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Multiple sources indicated to The Iowa Standard that either Rep. Timi Brown-Powers (D-Waterloo) or a member of Democrat House caucus staff had offered advice privately to individuals on the Waterloo city council regarding the ordinance known as “ban the box.”

The Iowa Standard wrote about “ban the box” yesterday.


Opponents of the ordinance point to Iowa Code. They say the law is clear, passing ban the box would alter the hiring practices of private businesses, which cities are not allowed to do under Iowa law.

For her part, Rep. Brown-Powers said they provided the bill that dealt with local control so decision makers could see if there’d be a conflict with the ordinance and Iowa law. She said nothing given to members of the Waterloo city council said anything specific about “ban the box.”

She was aware of a work group meeting.

“I hope they were able to all take a step back and take a small step forward for the city,” she said. “I don’t know if they try to get it all that it will pass. Living in the minority in Des Moines I have learned baby steps are a good thing.”

She said the recommendation given from her side was to not include private companies and only include city and county applicants. Rep. Ras Smith has introduced legislation at the state level to address this issue, but has not advanced it because the timing has not been right.

“I’ve visited with a lot of folks,” she said. “I think it’s time that we do something. Several people in the community have worked a long time on this and they’re anxious to make some headway. They are tired of waiting on the state.”

The ordinance has passed two readings, but a third is required. That vote is expected to take place in early October.

Author: Jacob Hall

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