In July of 1985, University of Iowa history professor Jeff Cox mimeographed and stapled the first issue of “The Democratic Socialists of America Iowa Newsletter.” By Labor Day of 1986, the four-page broadside was reborn as The Prairie Progressive, A Newsletter for Iowa’s Democratic Left. Labor donated, subscriptions $5.
In 1990 The Prairie Progressive graduated to a union printer, losing the staples and gaining a union bug. It has continued relentlessly since then, co-edited by Cox and Dave Leshtz, often featuring opinion columns by the elusive Prairie Dog, a highly socialized species known for alerting its tight-knit community to danger. Our mission has remained the same for years:
- To promote “the left of the possible” in local politics
- To supply ammunition for readers to strengthen their arguments
- To challenge readers to envision more inclusive government processes and progressive policies
- To support the United States Postal Service and its union letter carriers through printed newsletters delivered to subscribers’ mailboxes
- To provide a platform for young activist writers
- Whenever possible, to make people laugh
- To inspire people to action
We believe in the endurance and the credibility of the printed word. Past issues of The Prairie Progressive are archived on this web site, but nothing beats the power and the pleasure of unfolding and reading a hard copy newsletter that arrives at your door. And it’s much more satisfying to pass on to a friend or family member, rather than emailing a link.
We are still recovering from the sudden death of founder Jeff Cox in February of 2020. This web site and every issue is dedicated to his memory. Dave Leshtz continues as editor, with thanks to formatters past and present: Rusty Martin, Loretta Popp, Jill Wenger, and Paul Deaton. All issues are printed by Adcraft Printing in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
The Prairie Progressive is funded entirely by reader subscription, available in hard copy for $12/yr. Send check to PP, Box 1945, Iowa City, Iowa 52244.