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Former Iowa 4H Leader Speaks Out After His Dismissal, Files Civil Rights Complaint


This past August, John-Paul Chaisson-Cárdenas, Iowa’s then 4-H Youth Development Program leader, was fired. His termination came after he refused to follow a request to take down an LGBTQ inclusion policy that was posted to Iowa’s 4-H program website.

An investigation by the Des Moines Register has since provided details behind Chaisson-Cárdenas’ dismissal, finding that the Trump administration was behind the push to withdraw the LGBTQ guidelines in Iowa and other states.

In the first segment of today’s River to River, Chaisson-Cárdenas joins host Ben Kieffer to talk through the details of his firing, as well as what he expects to happen now that he and his lawyer have filed a complaint with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission.

Courtney Crowder, Iowa columnist with the Des Moines Register, also joins the conversation.

later in the hour, Kieffer talks with Iowans living with felony records and a representative from the ACLU of Iowa about the possibility of Gov. Kim Reynolds restoring voting rights to felons in Iowa. It’s a move that could affect more than 50,000 people in the state.

Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Lindsey Moon served as IPR's Senior Digital Producer - Music and the Executive Producer of IPR Studio One's All Access program. Moon started as a talk show producer with Iowa Public Radio in May of 2014. She came to IPR by way of Illinois Public Media, an NPR/PBS dual licensee in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, and Wisconsin Public Radio, where she worked as a producer and a general assignment reporter.