People's Bureau of Johnson County

Zachary Oren Smith
The (on hiatus) politics and policy of Johnson County
Created 01 Aug 2020
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  • 📰 It's been good.
    17 Mar 2021 • 2 min read • 3 0
    March 17, 2021 | Letter No. 41 This letter and its 40 predecessors have been an experiment in how voice, transparency, and accountability could be foundational in writing about our town. I aimed from ...
  • ⏸️ Suspend the TRC?
    14 Mar 2021 • 2 min read
    March 14, 2021 | Letter No. 40 Iowa City Council has a big meeting coming Tuesday. To catch up, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, an ad hoc body tasked with informing the city’s work on racial ...
  • 🚪 4 resignations. What have we learned?
    10 Mar 2021 • 6 min read
    March 9, 2021 | Letter No. 39 Four resignations in as many days. The Iowa City Truth and Reconciliation Commission saw a third of its membership and the recently-hired facilitator depart. Last week, I...
  • 😬 'I was forcibly muted.'
    03 Mar 2021 • 5 min read • 2 0
    March 3, 2021 | Letter No. 38 I told you the big news for Monday night’s special meeting of the Iowa City Truth and Reconciliation Commission was the contract with their new facilitator. I was wrong. ...
  • 🤠 There's a new tax increment in town
    28 Feb 2021 • 4 min read
    February 28, 2021 | Letter No. 37 While meetings haven’t exactly been quiet, there’s been relatively little to write about with Iowa City Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Iowa City Council appoint...
  • 🚰 Money's on the tab if you know to ask
    24 Feb 2021 • 2 min read
    February 23, 2021 | Letter. No. 36 Depending on where you lived, an unpaid water bill might have resulted in shutoff or nothing at all. Back in March 2020, many municipalities deferred their late fees...
  • 🗞️ I need your help with something.
    21 Feb 2021 • 3 min read
    February 21, 2021 | Letter. No. 35 Friday night, I seized on an open invitation to hang out on Clubhouse with Amie Rivers of The Courier and Ty Rushing formerly of the N’West Iowa REVIEW. Both are on ...
  • 💨Things rose. Did they converge?
    17 Feb 2021 • 5 min read
    February 17, 2021 | Letter. No. 34 Since last June, Iowa City has just about drowned itself in the consideration of recommendations on how to change the police department. There are the 36 recommendat...
  • 🔎Local news is necessarily bifocal
    14 Feb 2021 • 4 min read • 2 0
    February 14, 2021 | Letter. No. 33 Friday morning, I filed two stories that ultimately dealt with the same tenuous relationship between local and state government. In the first, Gov. Kim Reynolds visi...
  • 🚰 Water shut-offs, fees in city hands
    10 Feb 2021 • 4 min read
    February 10, 2021 | Letter. No. 32 Whether from the derecho storm or the long pandemic, many households are still struggling to make ends meet. While evictions and water shutoffs were paused early in ...