DEIDRE DEJEAR: Hello, hello, hello good people. Sorry I'm late – it's his fault, why I'm late. He was on a phone call y’all. Sorry we're not on at 1:45, it's his fault.
MARVIN DEJEAR: I’ll take it.
D. DEJEAR: But – [break in video] Hi, we fell. We are bootlegging this prop system here but we think it’s important to have this conversation with you all. And – wind is blowing. Marvin stay right there, I'm just make sure it's supported in the back.
M. DEJEAR: No problem. Hi Terry. Dr. Franklin, all right.
D. DEJEAR: Alright, and we’re back. Hopefully it doesn't flip over again.
But today is, in Iowa, the day before our primary election. And, it is the last day that you can vote by mail – hey Terry – it's the last day that you can vote by mail and so we kind of wanted to have a conversation just about voting, in light of everything that's going on in our community and in our country. And, you know, I know that there is a heaviness that's on the hearts of so many Americans right now; and there's a heaviness that's on the hearts of so many black Americans right now – a heaviness that's probably indescribable. But I think it's so important that we not neglect an opportunity that we have – even though the hope of the opportunity transpiring to something may seem bleak. This is something that I believe is necessary, as it relates to being involved in the process because it is a part of the basic fundamental mechanism of our country. And if we are not a part of the basic fundamental mechanism, to get things done in our country, then we shortchange our potential and getting things done – and even to that point, potential. I will never forget I have a mentor who I love and adore, and she wrote a letter of recommendation for me. And in the letter, one of the things that was in the letter, one the sentences said, “Deidre has so much potential.” And I was given the letter to read it, and to be thankful, so on and so forth – but I got really stuck on that word potential.
Now mind you, at this time, I was eighteen. Who was I thinking, thinking I have more than potential – but at that time, in my mind, I was offended because I never wanted to be caught, with something that I had that could be given to someone else – and I not do it. I never wanted to be caught holding on to my ability to do the right thing. I never wanted to be caught holding on to reservations because of the condition of my climate; the condition of my space. I want it to be a part of something – I didn't want to be potential, I wanted to be kinetic; I wanted to be engaged. And so, my mentor was right in saying I have potential energy, and each and every one of us, in our country, who has the ability and the right to vote, we've got potential. Our vote is potential. And, I think it's important that we utilize our potential. That we turn it into something that can make something happen. Without this voice, without this vote – man I don't know what else we have. And so, we're going to talk about voting a little bit, but I think Marvin had a few things to say, as it related to his engagement in the voting process. ‘Cause Marvin, you weren't always one of the folks that was just, you know, waiting for the polls to open, right?
M. DEJEAR: No, no – not by any means. Not by any means. I was in that category that didn't really believe a lot of times, initially, that our vote really mattered. I understood the sacrifice, that a lot of leaders before us had made, to be able to allow us to have the opportunity to vote but just, I was in that mindset that looking at the realities a lot of things that ‘why vote, it's not going to change anything.’ I'm think even in this current climate we see, where, a lot of things have been the same – and I think it's even more now important I guess. I can give Deidre credit, she kind of helped me when I met her, so long ago, to help kind of change my mindset around the power of the vote and how it really can make an impact. And just even being involved, with her, and helping her in some of the processes of campaign and things, but –
D. DEJEAR: What was it that changed your mind, outside of me? Like what was it that made you believe that ‘oh this is a thing that, that can turn into something greater.’
M. DEJEAR: you know I would always have to say, a couple of things combined – one, seeing you do the work, and how important that –
D. DEJEAR: I said outside of me –
M. DEJEAR: I know, I know but – it still. But I’d say being involved in some of the smaller local elections. I think when you were helping, it was Terry being getting reelected and even though Dianna gets elected to the school board for her first time –
D. DEJEAR: Local elected local elections!
M. DEJEAR: Local elections – and I think that's what really sold me, was, instead of being so frustrated with possibly the just a presidential race, but really start to understand how all of those candidates down that that ballot make as much of impact more locally then than just the federal, as far as the presidential race. Really understanding how those congressmen and senators, local representatives, local state senate, your City Council, mayors, the Polk County Supervisors, all those things, I guess it really started to show me that those are where, I guess the people that really matters the most as far as where I live where I reside. I you have to have people that represent you locally before you can even really get too caught up in who there were the presidential race and you know right?
D. DEJEAR: And you know, in our local elections that's when we see the smallest margins. And our primary elections – like what's coming up on Tuesday – we see the smallest margins of victory where you really see every vote mattering. And so, I want us to not ever give up on this, even though there may be challenges that come along our way. I I likened voting to like shooting, if anybody has ever played basketball or watch basketball you know. Michael Jordan has been on air – what's that series called we've been watching? The documentary?
M. DEJEAR: You talking about The Last Dance?
D. DEJEAR: The Last Dance – The Last Dance, I mean a dedicated basketball player, dedicated basketball player but he was dedicated because he was in the gym, shooting every shot he could. Shooting every shot he could, and to the point where the misses didn't matter so much because he was in there shooting every shot he could, refining his practice, refining his craft. And I liken voting to shooting every shot we could, we can. We're gonna have some misses. They are gonna be people that I select today that may not make it through the primary but the fact that my voice stands behind them is powerful. The fact that your voice can stand behind your candidate is powerful – and we want to show the true power that exists in our communities. And we also want to show these elected officials and these folks that are running that we love and adore that we got their backs too – with our support.
And so here we are, with our ballot, for Polk County – this is for Iowa folks by the way, so if you're watching me you don't live in Iowa, I love you I want you to vote to but this is a message to my love people today. I want you all to participate in this election, I think that that is so, so critical. So for Iowa, today, if you have a absentee ballot it would have come and looked like this in your mailbox. That is what it would have looked like – get it. Get it and I want you to complete it.
It's not a very long ballot for this primary. Complete your ballot. You have two options to return your belt. You can mail it in – if you mail it in, it needs to be postmarked today. So, double-check with your post office if you're dropping it in one of those public mail containers, double-check to clarify the pickup time. If you're going to the grocery store, verify the pickup time. Some pickup times are at 12:00, some are at 1:00 some are at 7:00 P.M. Verify the pickup times if you're going to mail, because it's so important for this valid to be postmarked today. Option number two: you can go and drop off your ballot at your county auditor's office. You can complete it; sign it; do everything that you need to do based on the instructions; put it in the envelope; drive up see your county auditor's office – make sure you're practicing social distancing and proper care of yourself to protect yourself – but drop that ballot off and they will happily receive it. Most of our county auditor offices in the state close at 5:00 p.m. So those are two options, as it relates to voting by mail.
The other option that you have: there's two more options that you have – don’t you like it? We have options. We have options. The other two options that you have: you can go to your county auditor's office today, and vote in person, right there. You just walk in and you vote early, in person. County auditor's office is usually in the biggest city in your county, but you can always google what county you live in to find out where the county auditor's office is. For example, in Des Moines, it's downtown off of Court Avenue on 2nd. In Dallas County, it is in Adel. And so, that's your other option. Now the last option. The last thing, a final option, is to vote tomorrow. To vote tomorrow, in person – you don't need anything but an ID. If you don't have an ID we're gonna talk about that process tomorrow. But the important part that I want you to take away from today is despite everything that happened over the weekend; despite everything that's happened over the couple of weeks; despite everything that's happening in our country, all the pain – let's not forget our basics. Even when it seems difficult; even if it seems challenging. You all have potential in this voting process. We all have potential in this voting process. But it is only that our potential should lock up together – lock up together, regardless of who you're supporting – locked up together, to say we believe in the vote, we believe in the ballot box, and we're gonna utilize this because it's important. If we don't think it's important, our elected officials won't think it's important.
If we don't think that we have principles and values that should be adhere to, our elected officials won't believe it. They're there for us, for us. So Marvin and I are gonna get this ballot completed, and we are going to turn it in. Remember, you are so important in this process. So important, so critical – and anybody that tells you otherwise, including yourself – disregard it. Disregard it. ‘Cause our country and our communities are worth it.
Thanks for, popping in. It's something basic today: go vote. Be the G.O.A.T – the greatest of all time, and vote. Y'all take care.
DeJear, D. [resourcesforlife]. (2020, June 2) Deidre Dejear - Your Vote Matters - Iowa Election - 2 June 2020 [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8AHAybr35og] Retrieved on April 15, 2022 from https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCB5eSUvnsB6qdD65H8vmgeA.