Category Archives: Advocates

Top Ten Reasons Why I Won’t Vote for Monica Vernon for Congress


It’s no secret that I am not a fan of Monica Vernon.  I have many  reasons I will not vote for Monica Vernon.  Here are my top ten:

1.  Monica Vernon blocked me on Facebook.  When I asked her why she told me that I was “too negative” and then added that I was the only person she has blocked.   If Monica can’t handle my commentary on local matters how will she treat people when it comes to state/national issues?  Will she just ignore the people in her district when she doesn’t agree with them?   Will she block you, your parents, or other lawmakers?  Her skin is not  thick enough for the position.
2.  Monica Vernon lied to Cedar Rapids citizens when she advocated for the Local Option Sales Tax. She told the Gazette that “It’s all for housing” and the Gazette later clarified that “90% of the revenue from the sales tax–expected to generate about $18 million a year for the city for five and one-quarter years should voters approved the tax on Tuesday–will be used for the buyout, rehabilitation and relocation of flood damaged housing”  (Gazette Thursday, February 26, 2009). That did not happen.  Instead, historical homes were demolished and people had to wait for the city to get money from the state before they were paid. This while the city made grand plans for a new library, fire station, public works building, and much more.
3.  Monica Vernon does not care about working class people. The neighborhoods full of flood recovery my assworking class people were demolished. Many of the people who lived in these neighborhoods wanted to rebuild but they were told no or denied the same funding other people got because of where they were located.  Monica was on the council when all these decisions were made. She never stood up for anyone whose property rights were violated.  Monica never made any effort to save anything on the west bank. Nor did she fight for the working class people when it came to buyouts. Houses were torn down before the homeowners were compensated and they weren’t compensated with the LOST money. Furthermore, Monica told me that the Local Option Sales Tax Oversight Committee (a committee I was a member of for one year) in an email that it was set up without authority on purpose!When we set up the committee it was set up to express concerns and caution the council but with no authority.”  “That was by design.” Monica Vernon

lost deception


4.  Monica Vernon doesn’t care about the Constitution. While in office Monica supported unconstitutional ordinances that has gotten the city sued not once but twice.
5.  Monica Vernon only became a Democrat when she wanted to gain the votes of the union members. Before that she was a Republican.
6.  Monica Vernon’s commercials make her sound like a single mom who knows the struggles. She claims she worked hard from her kitchen table to build a business. She fails to mention that her husband is a successful lawyer and that she is in the banking business. http://thegazette.com/2009/12/23/central-city-bank-sold-to-local-investors/
7.  Monica Vernon does not have the courage to take on the “Tea Party gridlock” as she claims in one of her commercials. She doesn’t go to “Tea Party” meetings nor does she try to communicate with anyone that I know of in our local “Tea Party” movement. She will not represent the constitutional conservatives of District 1.
8.  Monica Vernon has done nothing for troubled young people in Cedar Rapids. Since the beginning of 2014 seven people have been murdered in Cedar Rapids. Two of the killers have only been caught because they turned their guns on themselves. Young people have no affordable healthy outlets that I know of in Cedar Rapids.  She claims in one of her commercials that “we need to stand up for what’s right, together” but she hasn’t stood up for what’s right on so many instances I can’t believe a word she says!
9.  Monica Vernon does not clearly understand the meaning of “conflict of interest”. board of adjustmentsMonica voted in favor of  her husbands position on the Board of Adjustments.  The Board of Adjustment is where one goes to get zoning changes and variances.  I question most of the decisions she has made through the years.
10. Monica Vernon supported giving millionaires tax breaks through TIFs (Tax Increment Financing) therefore competing with local business owners. She has also voted to give hundreds of properties away to these same millionaires. Go to: Get The Facts CR for more information.

Monica Vernon is bad for Cedar Rapids and she would be a disaster for Iowa. While we go through these primaries I hope that people do their homework and look into all the candidates on the ticket and chose anyone but Monica Vernon.

Click on the lit words for sources.

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Should Marijuana be Legal in Iowa?


other mj420
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City of Five Million Potholes


ImageDecades of neglect to finance Downtown District demands have made a mess of Cedar Rapids streets. The Mayor of the City that no longer smells has scheduled a made for television event.     If you go, trust your nose more than your ears.
News Conference: Mayor Corbett to address street challenges
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – February 24, 2014 – The combination of this winter’s rain and deep freezes has made conditions ripe for potholes and other pavement stress. Mayor Ron Corbett will share how the City is maintaining ongoing vigilance in addressing pothole issues, and will inform citizens of measures the Public Works Department is implementing for immediate needs. City Manager Jeff Pomeranz will share the long-term goals of the City as it implements the first year of a multi-year street repair campaign funded by the local option sales tax. Dave Elgin, Public Works Director; and Craig Hanson, Public Works Maintenance Manager, will also be available to answer specific questions on the topic.

WHEN:
Tuesday, February 25, 8:00 a.m.

WHERE:
City of Cedar Rapids City Services Center (500 15th Ave. SW)
Service Vehicle Storage Area
**Media can park on 4th Street SW and walk into the side door of the garage.


The City of Cedar Rapids, IA, Did Not Ensure a Competitive Procurement Process and Did Not Properly Execute Its CDBG Disaster Recovery-Funded Contracts


information

Lisa Kuzela

PRESS RELEASE —-

From Lisa Kuzela to Cedar Rapids to local media –

Attached is the May 6, 2013 HUD Office of Inspector General Report.

It states “The State did not monitor the City’s voluntary property acquisition program in accordance with its approved Disaster Recovery action plans. Its monitoring checklists did not include all of its procurement requirements, such as cost reasonableness and all required contract provisions.”

In other words, the City of Cedar Rapids has done whatever they wanted, and the State turned a blind eye. Could it possibly have something to do with the local relationships at the state level?

I don’t care to know why you didn’t cover this huge issue; I just want our local news media to start informing the public on what is really going on in this town.

Once the fraud and illegalities crash in on our town, our local media will be viewed as accomplices to this corruption. Many of us have told you over and over, but the media chose to ignore the facts.

Worse, our newspaper continues to take even proof of wrongdoings by our city and spin it into something positive. Case in point: the October 2012 HUD OID Report.

Rick Smith reported statements of deceit by Mayor Ron Corbett. He included Corbett as stating “there is no fraud.” The report never even eluded to such, but by including the Mayor as stating so, Smith led the public to believe everything is fine.

Office of Inspector General

Office of Inspector General

Smith further misled the public by not including something as simple and informative as the subject title of the report:

The City of Cedar Rapids, IA, Did Not Ensure a Competitive Procurement Process and Did Not Properly Execute Its CDBG Disaster Recovery-Funded Contracts.”

The question is: are you going to continue to ignore? Are you going to continue your denial and worse – chastise those of us speaking out with the truth as “naysayers?”

OR are you going to do what they taught you in journalism school and report the news?

This is only the beginning!

(This must be why Karr, Swore, Shields and Corbett bullied me at the May 14th, 2013 council meeting. They were angry at me about this Report that came out several days earlier.)

Please please consider donating to this cause. http://www.gofundme.com/disasterrecoveryreform

You can donate anonymously, if you’d prefer.

The funds pay for public information from the City and State who have increasingly set up roadblocks for me by increasing costs (by increasing the estimated amount of time it takes them to get me the information.)  I do not pay myself out of this account. But, public information is not free and funds are running low.

Please help me continue these investigations! You can pay online or drop by my home or mail to:

Disaster Recovery Reform
c/o Lisa Kuzela
341 Carter Street NW
Cedar Rapids, IA  52405

 

 


Exciting Times in Cedar Rapids Downtown District


Exciting Times in Cedar Rapids Downtown District

The_Gazette_Riots Early Sunday Morning “Brawl” Becomes Tuesday’s News

Story Created: Jun 4, 2013 at 8:43 AM CDT (Tuesday)

Story Updated: Jun 4, 2013 at 11:45 AM CDT
Police were called to The Vault, 208 Second Ave. SE, at 1:44 a.m. Sunday for a large disturbance. Sgt. Cristy Hamblin said responding officers encountered several large fights – involving more than 100 people in total – going on and one man on the ground who appeared to be injured. Police said the ongoing brawl made it difficult to get to the injured man.

http://www.kcrg.com/news/local/Downtown-Cedar-Rapids-Fight-Involved-100-People-Five-Arrested-210070451.html

“I think it sends a nice statement to our community that we want to be a vibrant and lively town. Nobody wants to live in a drab, boring town. They want to have some life in a town. And I think that complex (the Downtown District’s multimillion of taxpayer’s dollars hotel/convention complex) is helping, along with other investments that we made, create that life and vibrancy.’” CRST Special Projects Manager and Mayor of Cedar Rapids Ron Corbett.

http://thegazette.com/2013/06/02/window-to-our-city/

It was truly an exciting weekend for Cedar Rapids Downtown District. The repeatedly failed hotel taxpayer’s purchased and the if you rebuild it pray they come events center were open for business. The Downtown District located dominant local media swelled with pride. It was evident when pulp hit front porches on Sunday morning.

Unlike the huzzahs for the patched up hotel, another bit of Downtown excitement was not foretold in a press release.

Nearly 100 people were fighting in the streets early Sunday morning within blocks of the hotel and “Your 24 Hour News Source.” Yes, the news never sleeps.

All those out of town guests asleep in their pricey, nearby hotel rooms may not have known what they missed. Unless a freight train rumbling by yards away, or sirens woke them, they learned nothing from local media as they packed their bags and left town.

It is doubtful many guests hung around until nearly noon Tuesday to hear the history of Sunday’s Gettysburg on the Cedar. Unless the out of town tourists live within the Cedar Rapids media market, they will probably never what they missed.

What a shame.

You all come back now, hear.

titans


Flash Flooding in Cedar Rapids


Flash Flooding In Cedar Rapids

First Avenue Bridge

1st Avenue Bridge

Do you live in Cedar Rapids, Iowa? If so, do you live in a flood zone? Was your home impacted by the 1993 floods? How about the 2008 floods?
Yesterday, May 30, 2013 a fast moving storm caused some flash flooding in Cedar Rapids. The city is frantically working  to prevent flooding, or so they claim.

Current Flood Warning

There is currently a  flood warning in effect.  KCRG reported last night that “several homes on 1st Street NW will be impacted”. Problem with that statement is there is only one home on 1st Street NW and “the basement is still dry.” The storm and flash flooding certainly impacted drivers though!

Flood Lessons

Like the city, homeowners also learned valuable lessons from the 2008 flood. Always trust your instincts and have a plan. I will be watching the river and updating my findings.  Flash flooding and river flooding are different types of flooding. The river rising is a drawn out event and predictable but flash floods happen quickly without much notice.  Both are potentially dangerous. If flood water is already starting to come up through your basement drain you might want to consider disconnecting your furnace and moving it to higher ground. If you don’t know how to do that call for help.
I
am no expert on the city but living on 1st Street NW as rebuilt homes were demolished after the 2008 flood I have a unique perspective on how things operate around here. I do not blame the city workers for doing things backwards because they are only following orders. I hope that a city worker who understands the frustrations of the people who live in the core neighborhoods will step up and run for city council.
We have got to get this city back to operating without any agendas but to equally serve and provide essential services to it’s citizens.
Everyone I’ve spoken to agrees that the city should have focused on flood protection before buying and selling Real Estate. Flood protection should have been the city’s first priority since the 2008 flood but it hasn’t been. Nope, instead of focusing on the real issues the Cedar Rapids City Council squabbled with people all over the city over buyouts in the name of flood protection while giving downtown players “sweetheart deals” for riverside property on the east side.

When we voted for the Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) it was supposed to help rebuild flood impacted property and flood protection. FEMA did not require we move the Public Library and spend millions of our disaster dollars to acquire and remodel the event center three blocks from the river the city council did.  FEMA did not require properties be bought out the city did. Remember the buyout program was a voluntary property acquisition after the 2008 flood.

 


Adam Kokesh Press Release


Infowars.com May 24, 2013

Political activist Adam Kokesh was released from jail this afternoon.

Kokesh was arrested last Saturday for exercising his First Amendment right at a protest. He called for a “new American revolution” to begin on July 4 with a march on all 50 state capitols.

The release was announced on his Facebook page with the following message and photograph:

Released 130524 with felony charges reduced to citations which I refused to sign. Played hardball. Won. Talk to you Monday.

political prisoner

Freed May 24, 2013

Press Release: Adam Kokesh Calls on American Revolutionary Army to March on 50 State Capitols

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Click here for the PDF version.

Media Contact
Lucas Jewell lucas@adamvstheman.com (904) 200-7016
Adam Kokesh Calls on American Revolutionary Army to March on 50 State Capitols

(Philadelphia, PA, May 24, 2013)— Political prisoner and activist Adam Kokesh has released a statement from inside the Philadelphia federal prison about his planned July 4th, 2013 Open Carry March on Washington, DC. The statement was read by comedian and activist N.A. Poe, until recently a fellow prisoner of Kokesh’s, today Friday, May 24 at 1PM in front of the Philadelphia federal prison.

[CORRECTION: The statement was read by Lucas Jewell, business manager of Kokesh’s online show “Adam vs. the Man.”]

What follows is Kokesh’s complete and unabridged statement.

“When a government has repeatedly and deliberately failed to follow its own laws, violated the fundamental human rights of its citizens, threatened the sanctity of a free press, created institutions intended to eliminate privacy of communication, waged war at the behest of special interest that threatens the public safety, killed hundreds of children with drone strikes, imprisoned and destroyed the lives of countless individuals for victimless crimes, stifled economic opportunity to maintain the dominance of the financial elite, stolen from the people through an absurd system of taxation and inflation, sold future generations into debt slavery, and abused its power to suppress political opposition, it is unfit to exist and it becomes the duty of the people to alter or abolish that government by whatever means necessary to secure liberty and ensure peace.

“A new American revolution is long overdue. This revolution has been brewing in the hearts and minds of the people for many years, but this Independence Day, it shall take a new form as the American Revolutionary Army will march on each state capital to demand that the governors of these 50 states immediately initiate the process of an orderly dissolution of the federal government through secession and reclamation of federally held property. Should one whole year from this July 4th pass while the crimes of this government are allowed to continue, we may have passed the point at which non-violent revolution becomes impossible.

“The time to sit idly by has passed. To remain neutral is to be complicit, just doing your job is not an excuse, and the line in the sand has been drawn between the people, and the criminals in Washington, D.C. While some timid souls will say that it is too early, that we can solve this problem through democratic means provided by government, that current levels of taxation are reasonable for the services provided, and that the crimes of this government are merely a tolerable nuisance, it may already be too late.

“While there is risk in drastic action, the greater danger lies in allowing this government to continue unchallenged. So if you are content with the status quo, stay home, get fat, watch the fireworks from a safe distance, and allow this Independence Day to pass like any other. But if you see as we see, and feel as we feel, we will see you on the front lines of freedom on July 4th, 2013 for this, The Final American Revolution.”

Signed, Adam Kokesh, May 23, 2013 from a cage in the Philadelphia federal prison.

Kokesh and Poe were arrested on Saturday, May 18, 2013 while speaking to a 32% off New Products at GoDaddy.com! Expires 5/28/13.permitted marijuana legalization rally at Independence Mall National Historic Park in center city Philadelphia, in a space specifically designated for free speech. They are being framed on felony charges of assaulting a federal officer, despite overwhelming video footage to the contrary.

“They just came after Adam [Kokesh] and N.A. Poe, the organizer of Smokedown – the only two there out of hundreds present who were taken into custody,” said Michael Salvi, an observer of the rally.

At a preliminary hearing in front of US Magistrate Judge Thomas J. Rueter in the Byrne courthouse on Monday, May 20, 2013, Kokesh and Poe were denied bail. Poe was subsequently released on Thursday, May 23, 2013. Kokesh was denied release on the same day.

About Adam Kokesh

Adam Kokesh is a former US Marine corporal and veteran of the Iraq War who is active for peace, marijuana legalization, the right to keep and bear arms and other libertarian causes. Kokesh is the host of talk radio show “Adam vs the Man.” http://adamvstheman.com. Complete information on Adam Kokesh’s arrest and federal caging is available at http://FreeAdam.net.
This entry was posted in News on May 24, 2013.

**I am not a gun owner and won’t be at any of the marches in July but I will be watching from where I live and praying that no one is hurt.

It’s a BIG Deal! $5.99* .COM from GoDaddy.com!

 

 


Adam Kokesh Arrested for Resisting Arrest


Adam Kokesh arrested- again…

I am a loyal Adam vs The Man listener. I follow Adam Kokesh on Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube. Adam Kokesh, internet talk show host and veteran has been planning an armed march on Washington, D.C. for Adam Kokesh (right), Reverend Lennox Yearwood,...July 4th was arrested for another act of civil disobedience on, May 18, 2013. He has court Monday on these trumped up charges. Adam Kokesh has attended four other “Smoke Down Prohibition” events making this the fifth event he has attended. Adam was arrested for resisting arrest. The cops are lying and new video footage on Youtube proves that Adam wasn’t resisting.

Protestors chanted “no victim no crime” over and over

English: Adam Kokesh one of several indivduals...Another post on Adam Kokesh‘s official Facebook page:

Adam is locked up in a federal jail… he will go in front of a judge Monday… he is being charged with resisting arrest… that us all I know – Lucas

Vets for Ron Paul

Nathan Cox posted:
“ LISTEN UP FOLKS, Adam Kokesh friends, family and supporters.
Adam Kokesh of AdamVsTheMan has been taken captive NOT by the Philly Police but by Federal PARK POLICE. I just spoke with a woman in the Park Police (215-597-7077) who spoke with her supervisor for me.
Her supervisor said that the Park Police have taken him to 401 NORTH 21st Street which is the 9th District. They do NOT have Positive ID on him right now and if they can’t get positive ID within the next 30-45 minutes they will be taking him to a near by FEDERAL DETENTION Center.  I was told that if people go to that location they MIGHT be able to help get him out (possibly by ID’ing him.. IDK)  So the 9th District’s # is: 215-686-3090
If you are on the ground up there you need to SURROUND that building IMMEDIATELY.
MELT the phone lines”

Story from Infowars.com on Adam Kokesh:

English: A portrait of Adam Kokesh.

English: A portrait of Adam Kokesh. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“In a video of the Smoke Down Prohibition rally, policemen can be seen entering a crowd of activists, and shortly afterwards emerging with Kokesh in tow.  According to his Facebook page, Kokesh “hadn’t even smoked yet,” while “other protesters were actually smoking and released after arrest…,” leading us to wonder why he was being arrested/assaulted in the first place.
Kokesh was reportedly hauled away in a white Chevy Suburban, but an update states he has already been released from jail.
The talk radio host recently garnered national attention when Adam announced a July 4th armed march on Washington D.C. in defiance of the capitol’s firearms laws. As of yet, it’s unclear whether his connection to the upcoming event had anything to do with his arrest today.”

What does that mean Was he sent to a Federal Facility? Likely he is in a federal facility because he was arrested by the Park Police aka Federal Police.  As a fan of the freedom loving veteran, Adam Kokesh,
I want him set free immediately.

$2.49 .COM at GoDaddy.com! Expires 5/14/13The police clearly violated the law and falsely arrested him!  This is America not the USSR!  I am not surprised that Adam Kokesh was arrested. He’s been arrested before. What surprises me is that the police arrested him for resisting arrest when he wasn’t doing anything but exercising his individual god given individual rights he is guaranteed by the United States Constitution.  I am surprised  he took the risk of being at this smoke down prohibition with the big July 4, 2013 gun march he has organized coming up. Perhaps he was complacent since he had attended four of these events without any problems! I just hope that he is set free on Monday because I don’t like missing Adam’s podcasts!


KCRG Investigates after Block by Block House is Demolished


English: Cedar Rapids, City Hall, photographed...

English: Cedar Rapids, City Hall, photographed by User:Iowahwyman on June 17, 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The city has bought and torn down rebuilt houses for nearly five years.  I’ve investigated this myself since 2011! The only answers I’ve ever been given for this is that the “owners applied for the buyout” and that it is for the “city’s preferred flood plan“.  Just because the city has a plan doesn’t mean that it has to make sense.
Chris Earl’s investigative report generated more questions than answers for me.
Is it only newsworthy if a Mathew 25 aka Block by Block house is rebuilt and demolished?  How many other rebuilt houses were bought by the city with our tax dollars to be torn down?  I know of two other properties that were rebuilt, occupied, bought by the city and torn down. They weren’t houses that Block by Block rebuilt but it was only a matter of time before they went after Block by Block houses.  The houses that were rebuilt, occupied, and sold to the city by landlords never made the news!  The question I have is why did they sell out?  Were they offered an incentive?  Did they sell out because they’d never be able to get that kind of return on the market?  107% isn’t a bad deal is it? I don’t blame the landlords for wanting to sell out, especially if there was an incentive.  $2.49 .COM at GoDaddy.com! Expires 5/14/13
Chris Earl does a fair job in his reporting but I wish that the report would have focused more on the city taking federal money to tear down rebuilt houses than Mathew 25.  I am more interested in the people who lived in those rebuilt homes. Where are they now?  Were they given money to move?  Are they happy? Would they have stayed if they were given a chance to purchase the house?  Couldn’t these houses could have been sold through the cities “Roots Program“.
The city has done a lot of negotiating with the federal government to get their money to tear down rebuilt houses but when it comes to anyone in the city trying to save a rebuilt house from demolition there is no negotiating with the city.  Once the city agrees to take that federal money the laws dictate that the house must be demolished.  After 1100 homes have gone to the landfill you would think that the city would be satisfied but they’re not.  The will continue to take our tax money to demolish rebuilt homes until they are stopped! Who will stop them?

 


FEMA From Evacuation to Eviction


I am excited to report that the garage I’ve complained about to the city, my family, friends, and neighbors on the 1400 block of 4th Street NW is finally gone. It will no longer serve as a convenient dumping ground and I will never have to wake up to the sound of demolition again. The demolitions are done around me!  The only remaining structures are blocks away from my house and I hope that I don’t have to hear them.
You would think I would be happy that this is almost over and that these rotting structures will finally be gone and I am. But I am still very unhappy about what happened to the west bank and I wonder how many people felt like they went from evacuation to eviction?
50% of Hosting for your Website at GoDaddy.com!Before the flood we were undergoing intense inspections by the city because our community was approved for Weed and Seed money from the Community Capacity Development Office out of the Department of Justice. My neighbors and I were working hard to have everything perfect for the city inspectors but then flood came on June 11, 2008.  Our final inspection was supposed to happen on June 17, 2008 but it never did and we were denied volunteers from the Weed and Seed program by Bruce Vandersanden, program coordinator at the Sixth Judicial Department of Correctional Services.  I was on the Weed and Seed Committee as a representative from my neighborhood association when I complained to Gary Hinzman about the houses that have been denied all help at an unrelated board meeting where he told Bruce to “make it right”, but that never happened.  In fact, in front of a room full of people Bruce told me that “it wasn’t ever going to happen”.

Operation Weed and Seed is a joint federal, state and local coordinated law enforcement and community initiative that aims to prevent, control and reduce violent crime, drug abuse and gang activity in targeted high-crime neighborhoods across the country. The Weed and Seed strategy recognizes the importance of integrating law enforcement with social services and the private sector on federal, state and local levels to maximize the impact of existing programs and resources.”
Sponsored by the United States Department of Justice and under the local leadership of the United States Attorney, the strategy involves a two-pronged approach. First, law enforcement agencies and prosecutors cooperate in “weeding out” criminals who participate in violent crime, gang activity, drug use and drug trafficking in targeted neighborhoods. Second, “seeding” brings a variety of human services to the area, restoring it through social and economic revitalization.”

The city lied to all of us about flood protection, they lied to us about the buyouts, and they continue to lie to us about being bound by FEMA.  The city applied for the buyout program. The buyout program was voluntary . If we were truly in danger FEMA would have declared our city unsafe and there would have been an “involuntary buyout”. FEMA did not destroy our city- city officials destroyed our city and used FEMA money to do it! In a Gazette article labeled: Property owners refuse to leave Cedar Rapids flood plain dated August 16, 2009 it said: “They plan to use $27 million in federal money to buy out property owners and create a city park or wilderness trail along the river. A levee built by the Army Corps of Engineers will separate remaining neighborhoods from the greenway and provide protection from another surge.” They also claim in the same article that: “The city has said it won’t use eminent domain to force the property owners off their land. But the Army Corps of Engineers could designate the properties as risks to the flood-protection system and force the owners to sell for pre-flood assessed values plus improvements. Fournier said that would be a last resort.”

Evacuation to Eviction

Evacuation to Eviction

What the Gazette didn’t report at that time was that the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACOE) did not approve any flood protection for the west bank because it didn’t meet the required guidelines. There is no property left on the west bank of the Cedar River therefore it does not meet the monetary specifications that are required for the USACOE to approve flood protection. The specifications  include a cost to benefit ratio. Because the neighborhood was flattened there is no property value to protect therefore, no flood protection.
The United States Army Corps of Engineers also told me directly and on record (in a questionnaire) that they were not interested in buying our home now or ever. At a different United States Corps of Engineers meeting the  I attended I informed one of the men from the United States Army Corps of Engineers that we were told by the city and news outlets that they needed our houses out of the way so that they could implement flood protection for the west bank. I was told by this man that this was not only wrong but it’s illegal. He said “saying that qualifies as coercion in a voluntary property acquisition” by FEMA.
Another thing that the Gazette failed to report is that “eminent domain” can “never” be declared because it was a “voluntary property acquisition”. Question number seven on the “Corridor Recovery” site clearly states this as a fact:
7. Is the City going to force me to sell my property?
No. This is was a voluntary property acquisition process. When using FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, the City cannot use eminent domain to acquire properties.
The five year anniversary of the flood is coming up and that is a huge milestone for some of us. There is a small group of us in the greed-way that stuck it out and decided that the city’s buyout offer was not only ridiculous but it is a farce! Who in their right mind would want to take a $66,000.00 loss because of one flood?  The city offered us $14,000.00 for our property and $0 for the house! This was the first flood my house has ever been through and we have flood insurance why would we sell out?  The National Flood Insurance Program which is also known as FEMA and anyone who received money from the National Flood Insurance Program or FEMA was required by the City of Cedar Rapids to “pay back” any and all FEMA money they received in the buyout. Meaning a lot of people took losses.
If you’ve never heard of the term Disaster Capitalism I suggest you look it up. In a neighborhood meeting Chuck Swore was confronted by Mike Augustine who asked him where all the money was coming from for all these projects because the city seemed to be spending federal tax money like it was free money.

That's a Smart Move! Economy Hosting for $1.99/mo.In summarizing his statement Chuck Swore said  that we’d probably be alright without FEMA  but since the money was there and available to the city, “they used it as if it were free money”.  FEMA money for communities is not meant to be used in the way it was used in our community. Those of us who dealt with FEMA and the city were told “not to expect FEMA to “make people whole” yet, everything was ripped down to make way for new and supposedly with FEMAs blessing. Communities that have been hit by disasters of their own have called on Cedar Rapids to ask for recovery advice and that’s not good. Communities impacted by disasters would be better served if they were required to follow the Property Acquisition Handbook provided on FEMAs website. Had FEMA handed these guides out to victims in Cedar Rapids when they were in town it would have saved America millions and millions of dollars.
Houses that were rebuilt and lived in after the flood continue to find their way to the dump while the city complains that there isn’t enough affordable housing. If there isn’t enough affordable housing then why are renters being relocated so that the affordable housing we do have can be demolished? What is going on around here?

We must demand reform or FEMA will systematically allow a few people to exploit them while destroying everything in it’s path!