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It has been a weird summer so far. The pandemic has rearranged about every normal summer activity and event. Social distancing continues to be necessary. Things are not looking good, with the increasing number of cases here in Iowa.
I wish Governor Reynolds were much more aggressive in her actions and messaging about face coverings and general precautions. Or let local leaders direct the response. Unfortunately, we are stuck with her lack of leadership in managing this continuing disaster.
The November election cannot arrive soon enough! Please consider voting by mail this year. There are details below on how to do so.
Stay safe!


Prepare to vote safely this fall 

The COVID-19 pandemic is not over.
These numbers are a warning sign that the pandemic is getting worse – not better – in Iowa:
  • Record high daily total of 769 new confirmed COVID-19 cases over the weekend
  • More than 35,000 confirmed cases statewide
  • More than 750 confirmed Iowa deaths from COVID-19
I am following the advice of public health experts: staying home as much as possible, washing my hands frequently, keeping space between myself and others, and wearing a mask when I’m out in public.
I am also planning to vote by mail in advance of the November 3 general election.
Iowa had what may be the most successful primary election in state history in June.
Our Secretary of State and county auditors heeded lessons learned from other states and took unprecedented steps to keep our primary safe for voters, election workers and our population as a whole. In the process, they boosted civic engagement and voter turnout. Kudos to these leaders for their ingenuity and commitment to public service.
We can continue what they started this fall. Let’s all plan ahead for our health, safety and civic duty. Request your vote-by-mail ballot today for the November 3 election, and encourage others to do the same.

4 steps to vote by mail


Creating opportunities from our pandemic experience

A new Economic Recovery Advisory Board made up of Iowa health care, community, education and business leaders aims to learn from the lessons of the pandemic to modernize our economy, education, health care, workforce and quality of life. Recommendations are expected by October 6.

All Economic Recovery Advisory Board meetings and information are open to the public. The next board meeting will be July 24. You can review documents from previous meetings at
In addition, Iowans are invited to submit their ideas to strengthen the state’s economy. Your viable suggestions can help build a thriving future.
As part of the board’s mission, a Public Health and Healthcare Workgroup is assessing our pandemic preparedness and response, how we can measure recovery, and ways to improve our health and health care.
To build on experience and develop recommendations for the future, the workgroup will hold listening sessions and solicit feedback from county public health authorities, health care providers and other stakeholders. You can follow the workgroup by joining in these upcoming virtual meetings:
Date Time Topic Link
Jul 16 9-11 am Pandemic Prep & Response  Join
Jul 23 9-11 am Supporting Needs of Iowans Join
Jul 30 9-11 am Access to Care: Rural/Urban  Join
Jul 30 2-4 pm Workforce Join
Aug 6 9-11 am Access to Care: Partnerships Join 



Housing assistance

Iowans in need of housing assistance can see what help is available through the Iowa Finance Authority’s Foreclosure and Recovery Information. The site includes information on the new Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Program, as well as a new Housing Recovery Help Line dedicated to the program at 855-300-5885.

THIS WEEK: Pandemic food assistance for low-income kids rolls out

The federal Families First Coronavirus Act allows states to issue food assistance benefits to households with PreK-12 children who lost access to Free and Reduced Price School Meals due to pandemic-related school closures.
There are two ways eligible children will receive their food assistance benefits. If their household received food assistance benefits anytime in April, May or June, their benefits will be put on the household’s EBT card on July 15. All others will receive P-EBT cards in the mail between July 14 and June 21.
Cards will arrive in white envelopes addressed with the child’s name from a return address in Austin, Texas. The cards inside will be white, with black font, with IOWA P-EBT printed at the top, and will bear the name of the eligible child. Families will need to follow the included instructions to activate the card.
Iowa Department of Human Services is prepared to answer questions about how to use or access pandemic food assistance benefits. Information in English and Spanish, including eligibility information, and images of the card and envelope, is available on the DHS website. The site also includes frequently asked questions and answers to ensure Iowans get the most out of their benefits.

Food assistance for hungry Iowans

Know someone who at risk of going hungry due to COVID-19? The Feeding Iowa Task Force has compiled food resources and is working to add more to meet Iowans’ needs. See available food and nutrition assistance for Iowans of all ages at

Get reliable information on coronavirus


The COVID-19 pandemic is not over. We’ve learned a lot in recent months, but plenty of misinformation still spreads. Continue to arm yourself with the best-available information from trusted sources, such as:  

Latino Hall of Fame accepting nominations 

Through July 30, the Iowa Commission of Latino Affairs is accepting nominations for the Iowa Latino Hall of Fame. Learn more and nominate a deserving Iowan at


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