It’s been an honor…
One night in October, 2016, a friend and I were chatting over Messenger about the lack of platform it seemed Iowa Progressive had. We batted around some ideas and collaborated and at some point they mentioned creating our own news site. I tend to be one to dive headfirst into an idea if it strikes me. So in the middle of our discussion of what such a site would look like and I interrupted the conversation with “Done”, to which they responded “What?”. With that little grain of late night collaboration Progressive Voices of Iowa was born.
While I technically owned the site and properties I made every attempt to decentralize and democratize the site. This was a resource to serve the progressive community and amplify voices that were often left out of the mainstream narrative. There were times PVI was the only site to call out corruption and abhorrent behavior of members of the Democratic Party. Sometimes it garnered little attention and other times it was used as a source for the 10 o’clock news. A very personal story that told of the suffering caused by the Republican Party’s attack of the already horrible mental health system in Iowa touched thousands and, to this day, continues to be the most read article in PVI’s 4 year history. The lamentations of a prominent progressive leader as she resigned her seat on the State Central Committee due to exhaustion of her rebuffed attempts to help evolve the party became the first article on PVI to reach readership in all 50 states. PVI has had its ups and downs. It has had its times of activities and lulls. But it has been here serving the Progressive community for 4 years and that is something to be proud of.
But now I have been given the opportunity to serve progressives in another way. On Saturday, July 11th, I was elected Chair of the Iowa Democratic Party Progressive Caucus. This places me into a precarious position as the owner of an online progressive news site. After speaking with some friends and a lot of thought, I have come to determine that for me to own an online progressive news site while being a member of Democratic leadership would be unethical. This site is here to help keep people like me in check and it cannot do that effectively with me at the helm in any regard. So within the next 24 hours, I will be transferring ownership and properties of Progressive Voices of Iowa to a long time contributor and activist that has been a part of the PVI family since it was created, Jason Frerichs. While I still will be a contributor to the site every once and a while I shall have no controlling interest or decision making powers.
It has been an honor to be on this journey with PVI. I thank each and every one of you for helping PVI grow and change for the better and for continuing the fight for a future we can all believe in. I am proud to have been apart of all of this and I know that with Jason at the head this little progressive rag will be in good hands. I look forward to continuing to serve the progressive community to the best of my ability as Chair of the Progressive Caucus and I do hope that you will all join us as we continue the struggle for justice in Iowa and everywhere else.
Chair, Iowa Democratic Party Progressive Caucus
Former owner and editor-in-chief of Progressive Voices of Iowa