Ed hosts the Fallon Forum, which began in September, 2009 as a pioneering effort to bring local, progressive talk radio to Iowa. During 2 1/2 years on 98.3 FM, the Fallon Forum saw a four-fold increase in audience size and provided a forum for discussion on issues largely ignored elsewhere on the public airwaves.
In 2011, 98.3 was purchased by Cumulus Broadcasting, the second largest radio conglomerate in the U.S. This forced Ed to find a different venue, and the Fallon Forum switched to broadcasting online. As of December 2014, the show is back on the air and carried on three Iowa stations: KDLF 1260 AM (Des Moines), KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames) and KICI (Iowa City).
Ed attended Marlboro College in Vermont for two years, after which he traveled the world for six years. He worked on two farms in Nova Scotia, hiked the Pilgrims Way in southern England, stayed for three weeks with Carmelite nuns at a monastery in Cairo, spent time on a kibbutz in Israel, and served as a Franciscan Volunteer on an Indian reservation in northern Wisconsin. In the mid 1980s, he attended Drake University, where he study music and Spanish and received a BGS in religious studies.
From 1986 to 1992, Ed worked in the peace movement. He organized the Iowa stretch of The Great Peace March and founded Des Moines Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. Well-versed in the writings of Mahatma Gandhi, Ed traveled to India in 1995 to study ways in which modern Indians continue to use Gandhi’s ideas of non-violent action to address contemporary social and political problems.
From 1993 to 2006, Ed served seven terms in the Iowa Legislature, representing residents of downtown Des Moines, the surrounding neighborhoods and the City’s northeast side. Ed’s focus as a lawmaker was to champion the needs of constituency groups treated unfairly by government or neglected by the majority of policy makers. He also became a leader on land-use, eminent domain, the environment, reforming tax increment financing (TIF), marriage equality, prison reform, campaign finance reform, and opposing corporate welfare.
In 1998, Ed helped found 1000 Friends of Iowa, a land-use and anti-urban sprawl group. He served as executive director for five years. In 2006, he ran for governor in a four-way Democratic primary, receiving 26% of the vote. In 2008, he ran unsuccessfully for Congress against Democratic incumbent Leonard Boswell.
Ed is an accomplished musician on many instruments and speaks French (some) and Spanish (some more). He lived in the inner-city of Des Moines for nineteen years and now lives in Sherman Hill. He is an avid gardener, raises chickens and produces much his own food. Several years ago, Ed established a community garden in the inner-city and maintains strong connections to his family’s farm in Ireland, where he organized the planting of 25,000 oak trees in 2000.
In 2013, Ed founded the Great March for Climate Action. On March 1, 2014, 1500 climate activists gathered in Los Angeles to kick-off the March's 3000-mile journey across the country. The March community comprised between 35 and 50 people on any given day, and on November 1, the March arrived in Washington, DC. Ed was one of five marchers to walk every step of the way. Ed continues his work for climate justice through Bold Iowa and Climate March, in addition to his work as a talk show host.
Ed’s passion for justice inspires him, and his life is committed to working for a better world, both within and outside the political process. While Ed feels he has been able to accomplish much during his years as a state lawmaker and through other venues of public service, what gives him the most satisfaction is when someone says, "Years ago, you helped me and my family with a problem and our lives are better for it."
In 2015, Ed walked 400 miles along the length of the proposed Dakota Access oil pipeline across Iowa, to meet with landowners to discuss eminent domain law and why the pipeline is problematic from an environmental and water-quality perspective.