DES MOINES, Iowa — Following months of demonstrations nationwide around the Black Lives Matter movement, community leaders in Iowa launched a new political action committee to address issues of racial injustices.
Community leaders Rob Johnson and Al Womble, along with former Democratic Senate candidate Eddie Mauro, announced the formation of the “No Justice No Peace” super PAC on Thursday, which will advocate for policy changes at the local, state and federal level.
“I believe it is clear why we are here today. We are focused on making sure these aren’t moments that we pass by, but this sticks in history for generations to come,” Johnson said.
The three said the “awakening of conscience” happening throughout the country over police brutality and systemic racism requires action that cannot wait.
“Those who would oppress people and spread misinformation and division and racism, they do not stop. We will not stop,” Womble said. “We will not submit to comfort. We will not submit to rest. We will not submit to those who still oppose the civil rights guaranteed by our very own Constitution, which has been denied to people of this nation.”
The NJNP PAC will call for a a “Black New Deal,” which will focus on fixing the criminal justice system, guaranteeing the right to vote for all, and pursuing economic justice and equity for marginalized groups.
As the November election is around the corner, groups have been calling on Gov. Kim Reynolds to restore voting rights to felons who have completed their sentence. The group said this will be one of their first calls to action, but is just a piece of the puzzle.
“I’m tired of seeing elections happen and people think everything will change just because someone else is in office,” Womble said. “Those days should be over…it’s gotta be policy and law, it’s gotta be addressing those fundamental and systematic issues we have.”
Womble said a key aspect of this PAC will be helping get more people of color in elected offices, and holding politicians accountable for promises they make on the campaign trail.
Both Johnson and Womble have been active leaders in the community advocating for equality and working to remove economic and social barriers marginalized groups face. But Johnson said it’s going to take support and dedication from the community in order to achieve true equality.
“This isn’t a moment for people to jump on a bandwagon, this is a lifestyle. All of us here have made sizable investment to be here,” Johnson said. “That’s what this is about and we’re asking our community to make it with us. This is about a fight that if we do not do it now, how can we stand up in 2030 and said we did nothing in this moment?”
For more information about the NJNP PAC and how to help, visit their website here.