Your Views: Good people, renewable energy and rural development | Local News

for good peopleA few weeks ago I accidentally left my purse in the shopping cart at Hy-Vee on Madison Avenue. Thanks very much to the person who turned it in to customer service. Thank goodness there are still good people in this imperfect world.

Kamp an advocate for renewable energyCouncil Bluffs Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Drew Kamp is an advocate for renewable energy efforts in Iowa. In his role with the Chamber, Kamp sees first-hand the economic impact that renewable energy has on Council Bluffs and communities around the state. Putting his community first, Kamp plays an integral role in pushing for continued renewable energy development and needed infrastructure updates in the area, ensuring the long-term success of households and businesses.

The City of Council Bluffs has embraced the implementation of renewable energy and has prioritized making it easier for residents and businesses alike to install solar panels. Council Bluffs’ own Iowa Western Community College is home to Renewable Energy Technology and Solar Installation Technician programs, fueling the clean energy workforce and keeping jobs in their own neighborhoods.

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With leaders like Kamp in our communities around Iowa, our state will further our progression with renewable energy efforts, keeping our place on the national leaderboard. Power Up Iowa thanks Council Bluffs Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Drew Kamp for his continued efforts to make his community a better place.

Rural Iowa: A place everyone can call homeAs I travel around rural Iowa, I’ve seen how USDA’s housing programs can lift entire families up and make dreams come true.

Through the years, USDA Rural Development has helped nearly 5 million families and individuals across the country achieve the dream of homeownership. From Cherokee in northwest Iowa to Burlington on the Mississippi River, our USDA staff in Iowa is working hard to extend this same opportunity for homeownership to everyone in our rural communities.

Every year in June, USDA Rural Development celebrates Homeownership Month by sharing our success stories and many resources to help people in rural communities buy, repair, build and rent homes. We know expanding opportunities for homeownership strengthens our hometowns and helps families and individuals build wealth and achieve financial stability. For example, a woman on her own recently immigrated to northern Iowa, heard about USDA home loans at work, qualified, and is now the proud owner of her first house!

Under the leadership of President Biden, Vice President Harris and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack, USDA is making sure rural and Tribal communities have equitable access to resources to become homeowners—especially in historically underserved communities that need our help now more than ever. Affordable, well-built housing is essential to the vitality of every community.

That’s why President Biden recently announced a plan to increase the affordable housing stock throughout the country, especially in rural areas.

The Biden-Harris Administration already has invested $26 billion to help nearly 150,000 people in rural and Tribal communities buy, repair and build homes through USDA Rural Development’s Single Family Housing Programs. More than 35,000 families and individuals living in socially vulnerable communities have been helped to become homeowners.

USDA offers rental assistance to qualified applicants. We recognize that homeownership is one of many housing options. Because of rising housing costs and other economic challenges, renting a home may offer flexibility for some residents. Whether you own or rent a home, you become invested in and connected to where you live.

We extend a hand to residents of rural Iowa who may need this life-changing assistance from USDA. We invite you to learn more about our housing resources by visiting our website or by calling 515-284-4664.

Theresa Greenfield, USDA Rural Development State Director in Iowa, was appointed by the Biden-Harris administration.

In favor of Mike FrankenWe are all upset. It seems our remedies and solutions take too much time because of the wrong direction of one political party. We have a (general election) coming up and have one candidate, Mike Franken, with the military stature that we need today. (Prior to the primary,) one thing that you could do to send a clear message to the Democratic party is go down to the courthouse and change your party affiliation, then vote for that military man in the primary to make sure that he can run against our “do nothing” Sen. Chuck Grassley in November. (Franken earned the Democratic nomination for the 2022 U.S. Senate election in Iowa.)

Like the Navy says, it is time to change the watch.

Do democracy over vacationsPeople are making a mistake this summer, going on vacations as usual, even grander vacations than usual. In doing so, they are paying little attention to runaway inflation, higher interest rates, credit card and college debt, the needs of their local communities for revenue and support, and a host of other factors.

This is the same mistake retired people have been making for several generations, moving out of their long-time neighborhoods to go permanent weekending in new digs to the south. They abandon their communities at the exact time their wisdom and skill are most needed there.

Better that would-be luxury vacationers and retirees stay home and dedicate time and resources to solving problems like gun violence, aimless youth, crime in general, pressing debates on local issues, and just participation in democracy in general, before it is too late.

And don’t think marriage will save you, or friends, or your church, your new job, your investments, a cruise in the sun, or your new home in sun city. Those things often turn to dust when society at large pulls them apart due to everyone’s negligence.

Doing democracy can be just as fun as a vacation folks, and is even more necessary. Give it a try this year.

Remembering Jim SealsSeals & Crofts had a very special sound. The song Diamond Girl is so beautiful. I always loved it. Rest In Peace, Jim Seals.

Hallandale Beach, Florida

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