Senator Chuck Grassley
January 23, 2023
Dear Senator Grassley,
I sincerely hope that this message finds you in good health, having swiftly recovered from your surgery. My thoughts and prayers are with you for both a swift recovery as well as Divine guidance during these difficult times when we rely on your hard work to benefit the people of Iowa and the United States alike.
Hoping to stir a distant memory, I’m reaching out to rekindle our conversation from 2009/10. My neighbors, here on the west side of Cedar Rapids River, have long been treated unjustly and this was my primary concern at that time – still unresolved today.
Even though the Flood took its toll on our beloved community, we all rallied together to ensure that healing and hope could once again take hold. However, it’s an unfortunate reality that many of us faced mistreatment at the hands of local authorities while in a time when they should have been providing support and security.
With decades of insight into the effects of financial clout, I’m sure you can appreciate that those wielding political influence are not immune to its potential for corruption. Even a strong moral compass doesn’t guarantee immunity from the seductive draw money and power has on us all – including our existing network in local government.
It’s almost as if we’ve been unconsciously lured into the boiling waters – mimicking the hapless frog that failed to perceive his surrounding environment with increasing peril until it was too late.
For over a decade, Cedar Rapids citizens have been fighting to remain in their homes despite the city’s attempts at forcing property owners into “voluntary buyouts”.
In the face of relentless adversity, these homeowners have maintained their strength and determined spirit despite being forced to confront eminent domain. Their persistence has been an example of courage in a time fraught with outside aggression targeting them at every turn.
Despite best efforts, those with limited means are still all too likely to fall prey to oppressive government forces. Such inequality must be challenged for any real progress towards justice and equality can take place.
For homeowners facing financial hardship in the current economic climate, it may be difficult to meet their expenses and hiring legal aid is often impossible. With compassion for these unique circumstances, one wonders why such a burden has been placed upon them at this time.
With the evidence presented, it’s clear that the City of Cedar Rapids has cynically seized upon its lower-income residents’ lack of influence to take their homes. These are everyday Iowans we’re talking about; individuals who have done nothing wrong other than not having access to resources or connections like those enjoyed by many in a privileged position. This injustice must end, and these hardworking citizens should not have their land taken.
I don’t think any of us get up in the morning and decide to be a whistleblower. I know from experience that there is a price to be paid for speaking out and shining the light on matters that prefer to remain the in the dark. As a Christian, I believe I have no choice but to help my neighbors in this situation.
Our community has faith in you, Senator, and we turn to your influence on this difficult matter. Your connections extend far beyond Cedar Rapids – not only through the government funding that strengthens our city but also with family ties from within our metro area. We hope you will use these connections as leverage to question officials: is it true that such events can occur here?
If there are any questions that I can answer in hopes of saving my neighbors from the horrendous financial stresses that come from having the government seize your property, please do not hesitate to call me.
Sincerely, Kathy J Potts