The Iowa Chapter political program:
- Helps elect pro-environmental candidates to elected office
- Endorses pro-environmental candidates and educates the public about these candidates’ environmental positions and voting records
- Mobilizes our members and supporters to participate in and volunteer for endorsed campaigns
- Develops caucus resolutions supporting the Chapter environmental work.
The Iowa Chapter has members and supporters in every Iowa House and Senate district.
Things you can do to help
Talk to your friends, neighbors, and relatives about the candidates and the issues
Write letters to the editor, post on social media
Educate the candidates, write to them about issues
Volunteer for candidates to help them get elected to office
One of the features of Iowa's caucuses is the opportunity to introduce resolutions for the party platform. The Iowa Chapter developed caucus resolutions for 2024.
Endorsements in the 2022 election
Legislative Scorecards - Members of Iowa Senate and House
The Iowa Chapter tracks a number of pieces of legislation each session and lobbies on the bills. Some of those bills have been selected for the Legislative Scorecard. Members of the Iowa House and Senate are shown on the scorecard, along with their votes, and a calculated percentage of how frequently the member supports the Sierra Club position.
Ranking of the US House and Senate office holders
Candidate to Elected Official Information
The Chapter has collected information on how to advance environmental issues, how to acquaint candidates on environmental issues how to communicate with legislators once they are elected and other information we hope our members will find informative. From Candidate to Official information sheet
Discussing Environmental Issues With Candidates
In order to advance environmental issues in Iowa, the candidates for public office need to become aware that environmental issues are important. Here are two tips for ensuring that candidates know that environmental issues are important.
When a candidate is shaking hands, give a short summary of your issue and tell the candidate that you would like to see him or her support the issue. As an example, you could say to the candidate, “I hope you will work to expand the Bottle Deposit Law to include water bottles and fruit juices.”
Ask the candidate how he or she feels about the issue when they appear at public meetings and campaign events. An example, you could ask, “Will you support a ban or moratorium on the construction of new CAFOs or expansion of existing CAFOs?”
Below are some issues you can discuss with the candidates running for a seat in the Iowa House of Representatives, for the Iowa Senate, or for governor. If you are going to a campaign event, pick a question and hand out others to your family or friends.
- Iowa voters gave overwhelming support to a constitutional amendment that would allow increased investment in Iowa’s parks, recreation and clean water. All that is left is for the legislature to approve the three-eight cent sales tax. Would you support the sales tax, with no changes in funding formulas and with all new money as the voters approved it?
- Do you support increasing the budget for items that improve public education, public health, parks and recreation, and water quality?
- Would you support a moratorium on the construction of new CAFOs or expansion of existing CAFOs? (Note, CAFOs are confined animal feeding operations, where animals are raised in buildings.)
- Iowa has a nutrient reduction strategy, but has no set targets for the nutrients in each river and stream. Would you support setting targets for nutrients in Iowa’s rivers and streams and setting a date for meeting the targets?
- Would you work on continuing the bottle deposit law and expanding it to include water bottles, iced tea, sports drinks and juice bottles?
- What would you do to increase voter access to the polls?
- In 2018, the Iowa legislature rolled back utility energy efficiency programs by reducing the amount the utilities could spend on the program. Would you overturn that law, and re-instate the state’s energy efficiency programs?
Photo above is of the Iowa Senate chamber, by Kacey Carpenter
Get to know your candidates for board of supervisors
Supervisors make decisions that can have a huge impact on the environment. Get to know the candidates and ask them some environmental questions. For a list of questions to ask supervisor candidates
Run For Office
Run for office yourself and talk about the environment during your campaign. Before you throw your hat in the ring, become familiar with the environmental issues. Also become familiar with the job by attending the sessions held by the current office holders (council meetings, legislative deliberations, legislative committee meetings). You may consider serving on local boards and commissions first. Another good way to get started is to run for lower-level offices first, such as city council or Soil and Water Commissioner.
Get to know your candidates for city council and mayor
Mayors and city council members can have a huge impact on the environment. Get to know the candidates and ask them some environmental questions. For a list of questions to ask mayor and council candidates
Get to know your candidates for school board
A school board member can make decisions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce exposure to toxics, and support locally grown foods. Get to know the candidates running for your school board. Ask them some environmental questions. For a list of questions to ask school board candidates