The status quo has prevailed at the state legislature in Iowa. The Democrats retained a 26-24 majority in the Iowa Senate, while the House Republicans picked up a few seats to increase their majority to 57-43. Gov. Terry Branstad (R) was re-elected. At the federal level, Republicans are in control of the House and Senate.

As for the Iowa Catholic Conference, our focus will continue to be on applying Catholic social teaching to the important issues of the day and bringing our recommendations to the public square. Every election brings new people with new ideas into the process, whether control of a legislative chamber changes or not. We’re looking forward to educating people about the concerns of the Catholic Church and working for the common good in whatever ways possible.

Certainly, being a “faithful citizen” doesn’t end on Election Day. We’ll need your help with contacting legislators during the next session, which starts in January.

One way to get ready for the session will be to attend the 2015 Iowa Institute for Social Action on Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend, Sunday and Monday, Jan. 18 and 19. The Institute will be held at Saints John and Paul Parish in Altoona. The keynote speaker on Sunday afternoon will be Dr. Carolyn Y. Woo, president and CEO of Catholic Relief Services (CRS).

We are pleased to announce that Monday morning’s main speaker will be Kathie Obradovich, political columnist for the Des Moines Register, on the political landscape in Iowa and Washington, D.C. There will also be a variety of breakout sessions to prepare you to advocate for the social concerns of the Catholic Church.

Click here for more information on the event and a flier.

The cost will be $20. Registration information will be available soon.

We will also be bringing you some exciting news about the Midwest March for Life in Des Moines, which is set for Saturday, Jan. 17 (the day before the Institute for Social Action). Stay tuned.

ACTION ALERT

The Justice for Immigrants call-in campaign to the White House starts today and runs through Nov. 13. The toll-free number to use to call the White House is 1-855-589-5698 and our message is simple: “Protect as many immigrants and their families as possible from deportation.” Your help on this issue would be appreciated. For more information go to www.justiceforimmigrants.org.