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Sen. Ragan and Rep. Steckman support a local Human Rights agency

Senator Amanda Ragan and Rep. Sharon Steckman describe how Mason City's Human Rights agency should be kept intact.
Senator Amanda Ragan and Rep. Sharon Steckman describe how Mason City’s Human Rights agency should be kept intact.

MASON CITY – Iowa legislators Sharon Steckman and Amanda Ragan expressed their support for Mason City’s Human Rights agency Saturday morning at a town hall meeting.

“I think that if we can do local help, it’s always better,” Rep. Steckman said, regarding a plan from Mayor Eric Bookmeyer and Council members like Scott Tornquist and Janet Solberg which would either close the Human Rights agency in Mason City or seriously diminish its scope of investigations.  Their plan would shift the burden of investigating human rights violations to the state office in Des Moines.

Supporters of Human Rights have stated their fears that Bookmeyer’s plan would make it nearly impossible for some folks of lesser means to get the help and attention they need to have their cases adequately investigated.

Several sources have indicated that Bookmeyer has a vendetta against Human Rights in Mason City, as part of his last mayoral campaign, and wants the agency shut down or its teeth removed.

“I’m all for local control,” said Senator Amanda Ragan.  “What you can keep on a basis where you know the folks that you’re dealing with, that’s very helpful.”  She also mentioned the benefits of a local office that can secure funding from outside sources.

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