AMOS regularly organizes research action teams to find concrete, specific, and winnable solutions to the problems plaguing families in our community. These volunteer, citizen-led issues teams are formed out of the small group house meeting process AMOS organizes every two to three years. Our issues grow out of this bottom up, grassroots process of listening and telling our stories. Over our 20-year history, AMOS has amassed an impressive track record of finding solutions to otherwise divisive, complex public problems through an intensive, win-win, non-partisan approach to politics.

  • Brought the first Federally Qualified Health Clinic (FQHC) to Story County in 2014, now providing care to thousands of low-income and underserved residents of Ames and the surrounding area.
  • Secured access to free pre-natal care for hundreds of uninsured pregnant women in Story County by initiating a partnership with Broadlawns Medical Center, Free Clinics of Iowa, and Des Moines University.
  • Saved hundreds of Iowans from bankruptcy through the expanded charity care agreements reached with 6 major Central Iowa hospitals.
  • Helped secure passage of desperately needed mental health care reform in the state in 2012 Iowa legislative session.  Continuing, along with many others, to fight for appropriate funding of the state’s mental health care system.
  • Fought for passage of the “Kathleen Brown bill” in the Iowa State Legislature that ensures our state’s in-home daycare providers are paid promptly and accurately.

Workforce Development

  • Created Project IOWA, a workforce intermediary that to date, has trained and placed over 250 formerly impoverished central Iowa residents into career track, living wage jobs with Iowa companies like Vermeer, Bridgestone, Mercy Medical Center and Danfoss in Ames.
  • Go to www.projectiowa.org to learn more.

Infrasturcture improvements

  • Increased voter turnout to ensure passage of a local option sales tax for critically needed infrastructure improvements to Des Moines public schools.
  • Won multi-million dollar upgrades to prevent flooding in the Southeast Bottoms neighborhood of Des Moines.
  • Secured 65,000 square feet of land on the Des Moines riverfront to build the largest open-air skate park in the United States.  The City of Des Moines donated the land and AMOS was awarded a Leadership Grant from the Des Moines Community Foundation in support of this effort. Go to www.desmoinesregionalskatepark.com to learn more!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Juv Justice Reform

  • Launched a racial profiling project with the ACLU and the Des Moines Chapter of the NAACP to document cases of racial profiling as they occur in central Iowa.
  • Observed over 300 juvenile delinquency court cases in Polk County as part of the AMOS Court Watch initiative to help ordinary citizens keep an eye on justice.
  • Initiated a school mediation program in six Des Moines Middle Schools that supports students to learn how to resolve conflicts peacefully before they escalate into larger problems for the students, the school or the community.
  • Elevated the importance of the restorative justice approach as the most effective means of accountability for youth offenders by: organizing a major conference on restorative justice, and educating hundreds of Central Iowans on the criminal justice system, restorative justice circles, mediation skills, and conflict resolution.

  • Trained thousands of ordinary Central Iowans in effective leadership development skills that build strong communities, strong congregations, and strong civic organizations. Together, we will continue to build relational power and make democracy work for families in Central Iowa!

Affordable Housing

  • Established a Housing Trust Fund in Story County, creating a sustainable funding source for affordable housing in one of Iowa’s least affordable housing markets. In March 2016, AMOS commissioned a Task Force of AMOS leaders, government officials, business leaders, and social service providers who worked together to create the legal structure for what is now the Story County Housing Trust Fund. In 2017, the Ames City Council and Story County Board of Supervisors both committed two years of initial matching funds to the new SCHTF.
  • Expanded the number of affordable housing units slated to be built in Ames on the “Old Middle School” property. Initially, the land parcel was zoned for single family detached homes, with some of the loudest voices calling for exclusively owner-occupied units.  Thanks to the intervention of AMOS leaders, Ames City Council voted for more affordable housing to be developed on-site, including 60% to be made available at affordable rates, and to include rental housing in its Request for Proposals.

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