special interests and relationships over the welfare and wellbeing of the residents of Des Moines.
It's time for a change in leadership.
Accessibility in the city
reliable public transit.
Creating proper and reliable public transit is the backbone of having an accessible city. Des Moines is extremely reliant on cars to get to and from most places. With this rising prices in America, more folks are going to be looking to public transit. Connecting our neighborhoods with safe, reliable transportation will help ensure accessibility and improve pedestrian infrastructure.
- Addressing Houselessness
Iowa weather can be extremely violent in the Winter, and with climate change rapidly affecting our weather patterns, it will only continue to get more chaotic. The current initiative to help our most vulnerable residents, our houseless neighbors, who are constantly exposed to the elements, is inadequate and dangerous.
Even with the free rides from DART to heating + cooling centers, the unreliability of the current centers, which often aren't open during Winter storms, has proved to be deadly for those stuck in the elements. The city owns many public buildings, such as libraries and golf courses, and has connections with many corporations. We should be using these resources as 24 / 7 warming and cooling centers. We must not have another death due to the city's inadequacy.
Our goal should be non-judgmental, accessible houseless centers. Many of our houseless neighbors refuse to go to current houseless centers due to judgment and improper care. We must create real places of care and growth. Our goal should be to raise these individuals instead of pushing them back to the streets.
- Des Moines: A Safe Haven for all
We should be prioritizing abortion access at a local level. Supporting local Planned Parenthoods and creating more access to proper healthcare, including mental heath, would go a long way in protecting the sovereignty of One's own body.
We need food for all. Creating and expanding local gardens and farms would be a great start to addressing the food deserts in our communities and would create greener jobs for the future.
Iowa is currently facing a huge cut to public school funding across the state. We must support and help our local public schools here in Des Moines and make sure all our youth have equal opportunity.
- Creating Green Jobs
As a city, we need to rely less on coal by creating incentives to build more solar panels, winterizing homes, and helping our neighbors lower their energy bills. As a community, we can work together to become more resistant to the ever changing weather and work toward a city wide ban on utility shut offs.
If we focus on remitrating land and planting more native plants we can clean our soil in a natural way and help combat climate change. This includes supporting and creating community gardens.
Additionally, we need to focus on investing into pre-apprentice programs to rapidly expand a green building trades work force to ensure a greener future for Des Moines.
- Holding Energy Giants Accountable
Many of our current local council members voted in favor of re-signing a franchise agreement with the energy monopoly, Mid-American. This franchise agreement will continue until 2035. Mid-American continues to take advantage of families all across our city. We must hold them accountable to families and folks trying to make ends meet.
Tackling Climate Change Locally
Incentives to build solar panels
Reimagining Community Safety
Refund community structures that have been defunded for years
- Refunding Our Communities
It has become clearer than ever that our neighbors and communities deserve care, safety, and justice. Many issues in our city can be resolved if we look deeply and sincerely at the Des Moines city budget, which is currently just under 800 million. When looking at past budgets, a very noticeable trend appears: our important community structures are being defunded. Mental health, housing, proper transit, and many more issues are being put on the back burner as our city continues to add more funding to the Des Moines Police Department. This department makes up almost 40% of the city's budget.
Our residents should have more input regarding the Des Moines general budget. That means our meetings need to be accessible to everyone and it means prioritizing transparency in the city's funding. We need to repair the city's relationship with the people by meeting folks where they are.
The city's primary focus should be refunding community services that have been continuously defunded over the years. This means relocating funds from the bloated Des Moines Police department into social structures our community desperately needs such as, mental health response, public schools, rental assistance, transit, housing and so many more issues. Rather than relying on the police to respond to violence, we must create space for preventative measures.
- Decriminalize Marijuana
Time and again it has been proven that decriminalization of marijuana is the winning idea. Possession of Marijuana should be the lowest enforcement priority of the current policing system. We must create pathways for folks to receive medicinal marijuana and eventually completely leagalizing it.
The city of Des Moines put together a Marijuana Task Force to create a report of what we could do locally if Marijuana was decriminalized. It has been proven that though marijuana is equally used by all folks of color and different backgrounds, the disparity in marijuana arrests affects BIPOC folks more.
- Making Policing Public
We need to prioritize community input in regards to what safety in Des Moines really looks like. Police should be easy to see and identify. No more unmarked police cars or police officers in "civilian" clothing - especially during community events and while patrolling.
Disbanding SET (special enforcement team) needs to be a top priority. It has been proven that this special enforcement team disproportionately targets BIPOC folks. Policing in general, and this team specifically, is based in violence and is not safe for our communities.
A 3rd party investigation team would be beneficial to look into to current police force, their practices and policies, and to help ensure better accountability and transparency in the future.