Working Families Summit

Standing Together, Fighting Back: Iowans to Gather for Working Families Summit

Larry Cohen of Our Revolution to keynote second Iowa Working Families Summit

AMES, IOWA -- Larry Cohen, former President of the Communication Workers of America and Labor Chair of Our Revolution will keynote the second Iowa Working Families Summit, which will take place on Saturday, June 10th in Ames, Iowa. The theme of this year’s summit is ‘Standing Together. Fighting Back’ and attendees will hear from everyday Iowans, learn from policy and advocacy experts, and be provided a number of opportunities to take action from the dozens of co-sponsoring organizations planning the Working Families Summit.

"The Working Families Summit is about bringing everyday Iowans together,” said Ken Sagar, President of the Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO. “Working families in our state are struggling to get by, and we need to find new ways ways to bring this country back to those that make it work."


There will be a panel discussion “From the Ground Up: Growing Iowa’s Resistance” as well as classes on the future of health care, organizing to support public education, local actions on raising minimum wages, how to run for local office, defending water quality, pregnant worker’s rights and having deep issue conversations.


The event is free. Lunch will be provided. Folk singer Iris Dement will be performing at the event.

Additional Details:

WHO: Hundreds of Iowans Attending!

WHAT: Iowa Working Families Summit

WHEN: Saturday, June 10th, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

WHERE: Scheman Bldg, 1805 Center Dr #102, Ames, IA 50011

A sold out crowd of nearly 500 attended the first-ever Iowa Working Families Summit in 2015, when former Labor Secretary Robert Reich delivered the keynote address. Organizers expect a similarly large crowd this year, and registration is required at

Working Families Summit


June 10, 2017

9:00                 Registration – first floor

                        Music – Iris Dement - auditorium

                        Mobile Museum – north entrance

10:00               Welcome – Gary Kroeger  - Logistics

10:15              Panel discussion: “From the Ground Up: Growing Iowa’s Resistance”

Moderator: Charlie Wishman, Secretary/Treasurer Iowa Federation of Labor


  • Megan Flynn, Iowa Women’s March
  • Dale Todd, father of son on Medicaid
  • Shane Peterson, West Lyons Education Association
  • Mazahir Salih, Center for Worker Justice of Eastern Iowa

Noon               Lunch - Second floor (extra seating available in rooms 204-208; 299 & 275)

12:45 – 1:55    Turning issues into action: Break-out workshops (pick one of eight)

1)   Having deep issue conversations (220)

2)   Joining the fight for affordable health care (230)

3)   Organizing your community for public education: On-line and in person (240)

4)   Planning local direct actions to raise wages (260-262)

5)   Preparing to run for local office (004)

6)   Organizing locally to defend water quality (250/252)

7)   Winning progressive legislation: Pregnant workers’ rights (150-154)

8)   Building intersectional coalitions (167-179)

2:00 – 3:10      Break-out workshops round two (Pick a second workshop to attend)

3:10 – 3:20      Break / move back to Auditorium

3:20 – 3:45      Discussion: What Next?  Fill out surveys, post cards and open discussion. Kroeger

3:45                 Keynote address: “Seizing the Moment” - Larry Cohen, Our Revolution, introduced by Kay Pence, Communications Workers of America

                        Call to action –  Sue Dinsdale, ICAN, Iowa ARA and Main Street Alliance

Can you join us again for the Iowa Working Families Summit?
Two years ago you were there in 2015, at the first Working Families Summit hosted by the Iowa Federation of Labor and progressive partners from across the state.
Now, two years later, we are excited to be part of the team again as the progressive community holds another Working Families Summit in Ames. 

I know it seems like the 2015 Iowa Working Families Summit just happened yesterday. But now in 2017, Iowans have faced numerous attacks on so many fronts, and it's been hard to keep up. Again, many of the same groups are planning another summit that will not just recap the carnage being leveled at the state and national level, but will also focus on how different groups are fighting back.

What: Iowa Working Families Summit
When: Saturday, June 10, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m
Where: Scheman Building, Iowa State University, Ames, IA

We'd also like you and your organization to be a part of this!  If your organization would like to sponsor, please let Lance Coles of the Iowa Federation of Labor know at [email protected]. 

Thanks for your participation in the past, and I hope to see you at this year's summit on Saturday, June 10th!
Click here for Directions to Scheman Building