Lunden, Mill team up for Feb. 6 Fed Worker Benefit

by Christine Hawes | Jan 31, 2019 TheRealMainstream.com

Many federal workers and contractors haven’t yet been paid, won’t receive back pay, or had to take on additional costs to get by during the shutdown. They still need help. 

Nikki Lunden, Iowa native, has a history of standing up for people in need, or who are marginalized. 

She became an ally of the transgender community during her six years living in Los Angeles. Back in 2014, she co-wrote a song titled “Savage Line” to honor troops serving in the Middle East that became part of a movie. Before that, she spent some time mentoring young people through United Action for Youth on how to be your authentic LGBTQ self, even if you’re a public figure. 

Now, Lunden is taking on a new cause: supporting federal employees who are still going without wages a week after the government shutdown ended. She and her band Natural Habits, are joining with four other diverse bands for the Fed Workers Relief Fundraiser, a Feb. 6 benefit at The Mill. 

These five bands will perform from 6 to 10 p.m. A donation is requested at the door. 

Becca Sutlive 
Sharon Jackson 
Cedar County Cobras 
Rattlesnake Master 
Nikki Lunden’s Natural Habits 

“I just got tired of crying and watching all these people suffer,” said Lunden, who grew up in Franklin, Iowa. “I decided, ‘We have to do something. I can’t just sit here and watch these stories and not try to do something.’ I don’t know why I didn’t try to do this weeks ago.” 

The Federal Workers Relief Fundraiser will raise money for three secure funds for  federal employees who are still waiting for back pay, won’t receive any back pay, or are struggling with the additional costs they incurred while going without pay.

The Midwestern roots rock of Lunden’s Natural Habits will be joined by the Americana music of Becca Sutlive; pop vocalist Sharon Jackson; bluegrass masters Cedar County Cobras; and the grungy folk of Rattlesnake Master. 

“I became really heartbroken when Nikki shared her idea about raising money for all these people,” said Edward Hudgens, aka “Smudge,” one of Lunden’s bandmates. “I’m crying, Nikki’s crying …. Somehow, all this came about, and this is what we want to do to help out.”

Lunden has been part of the music industry for about 20 years. She helped found the band Lunden Reign during her six years in Los Angeles and also lived briefly in Colorado. Lunden returned to Iowa City in August, and her band has performed at Riverside Casino and other Corridor area venues. 

In addition to the Feb. 6 concert, Lunden has started taking online donations. You can click here to donate to Iowa Musicians for Federal Workers.

See the full article complete with videos from some of our performers here!

 

2 comments

  • Nikki
    Nikki Iowa City
    https://www.gofundme.com/iowa-musicians-for-federal-workers&rcid=r01-154844959885-f7e1e4a29ddc4a99&pc=ot_co_campmgmt_w Our Federal Workers need our support! Whether the government has just opened or not, we still need to raise funds! These folks have been subjected to late fees, unexpected credit card expenses plus interest rates, falling behind on rent, and more. Our Iowa City and surrounding area local musicians have come together to do our part by donating our time on Feb 6th at the Mill I.C. to play some music and raise some funds to help our fellow human beings in need. I've created this GoFundMe Campaign for those who would like to contribute before the event or who are not in the area but would still like to throw in. All proceeds from the event will be added to this campaign and then sent off to the BIG GoFundMe Relief Fund for Federal Workers. I for one have been crying and screaming at the TV for days upon days and I imagine a lot of you have been too or at least find yourself frustrated and aggravated by this mess. I can't stand hearing our Federal Workers telling us they are having to decide between chemo or rent, food or medicine, about to be evicted, it goes on an on the problems this is creating!!! We are but a small community but when we come together we can make an impact on lives, families and distressed people out there who are suffering from this *many choice words* situation.

    https://www.gofundme.com/iowa-musicians-for-federal-workers&rcid=r01-154844959885-f7e1e4a29ddc4a99&pc=ot_co_campmgmt_w

    Our Federal Workers need our support! Whether the government has just opened or not, we still need to raise funds! These folks have been subjected to late fees, unexpected credit card expenses plus interest rates, falling behind on rent, and more. Our Iowa City and surrounding area local musicians have come together to do our part by donating our time on Feb 6th at the Mill I.C. to play some music and raise some funds to help our fellow human beings in need. I've created this GoFundMe Campaign for those who would like to contribute before the event or who are not in the area but would still like to throw in. All proceeds from the event will be added to this campaign and then sent off to the BIG GoFundMe Relief Fund for Federal Workers.

    I for one have been crying and screaming at the TV for days upon days and I imagine a lot of you have been too or at least find yourself frustrated and aggravated by this mess. I can't stand hearing our Federal Workers telling us they are having to decide between chemo or rent, food or medicine, about to be evicted, it goes on an on the problems this is creating!!! We are but a small community but when we come together we can make an impact on lives, families and distressed people out there who are suffering from this *many choice words* situation.

  • Nikki
    Nikki Iowa City
    I reached out to my pseudo cousin (can’t be named) in Los Angeles about the shutdown. He is a TSA agent at LAX and I asked him what the current situation is, if they've received back pay and if he had a story he would like to share. This is what he had to say: Hi cousin Nikki, thank you for helping my colleagues, everything you do will be highly appreciated. We have not been paid this far, our management told us we should see something this week. It’s been a rough month for all if us. The morale of my officers and I was slowly depleting but with the encouragement and assistance of the airlines, Los Angeles World Airport, passengers, DPSS and other outside agencies we were able to eat and put food on the table. We are essential employees so we had to report to work with no pay. Some officers could not because they had no childcare money or gas to put in their cars. Other officers found part time jobs to bring some type of income home. It was and still is a humiliating situation for government employees to have to go through and to still be in fear that this maniac threatening to shutdown again if he doesn’t get his wall. We are all on pins and needles not knowing what to expect in the next few weeks. Every cent we get we have to hold onto and budget. We have to pay rent and mortgage or we will be evicted and some officers did not qualify for loans. I have deferred car payments and some credit cards but still had to find a way to satisfy other debts. While the shutdown was going we did lose a officer. I understand it was from health reasons but this shutdown did not help the issue. We are all trying to recover but still preparing ourselves if this happens again. The passengers were pre-paying Starbucks for our coffee and bringing food. They also offered monetary gift cards but we were not allowed to take them because they are considered cash. However, they did donate them to the food banks where we were able access food. Most passengers were considerate and thankful but we still had those right wingers that told us were there for the wall! ☹️

    I reached out to my pseudo cousin (can’t be named) in Los Angeles about the shutdown. He is a TSA agent at LAX and I asked him what the current situation is, if they've received back pay and if he had a story he would like to share. This is what he had to say:
    Hi cousin Nikki, thank you for helping my colleagues, everything you do will be highly appreciated. We have not been paid this far, our management told us we should see something this week. It’s been a rough month for all if us. The morale of my officers and I was slowly depleting but with the encouragement and assistance of the airlines, Los Angeles World Airport, passengers, DPSS and other outside agencies we were able to eat and put food on the table. We are essential employees so we had to report to work with no pay. Some officers could not because they had no childcare money or gas to put in their cars. Other officers found part time jobs to bring some type of income home. It was and still is a humiliating situation for government employees to have to go through and to still be in fear that this maniac threatening to shutdown again if he doesn’t get his wall. We are all on pins and needles not knowing what to expect in the next few weeks. Every cent we get we have to hold onto and budget. We have to pay rent and mortgage or we will be evicted and some officers did not qualify for loans. I have deferred car payments and some credit cards but still had to find a way to satisfy other debts. While the shutdown was going we did lose a officer. I understand it was from health reasons but this shutdown did not help the issue. We are all trying to recover but still preparing ourselves if this happens again.
    The passengers were pre-paying Starbucks for our coffee and bringing food. They also offered monetary gift cards but we were not allowed to take them because they are considered cash. However, they did donate them to the food banks where we were able access food. Most passengers were considerate and thankful but we still had those right wingers that told us were there for the wall! ☹️

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