Elected Officials, Community and Labor Organizations, Faith Leaders Join Effort to Memorialize Iowa COVID-19 Victims

folder_openCovid-19, News

More than three dozen elected officials, community and grassroots organizations, labor unions, and more have joined an ongoing effort to memorialize Iowans who have lost their lives to COVID-19. Together, this coalition will recognize the more than 5,600 victims with a virtual wall on IowaCovidMemorial.org and memorial events surrounding the one year anniversary of the first Iowa COVID-19 death on March 24, 2021. 

Iowa COVID-19 Memorial coalition partners include AFSCME Council 61, Iowa State Education Association, Interfaith Alliance of Iowa, Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans, and the Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO. The full list of partners can be found below.

After last week’s launch, the Iowa COVID-19 Memorial has now received a growing number of submissions, sharing the stories and photos of loved ones they have lost to COVID-19. Anyone who has lost a family member, friend, or loved one due to COVID-19 is invited to submit their name to be listed on the online virtual wall.

“We’re proud to be part of this coalition that is stepping up to recognize the unspeakable tragedy our state has experienced during the past year,” said Matt Sinovic, executive director of Progress Iowa. “With the lack of leadership coming from the Governor’s office, there’s been a lack of opportunity to properly recognize the full impact of this pandemic. With the help of our partners, we want to provide a much needed avenue for Iowans to process this reality and express grief for the immense suffering endured this year.”

“The loss of thousands of lives is a direct result of the bungled COVID response by the state,” said Jamie Burch Elliott, director of public policy for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Iowa. “Gov. Kim Reynolds and Iowa lawmakers continue to disregard the pandemic and its toll on Iowans by refusing to listen to the science. The largest public health crisis of our lifetimes has shown the importance of elected officials using science-based guidance, listening to medical professionals, and relying on public health expertise. Instead of focusing on the crisis at hand, politicians have focused on taking away the rights of Iowans and pushing policies that would only set us back as a state.”

“As we mourn the lives lost, we now know that many of these deaths could have been preventable,” said Charlie Wishman, president of the Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO. “We should honor those who have passed by working to make workplace conditions safe, so that anyone can support their family without the fear of contracting this deadly infectious disease.”

The coalition of Iowa COVID-19 Memorial partners will share more information on upcoming memorial events and plans to recognize the tragic anniversary of March 24th soon.

Iowa COVID-19 Memorial Partners:

Advocates for Social Justice

AFSCME Council 61

Americans for Democratic Action Iowa

Rep. Marti Anderson

Rep. Christina Bohannon

Rep. Sue Cahill

Capital City Pride

Common Good Iowa

Rep. Molly Donahue

Sen. Sarah Trone Garriott

Rep. Chris Hall

Hawkeye Area Labor Council AFL-CIO

Health Care for America Now Iowa

Indivisible Iowa

Interfaith Alliance of Iowa

Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans

Iowa Citizen Action Network

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement

Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO

Iowa Main Street Alliance

Iowa State Education Association

Rep. Jennifer Konfrst

Rep. Monica Kurth

Lower Drug Prices Now Iowa

No Justice No Peace

One Iowa

One Iowa Action

Planned Parenthood Advocates of Iowa

Rep. Todd Prichard

Progress Iowa

Sen. Amanda Ragan

Sen. Jackie Smith

South Central Iowa Federation on Labor, AFL-CIO

Tax March Iowa

Sen. Todd Taylor

UAW Iowa State CAP Council

Rep. Beth Wessel-Kroeschell

Western Iowa Labor Federation, AFL-CIO

Rep. Ross Wilburn

Rep. Cindy Winckler