Fairfield First Report: Poverty in Iowa

Fairfield Iowa – Fairfield sent a team of four to attend the Northwest Area Foundation’s annual conference in Bloomington, Minnesota on May 28-30. They were joined by State Senator Becky Schmitz, former Governor Tom Vilsack,former Lt. Governor Sally Pedersen and 500 others to look at some of the best models and strategies for poverty reduction and community revitalization.  


Fairfield was one of the six Great Strides’ finalist in 2008.  This is an annual award given by the Northwest Area Foundation for poverty reduction. The Fairfield Entrepreneurs Association received the prize of $25,000.


• Jo Ann Crouch took away good ideas to support youth entrepreneurship in Jefferson County.


• MUM Student and Pathfinders RC&D Summer Intern Elisabet Humble wants to help develop community gardens and strengthen support systems for single mothers.


• KRUU-FM Vista Volunteer Tom Knight wants to support Fairfield Farmers Market outreach and access for people in need. He also advocates bike lanes and trails as a transportation alternative – not just for recreation. 


 • State Senator Becky Schmitz wants greater controls over predatory lending practices of payday loan vendors and more support for children in poverty.


• Former Governor Vilsack is helping organize a state-wide association of non-profit organizations. 9% of Iowa’s workforce work in the non-profit sector.


• Me? I am going to help organize a Jefferson County Poverty Summit in June and organize a Boot Camp for Non-Profits in September. I am also going to invite NWAF Great Strides Award communities to participate in the National Entrepreneurial Gathering in Fairfield in October.


First Lady Mari Culver is hosting the “First Lady’s Conference on Solutions to Poverty,” on June 19th, in Des Moines. The keynote speaker is former U.S. Senator and presidential candidate, John Edwards.


Online registration: www.iowaworkforce.org/povertyconference