Edit

Iowa Department of Human Rights Newsletter - September 30, 2022

Government and Politics

October 5, 2022


The Iowa Department of Human Rights (DHR) brings strength to Iowa's rich heritage.  Our three divisions - Community Action Agencies, Community Advocacy and Services, and Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning - work to reduce cultural, social, and economic barriers to opportunities for Iowans to succeed.

Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program

The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps qualifying low-income Iowa homeowners and renters pay for a portion of their primary heating costs for the winter heating season. The assistance is based on household income, household size, type of fuel, and type of housing.

The program will begin accepting applications on October 1, 2022, for households who have a member that is at least 60 years of age, or disabled, or where disconnection is imminent.  All others may apply beginning November 1, 2022.  The last day to apply is April 30, 2023.

Applications are taken at your local community action agency.  Anyone facing disconnection at any time should contact their local community action agency for assistance.

To find your local agency, you may call the Department of Human Rights at 515-281-3861 or 1-800-351-4659, or visit https://humanrights.iowa.gov/dcaa/where-apply. 

ISU Study: Enhancing African American Youth Academic Success

“We had a unique opportunity to work with Extension and Outreach, lay leaders, and area residents to enhance programming and make a difference in communities that serve African American students and their families.”

-Tera Jordan, Assistant Provost for Faculty Development & Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at Iowa State University 

Iowa State University College of Human Sciences in collaboration with ISU Extension, and various Community Members have published a recent study: "Engaging with Community Members to Enhance the Academic Success of African American Youth" 

Learn more by visiting https://hs.iastate.edu/enhancing-african-american-youth-academic-success/

Youth Justice Action Month (YJAM)

October is Youth Justice Action Month, a time to raise awareness about supporting youth impacted by the justice system.  The Iowa Department of Human Rights/Division of Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning works with many of Iowa’s justice system agencies, courts, schools, and organizations to keep youth out of the justice system, increase public safety, support families and communities, and address barriers to success.  In addition, the Juvenile Justice Advisory Council has recently created a subcommittee of youth with experience in the juvenile justice system to assist in guiding recommendations for improving the juvenile justice system.

For more information, resources, data, reports and publications, please visit the Iowa Department of Human Rights/Division of Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning  website:  https://humanrights.iowa.gov/cjjp.

Did you know? 

The Division of Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning developed a data tool called Iowa Easy Access to provide public access to multiple years of aggregate adult court charges/convictions and key juvenile court decision points.  This includes information by district, county, age, sex, and race. 

October is Filipino American Heritage Month 

"Celebrating Filipino American Heritage  Month" (FAHM) Monday, October 10, 1:00 PM at the Urbandale Public Library

Learn about Filipino American Heritage Month by attending an afternoon of “Lunch and Learn” of Philippine history and culture with the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA Iowa). Registration information and  more at https://www.urbandalelibrary.org/

Are you Voter Ready?

It's election season.  Are you ready to vote?  Review this checklist to make sure you are prepared to vote by the November 8, 2022, general election.

  • Register to vote or update/confirm your voter registration
  • Choose a voting option--absentee or at the polls
  • Know important dates 
  • Have the required form of identification
  • Find your polling place 
  • Cast your ballot

To help Iowans with the voting process, the Iowa Secretary of State's Office (https://sos.iowa.gov/) offers guidance, including registration requirements, important dates, acceptable forms of identification, videos, frequently asked questions, resources, and other information.  There is information for military voters, retirees, college students, voters with disabilities, and restoration of rights after a felony conviction.  

Voting with Assistance

Voters with disabilities, voters who who have difficulty with English, and voters who have difficulty with reading or writing may bring someone to the voting booth to help them understand and cast a ballot. They can can choose anyone like a friend, neighbor, or family member.  It cannot be their employer, employer’s agent or an office/agent of their union.

Voters with disabilities have the right to an accessible voting location, accessible voting equipment and to receive assistance in casting your ballot.  For more information, visit https://sos.iowa.gov/disabilities.html.  You may also call 888-SOS-VOTE (888-767-8683) or email support@sos.iowa.gov.