Iowa Ideas 2023

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The foundation that got us to current state and big picture strategy.

    Importance of Media Literacy

    Advances with the Internet, disinformation campaigns, one-sided political conversations, advances in deep fakes is making media literacy a crucial skill. But changes in the media landscape have brough major changes since people learned about its importance as children. This session will focus on the importance of media literacy for all citizens, as well as how you can improve yours.

    October 12, 2023 at 10:10AM

    • Michelle Ciulla


    Public Land

    Iowa ranks 49th in terms of the amount of public land the state has. We’ll dive into the discussion about how much public land should the state should have and why it matters. While conservation groups say it could increase wildlife and opportunities for public enjoyment, others say those acquisitions could take valuable land out of production.

    October 12, 2023 at 11:15AM


    Intersection: Creative Ways to address food scarcity

    Creative ways to address food scarcity. The number of people seeking help from foodbanks has continued to increase. While there have been grants for facilities, can Iowa do more to help their peers experiencing food scarcity. We’ll look at what’s being done in Iowa as well as whether there are additional programs that could be implemented or expanded that have worked other places.

    October 12, 2023 at 1:20PM

    • Linda Gorko


    Navigating Iowa's Culture Wars

    Just like many other states, Iowa has been thrust in cultural fights about gender, books, the extent of which parents or educators should drive decision-making in schools and more. What impact is this having on policy-making bodies, and how can the public at large navigate these divisive fights. We’ll explore how issue-framing and other strategies can reduce the intensity of these fights.

    October 12, 2023 at 2:25PM


    School Safety

    The frequency of shootings in and near schools has increased, while the response to the shootings have come under greater scrutiny since Uvalde, Texas. Iowa invested in safety studies, but are those adequate to address concerns? Some school districts have allowed faculty to carry guns in schools.

    October 13, 2023 at 8:30AM


    The Cost of Living Crisis in Iowa

    Sharp increases in services and basic staples has added pressure to Iowa’s lower and middle class families. Are Iowans keeping up with rising prices for every day items such as food, housing and health care? We’ll look at pressure points and what can be done to address these concerns.

    October 13, 2023 at 9:40AM

    • Alejandro Pino

    • Michelle Book


    Intersection: Implementation of School Choice in Iowa

    The number of families applying for state-funded ESA accounts exceeded preliminary estimates. What does this mean, and what will happen as the state continues to implement school choice.

    October 13, 2023 at 10:45AM


    Intersection: Implementation of School Choice in Iowa

    The number of families applying for state-funded ESA accounts exceeded preliminary estimates. What does this mean, and what will happen as the state continues to implement school choice.

    October 13, 2023 at 10:45AM

Policy Articles

  • There were swift and loud demands for change to laws and practices across Iowa in the wake of George Floyd's death. How much progress has been made and what will it take to accomplish even more lasting change? Panelists include: Stacey Walker, Linn County Supervisor; Bruce Teague, Mayor, City of Iowa City; Betty Andrews, President of Iowa-Nebras...
  • The COVID-19 pandemic created instantaneous disruption and market changes for food producers and suppliers. From massive plant shutdowns, to major market disruption, the food industry changed quickly. What can be done to make the food system -- which Iowa has a major role in -- into more of a responsive system able to support individual consumer...
  • Presentation of Iowa's COVID-19 data has undergone several changes since the COVID-19 pandemic began in Iowa in March. What happens when these changes and corrections challenge public confidence in the data? Panelists include: Sara Willette, Iowa COVID-19 Tracker; Dana Jones, Nurse Practitioner, University of Iowa; Dr. Kelly Baker, Assistant Pro...
  • While significant transgender rights were secured in a court battle, the challenges against LGBTQ rights continue in Iowa in the most recent legislative session when more than a dozen bills seeking to undermine LGBTQ rights were introduced, with bills seeking to require schools to seek parent authorization to present materials on gender and sexu...
  • Whether it's felon voting rights, disproportionate incarceration of persons of color, comprehensive criminal justice reform has been a challenge for local and state leaders in Iowa. What needs to be done to make serious progress on criminal justice reform in Iowa? Panelists include: Dr. Beth Skinner, Director of Iowa Department of Corrections, D...
  • Newsrooms in Iowa and across the country face unprecedented challenges as business models meet global pandemics, social unrest and a large political chasm. A group of Iowa media leaders will discuss what this means for Iowans, public access to information and more. Panelists include: Adam Carros, News Director for KCRG-TV9, Carol Hunter, Executi...
  • Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds joins The Gazette Executive Editor Zack Kucharski to discuss the state's ongoing COVID-19 response, the state's economy, racial justice and other topics. This Q&amp;A was part of the 2020 Iowa Ideas Conference presented by ITC and held Oct. 15-16, 2020. This session originally occurred at 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 15, 2020. ...
  • CEDAR RAPIDS - Technology has made it so the plight of Black Americans no longer can be ignored. 'It is certainly a time where the cellphone is really one of the greatest civil rights tools there is,” said Betty Andrews, president of the Iowa-Nebraska chapters of the NAACP. 'The fact that we now - through video - can put some footage in front of...
  • CEDAR RAPIDS — Awareness of racial disparities and inequities in Iowa's criminal justice system is growing but change is slow in coming in a state that is 'Iowa nice' but has data that says otherwise, according to panelists who drilled into the issue Thursday during The Gazette's Iowa Ideas conference. Beth Skinner, director of the state Departm...
  • The push to release inmates to protect both free and incarcerated populations from COVID-19 raises questions about who we send to jail and why. Since the 1970s, the rate of incarceration in the United States has increased fourfold, according to the Vera Institute, an independent not-for-profit national research and policy organization in the Uni...

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