Deidre DeJear

Story County Democrats Annual Fall Barbecue - Sep. 17, 2018

Deidre DeJear
September 17, 2018
Story County Democrats Annual Fall Barbecue
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Her son is amazing, any event that we go to in the Iowa City area, he's there – there front and center. But needless to say, I am so excited and thrilled about this race, and I have one question for you all: Are you ready for November 6? Okay, I'm gonna ask you one more time, and I need you to put the pedal to the metal, are you ready for November 6? There you go. There you go – awesome. You know, this enthusiasm that's in this room is so critical. So critical, because, us in this room, get it. There's this notion that voting is like stretching – you don't have to do it, but if you don't it's gonna hurt later – and we know there's communities of people out here hurting. Those people who believe their voice doesn't matter; their vote doesn't count; the system's rigged – and we know that not to be true, because we've seen what the power of the vote can do. We also know the trials and tribulations that people had to overcome in order to get this right. Women, we've only been vote in 98 years. I've got a mentor older than that.

When we think about people of color and the trials and tribulations they had to overcome in the deep south. I'm originally from Mississippi – and some of you all know me because I worked on the Barack Obama campaign but before I knew of a Barack Obama I knew of this woman called Mattie Kay Washington. Yazoo County Elections Commissioner; she was a teacher of over 30 years; stands about 6’5 – she's my grandma. And that was the very first race that I worked on as a high school student.

And, what Maddie Kay taught me at an early age – you know I worked on several races, but that one I didn't volunteer on, I was voluntold. And nobody says no to Maddie Cade, not anybody. And what she taught me at an early age was that it was so important to get people enthusiastic about voting. The reason why she decided to run for elections commissioner, like I said she had been teaching, and at year 25 she was trying to get her students engaged in the process and they weren't having it. So she said fine, I'll leave you alone and I'll go find your parents, and she did just that. She got their parents engaged and it begin to trickle down to her students. That's something that's so important. In this day and age, when we're trying to get more people participating in our elections process, our kids are critical. There's a study that was done about a month ago that was trying to gauge whether or not the incident, the tragedy that happened in in Parkland, had any influence on 18- to 29-year-olds. And what we found was that voter registration had increased since Parkland. And, in that increase, we saw Pennsylvania, up 16% – our neighbors in Minnesota up 4.5%.

There were only four states that were down, and Iowa was one of them. Not only were we down, but we were negative. We know that the voter ID bill, that Mr. Pate initiated and commissioned, specifically carved our students out of the process. We know that our students by the time early voting started in in the primary, they were trying to figure out you know where they were going to live for the summer; where they were going to work – they weren't worried about voting. They were trying to graduate and get their finals taken care of. We know when one voter is turned away from the process it's an injustice on our democracy. Voting is the most fundamental right that we've got. The most fundamental right that we've got. We can meet in rooms like this; we can banter on Facebook, but at the end of the day what draws the line in us in the sand is our ability to go cast our vote. And so as secretary of state, regardless of people's political identity; regardless of whether or not they have a D or R or L behind their name, we just need people to vote. And I want to be the Secretary of State that does just that – so where students are included; so that our aging folks are included; our folks with disabilities; our seniors – and we can make that happen. And we can make it happen in the secretary of state's office. So I need you all to walk your way down that ballot this go-around. Our representative just told us we don't have straight party anymore, that was a part of Mr. Pates bill – so we've got to do some work to vote, and we can do it. Hard work guarantees nothing but without it we don't stand a chance, and I know that the enthusiasm in this room is going to get people out to vote this year. Thanks again for having me.

DeJear, D. [Dennis Goodrich]. (2018, September 17) Deidre Dejear at the Story county Dems Fall BBQ [] Retrieved on April 15, 2022 from