Ed. Note. Sen. Clinton ended up calling in.

PRESS RELEASES from Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement

FOR PLANNING PURPOSES: Thursday, November 7, 2007
CONTACTS: Germonique Jones (CCC), Hugh Espey (Iowa CCI)

Democratic Presidential Candidates Challenged by Everyday People at Heartland Presidential Candidate Forum

Media Wishing to Cover Must Apply for Credentials Beginning November 13

WHAT:  The historic Heartland Presidential Forum in Des Moines, Iowa on December 1, 2007 at HyVee Hall will feature Democratic presidential candidates Senator John Edwards, Senator Hillary Clinton, Senator Barack Obama, Senator Chris Dodd and Congressman Dennis Kucinich.  This forum will be the final significant gathering of Iowans and Heartland residents, with nearly 5,000 people expected to attend, as candidates answer questions from everyday people.

Co-sponsored by the Center for Community Change and Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, the Heartland Presidential Forum will kick off with a rally and march prior to the main event.

Mayor Cownie of Des Moines will welcome the crowd and community leaders from across the country will start the program, before the candidates take to the stage for a moderated dialogue with everyday people. Radio One founder and Chairwoman, Cathy Hughes will introduce the candidates and moderate the interaction between candidates and real people.

Unlike most presidential forums to date, candidates will not share the stage with any other candidate. Each candidate will receive one framing question around the idea of Community Values and then will be asked to respond to 2-3 questions from families directly affected by housing, agriculture, immigration, low wage work, healthcare and clean election.

The Heartland Presidential Forum is an important part of the Campaign for Community Values, a multi-issue and multi-year effort to challenge the dominant “on your own mentality” of the right and to promote Community Values.  The Campaign for Community Values is a collective effort by more than 100 community-based organizations from all over the country to have an impact on public opinion and the 2008 elections.


Saturday, December 1, 2007

                        Heartland Presidential Forum: Community Values in Action

                        12:00 pm           Rally at Nollen Plaza, 3rd and Locust Streets, Des Moines, IA

                        12:30-100pm     March to HyVee Hall from Nollen Plaza

                        1:30 pm Heartland Presidential Forum, HyVee Hall, 730 3rd Street

HOW: CREDENTIAL PROCESS: Due to the large number media expected, media wishing to attend the Heartland Presidential Forum must complete an online credential application through www.iowaheartlandforum.org.  The media credential page will go live at 9 am EST on November 13, 2007. Deadline for submitting an application is November 27, 2007 at 5pm EST.


For Immediate Release: Wednesday, October 17 2007
Contact: Germonique Jones (CCC), orHugh Espey (Iowa CCI)

Cathy Hughes, Media Pioneer and Community Activist, to Moderate Iowa Presidential Candidate Forum

(WASHINGTON, DC)   Nationally known media leader and Radio One founder Catherine L. Hughes will moderate the Heartland Presidential Forum: Community Values in Action in Des Moines, Iowa on December 1, 2007 at 1:30 pm.  Organizers expect 5,000 people to attend what is likely to be the final major candidate forum in Iowa before the first primary vote is cast. Candidates from both major parties will engage in a unique one-on-one dialogue with everyday people about the community values that are important to them and the kind of America they want to live in.

“We are honored to have a real champion of the community and a highly respected journalist to moderate this historic event,” said Deepak Bhargava, executive director of the Center for Community Change. “Cathy is from the Heartland herself, and she brings passion to everything she does.  Her natural interview style will spark the authentic conversation this forum hopes to generate.”

A leader in both the business and African American communities, Hughes will take on a new role as she moderates an unscripted conversation between the presidential candidates and regular working people about critical social issues that affect us all.  No candidate will interact with another candidate on stage; instead, they will respond directly to individual people who share their stories and question the candidates about how they will stand up for the common good.

A native of Omaha, Nebraska, Cathy Hughes is the Founder and Chairwoman of Radio One, Inc., the largest African American owned and operated broadcast company in the nation.  Radio One is the first African American company in radio history to dominate several major markets simultaneously, and possesses the first woman-owned radio station to rank #1 in any major market.  Hughes made history again by becoming the first African American woman with a company on the stock exchange. Radio One, Inc., has an interest in TV One, which launched in 2004 in partnership with Comcast and is in over 40 million homes.

“I’ve always believed in the importance of engaging in the political process.  The viewers and listeners of Radio One and TV One are often challenged to find a platform in which candidates get real about issues important to voters,” said Ms. Hughes. “I am pleased to come home to the Heartland and work with local and national community groups to put on this truly remarkable forum that will allow candidates to speak candidly with everyday people. The importance of this event is very near and dear to my heart.”

Radio One has been recognized for its intense community involvement. Ms. Hughes, who has been called “the voice of the black community,” is famous for her dedication to disenfranchised communities, her entrepreneurial spirit, and her mentoring of women.



For Immediate Release: Monday, October 15, 2007
Contact: Germonique Jones (CCC); Hugh Espey (Iowa CCI)

Des Moines Mayor Endorses Historic Heartland Presidential Forum

All Presidential Candidates invited to Engage in Dialogue with Everyday People on December 1

(DES MOINES, IOWA)   Mayor T. M. Franklin Cownie has expressed his commitment to everyday people getting an opportunity to engage directly with presidential candidates by supporting the Heartland Presidential Forum: Community Values in Action to take place on Saturday, December 1, 2007 at 1:30 p.m. at Hy-Vee Hall in the Iowa Events Center. Organizers expect 5,000 people to attend what is likely to be the final major forum in Iowa before the first primary vote is cast.

“We are pleased Mayor Cownie sees the importance of this event.  We look forward to the Mayor welcoming the thousands of Iowa and Heartland citizens who will converge on beautiful Des Moines on December 1,” said Hugh Espey, executive director, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, one of the forum’s organizers.

Forum goers will march from Nollen Plaza in downtown to Hy-Vee Hall as the official start to the unprecedented forum. Unlike most presidential forums to date, the Heartland Presidential Forum will provide Iowans with the opportunity to hear unscripted responses from candidates from both major parties. Candidates will engage in a unique one-on-one dialogue with everyday people about the community values that are important to them and the kind of America they want to live in.

“I am honored to roll out the welcome mat for thousands of Iowans as well as our neighbors across the Heartland for this unprecedented forum.  This event allows us to get honest answers on real issues that concern people from the heartland.  The message of community values is an obvious fit for Iowans,” said Mayor Cownie. “In Iowa, we look out for our neighbors and we resist partisan politics that tend to isolate us from societal problems and solutions that affect us all.”

The Heartland Forum is the marquee event of a major national campaign led by national nonprofit Center for Community Change and hundreds of grassroots groups across the country.  The Campaign for Community Values intends to offer a credible alternative to the individualistic mentality that has guided poor policy decision making on the national level. This forum represents an important part of history as it will provide the candidates with the opportunity to address issues based on community values that binds all communities together.

Thousands of voters in Iowa and forum attendees are still undecided on who they will support on caucus day. As a follow up to the presidential forum, the Iowa CCI will register people to vote, collect commitments of Iowans to attend caucus day and provide training on what to do during the anticipated caucus. Mayor Cownie’s endorsement is one of several as the Iowa political establishment and religious community has embraced this event. For more information visit www.iowaheartlandforum.org


received April 23, 2007
Broad-based coalition will hold Dec. 1st presidential candidate forum in Des Moines

Des Moines, IA. – A coalition of over two dozen community organizations will sponsor a national presidential candidate forum in Des Moines Saturday, December 1st at Hy-Vee Hall beginning at 12 noon.  Called “The Heartland Candidate Forum – A Conversation with Real People on Real Issues”, the non-partisan event will feature candidates from both major political parties and focus on health care, jobs, immigration, farming and the environment, housing, and campaign finance reform.  Over 2,500 people are expected to attend.  Groups co-sponsoring the event include Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, Center for Community Change, Iowa Conference of the United Methodist Church, Working Families Win, Gamaliel Foundation, National Training & Information Center, Progressive Coalition of Central Iowa, and others.