Hello Story County, how y'all doing – honk if you hear me.
So last time I was on the back of a truck at this park, JD Schulten was running in 2020 – he had me out here in the dark on Halloween – but it was a good experience and I’m happy to be back. And, thinking back on 2020, and we didn't get all the wins that we wanted. And I’m standing here before you running for governor because I, one, want to let you know why I’m running; but I also want to let you know, that America’s not done with Iowa yet. America is not done with Iowa yet. They're not going to count us out. And the reason why I’m running for this office is because I believe in each and every one of you all who are bundled in your cars in this moment in time – because you are showing up during a football game, because you believe in what this state is capable of.
And your belief in what this state is capable of is not a pipe dream. It is not a pipe dream. Your belief in what the state is capable of is based on what the state has been able to accomplish over centuries – and yet we have leadership right now, who is proposing to lead this state. Yet we see a great deal of challenges that Iowa is facing, yet she's not standing up to fight for those challenges – and I believe that I was worth more work than policy and politics that is dividing each and every one of us every single day. I believe that this state is capable of so much more given that we have leadership that one, believes in you.
And so let's talk, just for a few minutes – because I want to break this down to you. Not only about my why but what we can accomplish. I’ve been traveling throughout this state seeing the challenges that everyday Iowans are facing. And it's become more and more apparent to me that our governor is taking as monumental steps back. I want you all to know that what you are asking for, is not unreasonable. Some will like to call your ideas, your concepts, your hopes, your dreams for this state to be socialist ideas – I don't know what that means; but what I do know, is that your request for access to affordable health care is not an unreasonable request. It's reasonable.
What is unreasonable is that we have Iowans in rural Iowa driving ninety miles to go seek care. What is unreasonable is that we've got urban Iowans living right next door to the hospital and still can't get the care that they need. What is unreasonable is that we were facing a mental health crisis that was even more burdensome considering what COVID dealt to us, yet we still aren't getting the resources we need to take care of the mental health of Iowans across this state. That is what's unreasonable.
It's a reasonable request, to ensure that our students in high school, middle school, and elementary get access to a quality education – that's not only going to ensure that they're good Iowans, but it's going to ensure that they're prepared for either college or a job after they graduate. That's a reasonable request folks.
This week, we saw – around the corner from me – Saydel had to close school, because they didn't have enough teachers. We saw this week in Cedar Rapids 250 jobs, for educators, open. They tell us that we've got a teacher shortage – we don't have a teacher shortage in this state we've just got to get the teachers back in the classroom.
And the way that we do that folks, is not only funding education. But the other way that we do that is to restore the educators bargaining rights in the classroom. When I’m in Western Iowa, they're talking about losing their teachers to Nebraska. When I’m in Northern Iowa they're talking about losing their teachers to Minnesota. When I’m in Eastern Iowa they're talking about losing their teachers to Illinois. Our teachers are valuable assets to our community – and the time has come that we show them their worth. You know we have a governor that's taken our municipalities and our county's authority in local control – no more folks. No more. No more. And so as I stand here today, thinking about education – I was first introduced to this state through the Iowa basic skills test. And that Iowa basic skills test was a testament of what this state was capable of. We were once number one in education. Now depending upon the list we're 18, 19, 20, 21 – it's a reasonable request for us to get back to number one.
We also see challenges with our workforce. We have a worker shortage. We have a skills gap. You know several months ago, our governor decided to make a unilateral decision. Say we're going to cut off unemployment so people can get back to work. It didn't work. It didn't work – why? Because this state is in dire need of a comprehensive economic development plan. A comprehensive economic development plan, that is going to include our small businesses, our manufacturers, our farmers, and our educational institutions – because everybody has a place in Iowa’s economy and only a comprehensive economic development plan is going to move this state forward. I am going to be that governor, that puts our economy first, puts people back to work and ensures that when they get to work that they're safe on that job. When they get home they can put food on their tables. They can pay their rent and they can also contribute to their communities – because that is a reasonable request.
And I’ll end on this, as it's getting cold up here: you know – we as Democrats sometimes when we don't get all the wins that we want, we kind of put our head down and we get disappointed because we put everything, into each and every one of the elections that we're a part of. We put our hearts and our souls on the line. Sometimes we lose friends in the process because we care so much. But now is the moment folks where I’m going to ask each and every one of you all to dig deep. And I know every election cycle we say this is a ‘critical election’ – but folks, this is a critical election. It is.
We have an opportunity, to not only elect a governor, a senator, and four congress folks throughout this entire state and all of our down ballot races and all of our statewide office. We have an opportunity to elect folks who are going to best represent the values of Iowans – and I know we didn't get all the wins that we wanted in 2018. I know we didn't get all the wins that we wanted in 2020 – but what we did get for sure was lessons learned. A lesson learned from 2018: we've got to do better with Independents. Only 45% of Independents showed up in 2018. There's over 700, 000 of them. They're looking for a place to belong – why not come to the Democratic party in this state? The party with the big tent. The party that puts a welcome mat open for people. Why not come there – but when they come we've got to be ready folks. We've got to be ready. And this is what we've got to be ready for – we've got to be ready to fight for common ground. I know we've been fighting to prove a point. I know we've been trying to fix all of the facts – not even the real facts – that are out there I know. We've been trying to set the record straight when people say things that aren't right but in these moments, I’m asking you to just dig a little bit deeper. Because in this election cycle we're going to allow the Republicans to be their authentic selves. We're not in the business of changing them or what they believe in. We're in the business, right now, of looking independence eye to eye and trying to find that common ground – trying to find that place where we agree. That is what's going to bring them into our party. We also have to do better amongst Democrats.
My age group – my age group, 24 to 35 – less than 50% of them turned out in 2018. And we can do better there. We're the folks that helped get Barack Obama elected – we know how to vote. We know how to vote. Yet guess what? You know my generation is disenchanted with politics. They don't believe it works anymore. They don't believe that politics works within their best interest and their family's interests. We can show them that it can. We can show them that there is possibility for the dreams and the hopes and the the pursuit of happiness that's deep within them is possible. We can do that but we must show them, by fighting for that common ground; by building relationships and connecting.
This election is possible folks. Kim Reynolds only won with 50.3% of the vote. That's it. 50.3% of the votes. We know how to make up for those votes. We're the hard-working party folks, and we're gonna get to work in 2022.
And I’m gonna close with this: because sometimes you know we might feel weak. You know COVID dealt us a number – sometimes we might be weary. But our founders, Iowa constitutional founders, perhaps they saw a moment would come like this where we would need to remind each and every one of us where the true power exists. And so in the constitution in section 2, this is what they told us. ‘all political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for the protection, the security, and benefit of the people – and they have a right at all times to alter or reform the same whenever the public good may require.’ folks the public good requires it. We see it in our families; we see it within our next door neighbors; we see it within our communities. Are you going to do the work with me? Are you going to sign up to ensure that Iowa values, and Iowa people, become first? Over profits, over political interests, and over anything that that doesn't abide with the people – will you be with me?
That sounds good. That sounds good. Go to dejearforiowa.com – sign up with me. Let's go do the work because Iowa is worth the work. Now it's now it's sleeting, now it's leading – y'all take care.
DeJear, D. [Dennis Goodrich]. (2021, November 13) Gubernatorial Candidates at the Story County Democrats Drive Up Fall Fundraiser [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Pzemz62UnQ] Retrieved on April 28, 2022 from https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC99YyJjRfA6mRRYmhqQqyfA.