I was never a particularly great athlete, but have spent plenty of time in locker rooms. I attended a private boys school in my adolescence, went to summer camp, was in a fraternity and have spent 37 years in the often wildly profane culture of professional kitchens. So yes, I have from time to time heard vulgar and sexist talk of the type our current Republican nominee has attempted to write off and “just locker room banter.” Except not exactly.
Bernie Sanders set a spark that ignited a revolution. The progressive movement has not seen this level of activism and support for nearly a century. There is nothing in American politics more important right now than to see the Political Revolution Sen. Sanders awakened continue. With Sec. Clinton as president, that revolution can continue to grow. With Donald Trump in the White House, there is zero chance of success for a generation or more.
This does not mean my campaign faces no opposition, though. Each of the major issues I have campaigned on – from land use to transportation to inclusive zoning to the poor farm to maintaining a living wage to even civil governance – faces opposition to my approach from one corner or the other. Therefor I shall continue to campaign hard this fall, and let this be the formal announcement: I still need your help and support.
Consider that an abridged list of the advances brought to you by the Labor movement would include: paid vacation, overtime pay, the minimum wage, sick days, child labor laws, safety standards, health benefits, unemployment insurance, social security, the 8-hour day (which is what the Haymarket gathering was about), and the weekend.
Presuming I am fortunate enough to be elected in November, as seems fairly likely at the moment, but you never know, once in office I will not debate County business on Facebook or any social network. This might complicate things for me, but, if I have to give up on being on social networks, then so be it.
Originally published in August 2013, during my time as Executive Chef of the Shelter House Iowa City, where I was designing a micro-apprenticeship program to help interested clients get the basic skills needed for entry-level work in food service.
Since the City Council recently took up consideration of an ordinance regarding what the press has called “growing complaints about inappropriate behavior downtown” by people who are very broadly referred to as “homeless,” a number of people have been asking my opinion on the matter. This is likely because of my dual role as a downtown business owner and executive chef at Iowa City’s only homeless shelter.
Plenty of chatter about the Democratic primary for Johnson County Board of Supervisors has been focused on which candidate is allied with which other candidate(s) (or not), which elected official is supporting which candidate (or not), which candidate supports which presidential candidate, and who represents real Democratic values…or not.
Many thanks to Mary Mathis, a student at the Universit of Iowa, and daughter of the great Iowa State Senator Liz Mathis (D-34), for her excellent work producing this short video.
Included is her fellow student, Denzel Hayes, local farmer Lois Pavelka, and Ecopolis co-editor Jeff Biggers. Our deep gratitude to them as well.
Throughout the month of May, I will endeavor to ride my bike through all 12 cities, 9 towns and 22 townships of Johnson County. The #Roadmap2020 Tour will highlight all the beautiful rides and great trails of Johnson County, and along the way, I'll be knocking on doors, attending meet'n'greets and firehouse pancake breakfasts and church basement suppers and farmers markets and anything else I can find where I can listen to residents visions for what we can do in the next 4 years.
The Johnson County Land Use Plan is up for its 10-year review now through 2018, when it will be revised and renewed. If it's not done right, we'll have 10 more years of pouring concrete on farm land. This tour will bring that and many other issues facing JoCo to light, and is my chance to listen to your concerns, ideas, hopes and dreams for making our community regenerative, resilient, sustainable and inclusive.
So that's where you come in. Are you willing to host a meet'n'greet, either in your home or at a local coffee house or bar? All it takes is inviting friends to come share a drink, or wine and cheese, or coffee, or whatever you like, and discuss Johnson County's future. Come tell me what you want the Board of Supervisors to do (or not do!) for you. Reach out via our contact page (scroll down a little).
You can also join me for the rides! I'll post them all in advance on the News & Events page here on the website, as well as on the campaign Facebook page (where I'll also post event invitations). They'll be all sorts of different times of day and days of the week, short rides and long (though rarely more than 20 miles). I'd love the company. LET'S RIDE!
I have heard that in certain corners of JoCo and in various virtual places on the interwebs there are those who are putting forth the proposition that mine is a single issue candidacy. I confess to being a bit perplexed by the accusation, since, as you will notice there at the top of this website is a pull-down tab labeled "Issues." Plural, with an 's' on the end. Click it, and a list of 13 issues appears (13>1). And that's not even all the ones I talk about when campaigning.
You don't have to wait to vote for Kurt Friese for Supervisor! Early voting begins April 28th at the county Auditor's office (913 S. Dubuque St), and continues at satellite voting locations around JoCo. See below for details.
Early voting at the auditor's office will be available at the office during normal business hours, 7:45 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. (Closed Memorial Day Monday, May 30.) The office will also be open for voting on Saturday, June 4 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Many people are addressing the single greatest challenge in human history by protesting oil companies, blaming big agriculture, blaming industrial colonialism and more. All that blame is deserved and changes have to happen at those levels, But the way to effect change globally is, as the bumper sticker says, to act locally.
Ever since I stood up at the Board of Supervisors’ meeting and said "I’m a small-business owner who favors raising the minimum wage," I’ve been getting a lot of feedback — on social networks, on the street, and in my restaurant. A lot of it was very positive, but some of it was: “How can you favor increasing your costs?” “It will force you to lay people off!” “Your taxes will go up too!”