Veteran’s Caucus of the Iowa Democratic Party – IDP Chair Forum (8 July 2017) with closed captions


>>Shelly Serviado: Alright so, I’d like to
[gavel] call this meeting to order. Where is -Rocky Lee? Rocky Lee -there you are. Would you please lead us in the Pledge of
Allegiance?>>Rocky: All rise. We’ll make you a convert.>>Shelly: Remove your covers. Put your hands on your heart, please. -[United States of America Pledge of Allegiance
recited by all]->>Shelly: Thank you. – [Adjusting flag because touching the wall]
>>Shelly:Thank you so much. I want to say these things briefly. I’ve prepared a few opening remarks. To grasp what is at stake we must know what
we are fighting for, and know what we must have, a true activist at heart. Who saw the speech that bashed Iowa’s wind
energy? Didn’t a Planned Parenthood close in Scott
County this week? Thousands of women lost access to basic preventative
care. How many legislative seats need to be flipped
in the House of Representatives to regain a majority? The Senate? Who’s job should it be in each county to ensure
a brand new candidate learns about filing deadlines for paperwork to run for office? Administratively are we too complicated? Are we being reactive or solution oriented? Who paid attention to the Democrats plan to
fix healthcare in Iowa that Jack Hatch and Matthew McCoy worked on? We have so many groups rallying for so many
causes that I CANNOT keep up. Are we going to wear out our grassroots base? Does anyone know HOW we frame a MESSAGE and
consolidate all these fractured reactions to the onslaughts and divisions caused by
what we have lost and what looms near. It LOOMS NEAR, PEOPLE. How do you say unify to a group that swings
like a constant pendulum? How do you get 99 county chairs to at least
try to follow the basics of our party platform? I always thought that we were supposed to
be the ones who were to take care of the people who fought for the rights, the inherent needs
and dignity against racial and social injustice and all forms of bigotry, and intolerance, and
hatred. I thought that we the Democrats, we knew that it was wrong to ever build any fortunes or gains upon the suffering of others who had
no ability to speak for or fight for themselves in society the poor, the disparaged, or
to be with the up and fed I believed us to have clarity of purpose to know our environment must be protected and our resources used wisely. Education leads to freedom of mind, minus
weight of debt, equals lightness of being in a society where pursuit of liberty and
happiness and justice for all is a possible truth. Can’t we stand for these things? Can’t we STAND for these things? Could we hope together for more than we have now – for peace? We know the oppressor will not grow weary
and we know plans are well underway for the next session. How can we pull together putting ego aside and do what is best for ALL to effect and influence the most positive
change? Because that is our job as Democrats; WE FIGHT for all Iowans. That is our job. We are to be the change that we expect. That is what we are supposed to do; we fight for them. So, I will convene -[gavel]- this meeting
of the Veteran’s Caucus. This is a IDP Chair Forum. I expect civility. I expect this to be fair questions. We will not dwell on the past because it is the past and we cannot change the past. The past is over. We are moving forward as a party in unity. And I will not accept or allow behavior otherwise in this forum. That is my leadership, that is my purpose, those are my goals. Welcome. Okay, who would like to
go first? -[quiet laughter]- Oh, I should introduce myself. I’m Shelly Servadio, Chair of the Veteran’t Caucus. -[audience laugs]- [audience noise]>>Here ya go. Why don’t you call it?>>Heads. -[sound of coin slapping hand]->>Tails.>>Alright. >>So..>>Shelly: Ok, so why don’t>>There are three of us.>>Oh, I’m sorry. -[audience laughs]->>Do we? I don’t have –>>Why don’t we go alpha?>>Ok.>>Yeah.>>Shelly: You can do a Power Point, you can do a slide presentation. You can speak freely, openly. Talk about your true self, your goals moving forward, how you can – run this party, how you can fundraise, how you can unite us. How you’re gonna handle 99 county chairs who have 99 different ideas how they think they should do things because we have to frame our message and we have to move forward, we have to kick some ass. So, ok, here we go.>>Bob Krause: How long do we have?>>Shelly: Um, I think seven minutes is fair because we have ->>Bob: Seven? – we have a long time frame, we have until 11:30. So, go ahead. You have to be leaders. Lead.>>Seven, and then Q & A after that or before that? >>For the whole group?>>Bob: Kay. Well, I think the first thing- My name is Bob Krause. I think most of you probably know me from my run for senate. Twice. And other activities. I’m currently president of the Veteran’s National Recovery Center, which is a veteran’s charity. We were quite active in the state legislature. We were temporarily successful in stopping the firecracker deregulation law. We also, thanks to Joe Stutler over here, who’s on our board, we were able to knock out the effort to eliminate local options civil rights laws. And, Joe started it and we finished it. And it’s still law. It’s one of the few Progressive laws that are still on the books after the disaster that we went through this last session. Looking at this state chair, it’s a – When we organize for battle, as we would here in the Veteran’s Caucus, we organize with a “good cop” and “bad cop”. The state party chair is the “bad cop”. That’s the one that takes the heat, that points button that makes the other side responsible for what they have done to this state. The “good cop” is our candidate, that is above the battle, that talks about the issues. The “bad cop” pokes the bad guys. in the bellybutton and makes them squirm. That keeps the heat off of our candidate and they can maneuver more freely. I think that is a key role, and I’m GOOD at it. If you look at my Twitter account I’m up to almost 35,000 people – – on Twitter. — I’ve got Facebook posts we’ve been doing routinely we’ll run 10,000 to 20,000 posts or views. – Er, looks or views, I don’t know how you put it. But eh, we’ve got a lot of activity out here, and we know, from what happened with the Trump administration, that micro-targeting and the vast use of social media by the Russians is what got him there. That got him that little extra margin that got him over the top. So we have to look at a concerted effort to make our social media hit that spots that we can. It takes some coordination of the massive lists that the party has uh, with outside lists, Facebook lists, purchased lists, so that we can slice and dice that audience of voters here in this state, and get those voters that are interested in something what they want precisely. And we have to do it that way, because we are once again going to be outspent by the Republicans. So we have to use what’s relatively cheap and what’s extremely effective, and that’s micro-targeting. And I think that’s something we have to build on. I think in terms of keeping the peace within the party that’s another thing that the state party chair has to do. I used to work for Cliff -for Cliff Larson. I was on state party staff many years ago, if you remember Cliff Larson from back in the ’70s. He was the fellow that started the -started the first in the nation caucus. And — he did it –with true strategy and patience. What happened is they made a decision that they wanted to become first in the nation. And then, they simply waited. -Waited. I was a college kid and I went down to the state party headquarters between the holidays, Christmas and New Year’s, and there was one guy in there that many of you probably have met, Richard Bender, he was a staffer for Tom Harkin, and Richard was on the phone when I went in and he was nodding, “Ah huh. Ah huh. Ah huh.” And you know Richard, if you know Richard, he talks like that all the time: “Ah huh.” Well finally Richard got through his “Ah huhs”, he got off the phone, and he said, “That was Arizona, and they’re going to have their caucus this date,” and he circled it on the calendar. And he says, “because of that we’re having our caucus this date.” And that was how the first in the nation things started. It was waiting, seeing the opportunity, and moving when the opportunity was present, quickly to take it. And they took it, and it’s been ours ever since, and we want to that because it does have value. But we need to bring the rest of our Democrats home. You know, we’ve still got a lot of people that when DemExit happened, down in Jefferson County, I know there were a tremendous number of people that changed their registrations. We lost people during that. We need to talk to those people to bring ’em back into the fold. Here on the Central Committee I think we have a barely, relatively even division and some of the anger is filtering out. We’re starting to become unified, but we still have to work on the message that will unify us all. And Scott Foens down here, when I was talking to him just now – talked about the three things that he thought were important, as a single unified message that we can work off of. One was jobs and income. One was education, and the third was clean water. I think if we focus on those three , and then the “bad cop” comes and yells about the debt and the bad things the Republicans have done Uh –I think we’re gonna win. Now, I think I’m the person that is able to do this for you. And, uh, I’ve been around, I’ve seen a lot of things in this state. I have travelled as a staffer and met county chair, and county chair and county chair. As a candidate I’ve done the same thing. I can do it again and I can bring that body of people together and I can be the “bad cop” so that we can get a “good cop”elected as governor, and we can fill the legislature with “good cops” too. Thank you for time. – [applause] ->>Shelly: Go ahead and stand up here and then what we’ll do is we can open the floor to questions. And so, we’d like to keep this fair as possible And I think it’s fair to let the other IDP Chair candidates also question the candidate that’s up here because, I think that is a very fair thing to do. This is a friendly competition, yes? So, if the other candidates would like to ask questions of the candidate that’s up here um, are you guys agreeable to this?>>Troy Price: Yeah, I don’t have any questions for him.>>Julie Stauch: I don’t either. -[laughter]- >>Shelly: No questions?>>Julie Stauch: I would rather talk about the focus that I have and I’m sure that’s what Troy and Bob want to do as well. >>Shelly: Are you guys, ok? Everybody’s agreeable?>>Mmm.>>Yep.>>Shelly: Ok, cause I kind of was wondering cause we didn’t talk about that as a rule earlier. But, um, I think it’s a fair thing.>>Julie: If you are open to it, it might be best for each of us to speak and then we’ll all come up and answer questions together as a group, if that’s okay.>>That would be a good decision.>>Shelly: You guys like that idea?>>That’s usually happens at these things.
>>Shelly: You wanna vote? Everybody say “aye”>>aye.>>yes. -[general agreement]->>Shelly: Ok, alright, fair. -speaker in audience->>Shelly: Well, that’s right. That’s right>>Thank you.>>Shelly: Ok. Alright, who would like to go next?>>Troy.>>Shelly: Troy? Alright. Come on up here.>>Ooh, now you’re tall. – [laughter]-
>>Troy: I am tall.>>Troy:I’m not used to being this high off the ground. -[laughter]->>Troy Price: Well, good morning. My name is Troy Price. First of all I want to say thank you, Shelly, and to the Veteran’s Caucus for giving us this opportunity today. I’ve actually been coming to Veteran’s Caucus meetings now for -this is my sixth year, fifth year? Since 2012. So it’s good to see so many good friends, so many new friends, folks I’m looking forward to getting to know here over time. Also want to say special word of well to our vice chair, Andrea, good to see you up here, and also want to say how honored I am to be sharing this podium with my good friend Julie Stauch, with my good friend Bob Krause, had the opportunity to work with all -both of these folks over the years and they are fantastic Democrats, fantastic Iowans and I’m very honored to be a part of this group, so… As as I said, my name is Troy Price and I am running to be the chair of our Iowa Democratic Party. Let me -first of all just let me say I’m proud to be a Democrat. I’m proud to be a Democrat because I’m proud of what the Democratic Party has done to create social change over the last eight years. I’m proud to be a Democrat because it has given voice – a voice to the voiceless, and I’m proud to be a Democrat because of what this party has done to fight for people like me. I grew up in a small town, grew up in Durant, Iowa over by a small town over by Davenport. I can assure you that this town was not a bastion of liberal thought when I was growing up. – [laughter] – And, uh, it uh – being a young closeted gay kid, it was tough. It was tough. You had – you know I’d grow up and I’d watch TV, I was interested in politics, I’d watch TV, and I’d see the Republicans on TV talking about how people like me how gay people are not allowed to – or should not have rights, should not be a part of our society, should not be involved in making decisions and having rights in our country. And, what was more disturbing about that was when I would go to school, when I would go to the coffee shop, see my grandparents and their friends, when my parents would invite folks over to the house -those same points that the Republicans were making were being said there. Even though this was my hometown, I didn’t always feel welcome there. But, in 1998 I decided to go volunteer for the Iowa Democratic Party, I was a senior in high school, excited to go volunteer ahead of the ’98 election. And there, I did feel like I was welcome. There I did feel like I -people respected LGBT folks not just LGBT folks, they respected everyone. It was a place where I felt at home, and so that is why I’m proud to be a Democrat, that’s why I’ve been proud to be working in Democratic politics over these last 15, 20 years now. And it’s why I’ve done the work that I’ve done. And I’ve worked for two Democratic governors, working in the messaging shop there, helping to put together their message and spread it across the state. It’s why I’ve worked -it’s why I’ve been -well I was, the executive director of the Iowa Democratic Party, four years ago, helping to put together the largest Coordinated Campaign the state has seen in a non-presidential year, raising 8 million dollars for that program. It’s why -and also working to expand and empower the various levels of our party starting with the State Central Committee, starting with the district committees, the county committees, and the different caucuses within the State Central Committee, to make sure that those folks, those people have the resources they need to be successful and do the work that they need to do. It’s why that I have worked for several state-wide campaigns, including two presidential campaigns, and that’s why that I was the executive director of One Iowa, the state’s largest LGBT organization . Right after the, um -right after the -Supreme Court Justices were kicked off the court in a time when we didn’t know if marriage equality was going to last in Iowa. We worked together to put together the plan, the program, and organize to make sure that happened. So that is why I have been proud to be a Democrat and like many folks I’m frustrated by where our party is today. We know that we have seen – we’ve seen that the party is not speaking to the people that we are trying to help the most. That we have seen folks who are [ ] of working and men and women who have voted for Donald Trump. We have seen people who we have been fighting for and talking -trying to talk to but our message is just not getting through. We are – I’ve seen that we are running programs that continue to grow more and more out of date more and more antiquated, we have to do more, we have to do better. And so, we have a rare opportunity right now. With an unpopular president, with a GOP that is currently pushing a far right agenda that isn’t just turning us around it’s shoving us backwards. We have an opportunity now with a lot of activists that are now empowered that we see in rooms like this, not just here but all across the state, activists who are working hard every day to try and turn this around, turn our country around. We have an opportunity. But the only way we’re going to utilize this opportunity is if our state party is strong, if our state party is active, and if we hit the ground running. And so that is why I’m running for chair. Because we need a chair who can start on day one. And I bring not only just my experiences, I bring my commitment, my passion, and my vision to help turn this party around, to help move our party forward, and to — – in the process turn that, turn our state around as well. And this is a process that isn’t just about a chair. The party is not just about a chair, it’s not just about a candidates, it’s about people like all of you. And I want to work with all of you. And hope to work with all of you – if I am so fortunate to be elected chair. To help do that and meet the challenges that we have. Things that we need to tackle are we need to strengthen our relationships. We need to strengthen our relationships. We need to strengthen our relationships to not only organize across the state but to raise money. You know, it’s an unfortunate reality that I wish money just grew on trees or that money was readily available but we’ve seen that the Republicans have plenty of it and we don’t. We have to be building our relationships all across the state so that we can tap into those resources, put together the programs that we need to put together a strong campaign for the fall. -Er, fall of next year. We need to build a unified message. One of the biggest challenges that I’ve seen as a party is that our message has been fractured, it’s been very specific on certain issues, but it never provides enough heart, never provides enough vision for what we want to do. We need to identify that message, we have the tools to do that with this Building Blocks Program. We can get that done, we can do that, we have to do it right away and start making sure that everyone on the ticket -from the State Central Committee, county parties, etc. but also our candidates are all speaking from the same hymnal. So – we have to build a caucus to convention process that is strong, that is transparent and that is fair for everyone. We have to support our identity caucuses, like the Veteran’s Caucus here, to make sure that these groups have the resources that they need to be successful. They are our messengers to different groups that we wish to tap into, we need to make sure that they have the resources they need to be successful. Finally, –we need to protect our first in the nation status, we are under attack, there’s no question about that and we’ve got to do what we can to make sure -I’ve worked at the DNC -with the DNC before to implement expansion projects through the caucuses and would look to do so again. I’m running for chair because I can hit the ground running, we’ve got tremendous challenges. We can meet them all together. Folks in this room and folks in rooms all across the state will help us to do that. And so I’m looking forward to running for chair so that we can rebuild our party we can build a progressive vision for this state and we can move our state forward. So thank you all so much, and look forward to talking to you, look forward to the conversation, certainly have more to say, sorry I ran out of time, didn’t realize how long my speech was – [laughter]- – and uh, I’ll look forward to talking to you all. Thank you. – [applause] ->>Shelly: Alright.>>Julie Stauch: You want me to just to go right on up?>>Shelly:vGo up there, yeah! Alright. I’m really appreciating that this is more informal and friendly and we can just take a deep breath and be ourselves, and be approachable to one another, and – just relax. – [ ]- This is a friendly atmosphere.>>Julie: Good morning. I’m Julie Stauch and thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. I have been a Democrat my whole life. I started as an activist in Cerro Gordo County where I was a precinct captain, and worked on the county Central Committee, and then we moved to Des Moines after 10 years there but that’s when I got into politics is in Cerro Gordo County. And since then the door came wide open and I’ve done many things. Andrea asked me when I arrived here, “Give me your 30 second introduction,” and my 30 second introduction about my bio is I’ve run three congressional races in three different states, we won two of them, and the third one we were the closest in the country in a challenger race to almost win. We went to bed thinking we had a recount and we woke up and found out we did not. I am -am a part of -I helped elect the first immigrant woman to the U.S. Congress in the work of doing that. I worked for Congressman Leonard Boswell, whom I’m sure many of you know. I have a story to share there, but I’ll finish telling you about this first. I’m sure everyone probably has a story about Leonard. I see you laughing. -[She laughs] – I had the opportunity to do – to train and do advance for Vice President Gore and President Clinton, which led to doing many large events around the country, actually around the world and so – I have a interesting past that has been a lot of fun in terms of my political involvement But I started in politics because Ronald Reagan did something really awful, which I frankly can’t remember which one it was, and – [ ] – in 1983 and I literally found myself standing at my TV set screaming, and I sort of had one of those moments where you stop and you’re outside looking at yourself. And it’s like, “You know, that’s not really healthy behavior.” And, so I decided I needed to get involved. I had always voted up to that point, but that’s when I got involved. And that has -that drive to help other people has kept me engaged in the process and kept me engaged in doing the hard work, the mundane work of the -of the effort. I’m running for chair because right now we need a -a chair who understands both how the process works because that you have to understand to lead the group, but also understands how leaders institute change. And in the last five years that’s the work that I have done with a wide variety of organizations, to help them understand -to work with the leaders of non-profits, of for profit organizations to help make things happen that they want to have happen. And I think that quality coupled with my experience really helps position me for this role. Now it doesn’t mean I’ll get elected, that’s up to other people, but I think it positions me nicely. My story about Leonard Boswell; I ran his campaign in 2002, he had just been redistricted 73% of the district was new, and I was on maybe -not even ten days. And the congressman was starting to try to do my job as well as his job and -and so I was trying to find a way to tell him to focus on being the candidate and I’ll focus on being the campaign manager. And we were leaving the office to go to a meeting and just outside the office door he started talking about his military career, and I thought, “Of course, that’s perfect.” And so I said, “You know congressman, if I had been in the military I know what my rank would have been. And he looks at me and he goes, “Really? What?” And I said, “I woulda been a Master Sergeant.” And he stopped walking and he turned and he looked at me and said, “Julie, the Master Sergeant’s run the Army.” And I said, “That’s my point, sir. I run the campaign, you’re the candidate.” -[laughter]- Well of course he laughed, cause he’s a good guy with a great sense of humor. He laughed and he said, “I get it.” And we worked very well together except for a little bump over yard signs because he loved yard signs. – [laughter] – What can I say?>>Yard signs don’t vote.>>Julie: Um, the -Here’s what we need to do together as both Troy and Bob have recognized as well. We need to focus on two main points. And if we focus on those two main points we will get the other pieces that have to happen in line. The first point is: We need a chair who will focus on raising money, because in order for our candidates to win next year we need to have 4 million dollars to leverage more national money so that we can -we can -carry on the work of turning out the vote for all of our candidates Secondly: We need to focus on how we can connect to all of our people. Right now we have -I think some good progress has been made since last winter. But last winter when I went out and talked with folks around the state about the party. We had some real disconnects out there. And I think progress has been made towards that but a lot more needs to be done. And so those two things are the priority for us. Out of that -out of that concerted effort we can show a united front, not in, sort of fakey “oh yes, we’re united,” and then go in the corner and squabble or speak poorly of each other, but in a real, authentic way show that unity. And that will help us on many, many different levels. It’s not a job a lot of people want. And — I think that – I think we can do this. I’m actually excited about it. I wake up every morning with another idea of another way to bring in people, and I see Troy nodding, I’m sure he does too and Bob. I think that this challenge is real and that the time is about to run out. So I thank you very much for this opportunity and I look forward to your questions. – [applause] ->>Shelly: Thank you so much.>>Julie: Thank you.>>Shelly: Well, I’m so grateful for everything you guys have had to say. You all had some very good points. So what I’d like to do is find a way – how would you all be comfortable? It’s kind of separated out into two tables would be in the middle — – [banter and planning seating arrangement]->>Shelly: Ok, this is very good. Alright.>>Bob: We can move tables together. – [Troy laughs] – – [Glitch in video stream. Hold tight.] ->>Shelly: — you have touched briefly on this and so within the framework of the leadership of the IDP, you know as a veteran – [broken audio] – – [role of] the caucuses in bringing in votes in each county? How can you leverage that, as a chair of the IDP?>>Bob: Who wants to go first? I’ll take it. Having been a chair of this caucus, once upon a time I can see the pattern and it’s identity politics, which is -which is a very strong underlying tone in any voter identification project – you know, you look at the Latino vote you look at the Woman vote – people often, not always, but often will make their first decision on who they vote for based on identity. And that was the logic behind the creation of these. I think the trick ultimately is to balance the Constituency Caucuses and the geographic caucuses to make sure that one side doesn’t overweight the other. But I do think one thing that we do have to do to make ’em work right is to resource ’em. And I would like to thank Derek [Eadon] and Kevin Geiken for what they did to the IDP C just this time around. We went and we got the list of the Veteran’s Tax Credit people around the state. They took that, they sent it to the DNC -the DNC collated it into more usable data, targeting veterans and getting into the database and I believe that’s why Kevin sent out that email to everybody. He said he was gonna have that ready -about now. Two or three days ago I got that email So we need to do that for every Constituency Caucus so that they have basic contact tools and they can use them through an emailer that’s inherent in the party. And that way we can keep the emails and fresh data internal and it doesn’t get bled off by consultants.>>Shelly: Well yeah, and that’s a perfect example of something that the Veteran’s Caucus is working on so that we can help update the VAN and help build our caucus and do voter outreach all at the same time so that we specifically -are doing before the 2018 election cycle. So we are doing multiple things to facilitate growth before the voter cycle, because when we have candidate buy-ins we want to give them a good product. So that’s kind of where my question was going. So I’d like to give you guys the opportunity to answer that question as well.>>Troy: Sure. The role that I’ve always – from my time at IDP before, and now, when I look at the different caucuses that are out there I see it as kind of a two-fold approach. One, it’s message in and message out. We look to the Constituency Caucuses to be the voice to the state party to provide that voice and make sure that the issues that are important to that particular caucus are at the forefront of the state party in general. So we look to them. They’re the advisors on the issues specific to each caucus. It’s also to push our message out through -through their caucus and their membership on what the state party’s doing. As part of that, the second piece of it is just to organize and to get folks organized out there. What I’ve seen a lot in the last couple years I’ve really been excited about it, particularly in the last year since the convention and whatnot. We’ve seen a lot of great organization happening within all the caucuses that are across the state. And so -obviously the Veteran’s Caucus is doing great. I was at a Black Caucus meeting in Davenport in May that was tremendous. There’s a lot of great activity happening out there. And so to make that happen, to allow, we have to provide the -to make that happen and make sure the caucuses have the ability to do that we have to provide the resources that they need to do that, and we — –not just in terms of -not just in terms of like, you know, money or something like that -it’s in terms of like, that’s part of it though, one is, you know providing literature and providing pieces that can be handed out and that sort of stuff. What Bob is talking about here with updating the VAN, making sure that information is in there, and making sure that’s consistently updated so that it’s not -it doesn’t get stale, cause as we all know the information in the VAN can go stale very quickly. But also one thing that I think we can do to help empower the different caucuses is to –help them raise money. And help them raise money to support themselves. Because I mean that should be a goal that we should have is that caucuses are able to help sustain the work that they’re doing. And so, you know, using the fundraising resources of the state party to put together fundraising plans, to put together different ways on how you can do that you can utilize emails, you can utilize etc., stuff like that, that can help allow these caucuses be more empowered and free to do the work that they need to do.>>Shelly: Thank you, Troy. I appreciate that so much. Julie?>>Julie: Yeah. To me, the fundamental purpose of any of us in the Democratic Party is to build relationships with voters and with our neighbors and friends so that they also join us as being Democrats. They’d respect our point of view, they’d respect our – our engagement. And so -what the caucuses. What’s valuable about the caucuses is you have relationships with people. There’s no way that we can have -any of us who are sitting working in an office, in one city, it doesn’t matter which city in the state, can have relationships with people in all 99 counties. It’s the people on the ground locally who have to do that. And so, veterans need to have those relationships, women need to have those relationships. It doesn’t matter which affinity group you are a part of. That’s what really makes our party work. And so, to me, it’s all about driving the tools you need to you to build those relationships. And so, that’s my answer. I really think it’s all about the relationships and whatever tools.>>Shelly: And we know voters often vote based on emotion not necessarily facts, so that’s->>Julie: I alway -people will sometimes ask me, “Where did you learn how to participate in politics?” And I tell ’em, “go join a religious organization cause those are the most brutal politics you’ll ever face in your life. – [laughter] ->>Julie: And uh, you know, I’ll just end that end that with an “Amen.” – [lots of laughter] ->>Shelly: Alright, I’d like to recognize Laura.>>Laura: Hi, I’m Laura Hubka from Howard County. You know me. Specifically to veterans and our political party you seem to have [seeded] the military and any veterans to the Republican Party. Rod Blum is continually having, you know, veteran’s job fairs and veteran’s meetings and we don’t see a lot of our candidates or, you know having these forums where they can talk about -to veterans and about veterans and actually showing what we’re doing to support veterans, we’re not vocal enough about that What would be – I guess we’ll start with Julie since you’re the next up>>Julie: Okay.>>Laura: What would be the first thing you’d want to do to get, you know, the veterans out there as chair, like to encourage ->>Shelly: HERE WE ARE!!! -[she laughs]->>Laura: You know what I mean.>>Julie: Oh, ok. I thought you were going to go in a different direction with that. So, the – I want to say one thing on a part you made there about the veteran’s forums that the members of congress have. That actually started with Democrats, years ago because when I was working for Leonard that was something that they were encouraging all the congressional staff to do across the country was to have these forums and then the Republicans picked up on it. To me, the big distinction between our two parties is that the Republi -and I’m gonna use the military because it’s a fabulous example of it. When you look at what is done to help our veterans you have to look to Democrats to do that work. But when you look at what’s done to help the military industrial complex that’s the Republicans. So, they all make a big hoo-ha about campaigning -about how they’re gonna fund, you know the Pentagon and they’re gonna fund all of our military resources. But they don’t fund our soldiers and their families and that to me is a piece of that. Now, that doesn’t answer what you asked Laura. Specifically to what you asked – – [broken audio] – – along that same line. There’s no reason you could’t do any of that.>>Shelly: We should.>>Julie: You know, I think it’s certainly something that we could add.>>(audience): Congressman Loebsack has done that wonderully. >>[Troy]?: Just to say, I was at his yesterday.>>Ah huh.>>[Troy]?: -campaigned in the last three days.>>Shelly: I wasn’t invited. I’m chair of the Veteran’s Caucus. >>(audience): I just got my notice the day before, so>>Troy: So I think that, well the first thing I would do is put together a message plan. Put together a message plan for the caucuses. Think we should do that for all the caucuses anyway but specifically for the Veteran’s Caucus your absolutely right. We have seeded this ground, we have let the Republican Party say they’re the patriotic party and that we’re the party that isn’t, and we’ve let them define us that way. We have to take that back. And so we need to put together a strong message plan. And you know, like, the people in this room right here, this is great, I mean we’ve got what 20 people here, 25 people here each and every one of you could submit an Op Ed, each and every one of you could submit a letter to the editor, each and every one of you can do something, and not just in like the big city markets and stuff like that but, David you’re in Allison, Iowa, if I’m not mistaken?>>David: Parkersburg.>>Troy: Parkersburg, Iowa, sorry. But, you know send it do the local newspaper there. Do this not just in big newspapers, which is what we always tend to do when we do Op Eds. Do it in smaller markets, get that out there. I agree with Julie. We need to do forums and do some of that work as well. The third we need to do though as part of this message plan is we need to talk to our candidates and make sure they’re not afraid to talk about it cause I think that’s one of the things that we have done is already, is like, we’ve allowed it to happen and so therefore we just don’t talk about it enough. We have to not be afraid to talk about these issues and make sure that they are doing that and provide them the resources to do it.>>Shelly: Talk about how Trump is making veterans lose their VA Disability when they get Social Security age when they’re rated from 60 to 100% and then this puts them in abject poverty because they haven’t ever made enough money to even rate a Social Security – [ ]->>(audience) Yeah.>>Shelly: These are the things that we have to frame as a message and put out.>>Bob: Yeah, I think Troy is right, the message plan is important. and, you know, I’ll take credit on the individual unemployability. That uh, we put that out under a -post on Facebook and uh, under the First National Recovery Center, and it had, we had about, 20, 000 views and I think about 40, 000 that read it without opening up the -the video. Which was the highest that we’ve ever had. and -what is happening today is that Trump is trying to get money to do some of the things he wants to do, and what he’s trying to do is he’s trying to go in and raid that money not only from this, from the disabled vets that are severely disabled, he’s going after the homeless, he’s going after the housing money he’s going after a lot of things. A lot of people that -because the number of veterans in the nation is relatively a low number now – a lot of people don’t realize that most veterans don’t get a pension many veterans don’t get -don’t get the aid. -for health care. And uh, we have an entire zone if we talk about LGBT Caucus or something like that we have a huge quantity of people that were dishonorably discharged and they’re still hanging out there because there is -it’s a difficult process to go in and get the records reviewed. What we do is we point out what the Republicans are doing wrong and what we can do better and that is message.>>Shelly: Yeah. So what -yeah, we’ll get back to framing on the message. So, I’ll need to recognize you. Yes.>>Yes, I’m [all the way over] from Clinton County, and, and -[clears throat]- I, uh, I don’t know if it’s from the hippocratic oath or what, I think it is but if the Central Committee can hang a big banner across the room that says, “First, do no harm.” – [ ] – because they have – [ ]- the second thing is that the caucuses are different people. Different attitudes. They run at a different speed. And there’s a tendency, no matter how hard you stomp it down it keeps coming back – we’re gonna make -we’re gonna put together a plan for either one of the caucuses. Recognize that we are all viewed as the people about the things that we support. And we have a particular approach and a different [method] that we accomplish that. and so I implore you do LISTEN to the veterans and [ ] of Veteran’s Caucus, but any caucus I should say, if they come to you and say, “We would like to do this,” you know, give them some leeway. I’m mean I’m to the point where this past year I got something to hear [ ]. but two months ago I resigned from the Central Committee of 4th District I resigned from the Veteran’s spot and I resigned from the county office that I held. I’m still -I call myself a Democrat spelt with a small ‘d’. But we have a great organization, we really do, but I don’t know how we continually sidetrack huge opportunity so -so again, hang that banner high where it says, “Do no harm.” Listen to the caucus. And because there’s not a lot in the Democratic Party rule book on how to run a caucus. And I think some of you have a lot of wisdom, and [ ] let that part out but, anyway, thank you.>>Shelly:Thank you so much for being here today. I’m so, so grateful for you and your wisdom and your courage. Thank you.>>Julie: So do we , can we comment – – [applause] ->>Julie: Shelly, can we comment on what he’s just added?>>Shelly: Please respect him and honor him.>>Julie: Yeah, uh, I agree with you and I think one of the things that we have to look at I –there’s a model that if I were elected chair that I would recommend we would seriously consider, which is actually one that came out of Iraq. It’s from a book called “One Mission” and what they realized was the bureaucracy at the military organization there was getting in the way of fighting insurgents. And so they didn’t -eliminate the bureaucracy because there was some strength in that but they created alternative paths for communication and when I read it, I thought, that’s just what we need because they were having the problem between, where even between, for example, seal teams or ranger teams or marine teams. They were not communicating -they had their units, with which they had great brotherhood and collaboration but they weren’t working across the board, and how do they get them to work together, and how they get them, most importantly, to share information. And, I think there’s a real opportunity there for us to recognize that our teams are our county parties, our teams are our caucus groups. And we need to better facilitate how they do their work. Not to say, “You must only do this,” but to say, “Here’s our end goal. How do YOU want to help -how are you gonna contribute towards that end goal?” And how do we help you then to contribute that way?>>Shelly: Thank you, Julie. Troy?>>Troy: Well, first of all I completely agree, with Larry. Uh, “Do no harm” should always be, first, “Do no harm” should always be what we do. I would look at any problem -oh>>Could you speak up a little?>>Troy: Sorry, sorry. “Do no harm” should always be what we first look at when we are looking at any issue facing the party. You know, I completely agree with you too Larry, that we need to -we need to listen, more. And one of the things that I tried to do when I became executive director, one of the concerns that I heard when I first started talking, like, started, you know plotting for the job and reaching out to State Central Committee members was a concern that they were uh, -not being utilized well. That they were meeting up five times a year, voting on stuff, going home, there wasn’t much communication, there weren’t much interaction with the state party as a whole. I worked hard to really try and change that and make sure we were listening to them so that this wasn’t a two-way, er, – this wasn’t a one-way street, where the chair or the E.D. was standing in front of a podium and saying, “Ok, here’s what’s happened. Vote on it. Thanks. Have a good night. Here’s lunch.” Like, we really worked to make sure that like, we were trying to make this very much a collaborative process. It’s very much how I approach things. It’s how I tried to approach it when I was on the Central Committee and working with the Veteran’s Caucus. Then -er, sorry, -when I was in the state party and working with the Veteran’s Caucus. then -and would certainly try to bring that again if I’m so fortunate enough to be elected.>>Shelly: Thank you, Troy.>>Larry: Keeping in mind that Veteran’s Caucus is made up of veterans, and the thing is we work a lot with one thing -how to fight, right? That what -we were taught how to fight. And so, don’t get too excited. Don’t get weary if we [ ] and fight a little bit. You can’t take it away and can’t change it too.>>Bob: For those of you who’ve been around – [broken audio] – – so we always have to kind of keep our head down and you know -and I see it, and it’s a somewhat an unique problem with the IDDC because we occasionally do have some people that have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and uh, they blew out their filters. And so a confrontation that may be dinner table talk somewhere can escalate. And it’s something that we as veterans have to be conscious of, that there are people out here that have some shorter fuses, but you also have PTSD, and short fuses in all those other caucuses too. Sensitivity -uh, I>>Shelly: We don’t own PTSD, first of all.
>>Bob: uh, it’s number one. Yeah.>>Shelly: We don’t own it. It is a valid diagnosis DSM-10 diagnosis, and we are not the only ones that have it and that has to be recognized.>>Bob: Yeah, absolutely. And, I think that what Larry’s saying is first “do no harm”, I think it’s be respectful. Trump has been our role model, unfortunately, and it’s allowed us to engage in fisticuffs that, you know, 20 years ago we wouldn’t even think about. And so we’ve got to get back to an old-fashioned standard of decency when we’re conducting meetings and we’re conducting the business of the party, and when we’re doing outreach. We can reserve our fighting and our punching for the bad guys. We know who the bad guys are in this case. But inside we gotta keep civil. >>Shelly: Please introduce yourself.>>I’m Mike [Meddson] from Davenport.>>Thanks, glad to meet you guys.>>Mike: So I’ve traveled around, about 25 counties in three months. and uh, talked to a lot of folks. To me there seems to be an overriding concern. A lot of people in our party, have individual, particular issues. And some have even heard many of them say, “well I’m not going to vote for so and so or so and so, unless they follow so and so. Or unless they are “here.” How do you get all of our party together, cause Trump won this state by 10 points, and it’s pretty splintered now in our party, and that seems to be the case. How do you as a leader of our party, get everybody in all these different factions and all these different ideas together, to get behind whoever our nominee is for governor? Cause there’s a lot of enthusiasm – how to we keep that? But there’s also a lot of fractions. We say we’re the party of everyone and united, and we kind of are but we’re also all over the place. And if we don’t get ourselves together we’re going to have Ms. Reynolds or Mr. Corbett be our governor so I think that’s the number one challenge we have, and at least I’ve seen, in all the places I’ve been. So ->>Shelly: Let’s keep it to 3 minutes each. Julie I’ll have you go first, please.>>Julie: Ok, um. What we really need is a clear, common goal and to me that common goal is -is there anyone in the room that doesn’t know that we need to win this next time around? We need to win. And in order to win we have to focus on those things that help us get to the win. And so, I am a very active, pro-choice woman, and I will be meeting Democrats who think otherwise. That’s okay. As long as they vote for Democrats I don’t care about that. I care about getting Democrats elected. I care about -because they’re just going to be people you disagree with anywhere I mean, at home, with my husband, for goodness sake -you know? We -what matters is that we focus on the win, and to focus on the win, I believe, we have to focus on our -our local races, and that means our legislative races, because winning doesn’t go “top down” winning goes “bottom up”. And our people -we need to focus on our legislative and local races because that’s where the winning will come from that will carry our governor candidate, our state-wide candidates and help us make the change we need.>>Troy: So, I think when we look at the division out there, there’s not a lot of difference on what we -what our goals are, right? The difference is just how we’re going to get there. We all agree that minimum wage should be higher. We all agree it should probably be $15 now, right? We just disagree on exactly how the path -what the path is to get there. And I think all of us can agree, that [ ] minimum wage all of us can agree that it shouldn’t -everyone should be making far more than the minimum wage in their life. Same on health care, same on education, same on job creation and economic growth. It’s just all about -it’s really all about the path that we get there, that’s where the disagreements, I feel, lie but we all agree on the same common goals and that’s what we have to focus on. And so, when we are putting together a message for this coming year, we need to make sure that that’s a message that can permeate everything and that everyone is talking from the same -same play. The example I use of this is in 2002 Vilsack and Harkin were running for re-election. The theme of the campaign that cycle for the Democratic Party, not just for Tom Vilsack, not just for Tom Harkin, was “Hope and Opportunity”. That was the tag line. And so that was what the focus was going forward. And so everyone was speaking from that, and it was a fairly, you know it was able to penetrate into the psyche of the party. And so other candidates were doing that. We have to do that again and it goes down to like, like state house, state senate candidates we have to get it even more localized than that to our county parties, to our county candidates, make sure that everyone’s saying the same thing, because the Republican message is so easy. The Republican message is [dumb], and they’re consistent in saying it. Our message ends up always being a little bit fractured we always end up talking about different things you know, some candidates are going to focus on Medicaid privatization, some candidates want to focus on human trafficking some candidates want to focus on education funding, etc. So we’re all just saying a bunch of different things but we’re never saying what is that we are going to do, what’s our vision, how are we – why people should be voting for us. We have to come up with that, that’s what we have to do. That’s how we kind of get the party back together going forward – for [2018].>>Bob: Years ago, when Noah was still getting the animals to go up on the Ark, the Democratic Party, came up with an issue book, and, Art Small did it. Art Small ran for senate many, some of you may know Art. He was quite a character, funny guy, he used to describe the, um -how they do it in the minority in the house. He’d say, “Well, you know we’d the bills would go flying away up there and we’d just throw up an amendment like that and we’d shoot and every now and then one would come tumbling down.” And he did that with controversial issue after controversial issue. And then he took those and he had the party line votes and he made books for every legislative candidate in the state. And it had about, oh, five or six, really you know hot issues and this was in 1972. When uh, when uh McGovern was going down bad. In Iowa we gained, I think it was like ten -ten legislators in the house and we gained a bunch a legislators in the senate and we only lost McGovern by 4 points. You know, which was phenomenal compared to the rest of the country when he carried Massachusetts and Massachusetts. So um -So the unity message was out here because we had that book that Art created and it had all these different issues that said “this is what they did wrong, this is what we wanna do right.” We can do that. We can have that book recreated it doesn’t have to be in a binder, although a binder is nice, it can be electronic but we need to have the workshops, we need to get it out there and we need to have it. You can still have your own message You can still be a legislator and say, “Well, we oughta redo the uh, you know, the Lotts Creek Bridge,” or something like that. But you have these other issues and you can throw ’em out there as they come up. and that creates a [cocopoint] -Is that how you pronounce that?>>(audience) [cacophony?] [ ]? >>It doesn’t matter, we know what you mean.>>Bob: yeah, that word – that you need to get the buzz to win the election. >>I’d like to hear from each one of you->>Shelly: Please introduce yourself.>>Oh, I’m Scott Foens, running for Iowa House District 68.>>Whoo! >>Scott: Ken Rizer. – [applause] ->>Shelly: Although Ken is also a veteran>>(audience) So?>>Shelly: You know. Kick his ass.>>Scott: With you guys’s help I certainly will. Uh, in order to know how to win you – it’s usually a good idea to know why you lost. I’d like to hear from each of you, just very briefly why did we lose? Not presidential, I’m not interested in that, I don’t care. Why did we lose the House? Why did we lose the Senate? Why have we lost our senate representatives? Why is it that Rod Blum is still representing the First District? What is it that causes us to lose?>>Shelly: I’m gonna, I’m gonna very quickly say I appreciate your question and I will appreciate your answers but let’s do it in a way where we don’t touch on anything like “Bernie or Bust” or the Democrat–>>No, he’s saying leave that out.>>Yeah.>>Shelly: Yeah, leave anything>>Scott: Yeah, I’m not interested in presidential. I don’t care.>>Shelly: Thank you so much, I appreciate that question.>>Julie: Uh, you wanna go first this time?>>Bob: Uh, I think they did micro-targeting and we didn’t. And I think it carried over from the Trump campaign. You know when you get to the -the uh, margin that he won here in Iowa. And it was clearly the landslide effect. It used to be, I don’t know if it’s the same number, it used to be the landslide effect starting coming in at about 57%. And he was in that zone, and uh, we -uh we lost. And I think it’s the momentum from the top carried the rest of the ticket down.>>Troy: So I still – I think it comes back to messaging and it comes back to -so , I’ve had a front row seat to this over the last couple cycles. And I have seen that what we are selling people just aren’t buying. And so, what it comes down to me is you know, Democrats have focused way too much on tactical or specfic policy stuff to try and get ahead. And it goes back to what I was just saying about, you know, I know like, certain levels of the candidates last cycle were focused on human trafficking, because the polling said that human trafficking played well. Uh, different campaigns were focused on Medicaid privitization stuff. Different federal races, whether it was the Clinton campaign, whether it was 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, whatever were all focused on different messages as well. We didn’t have anything that unified us, and we were all talking about very, uh all of it was very important stuff – it’s certainly very important stuff to our party but it didn’t fit into the overarching message. People didn’t feel that we had their backs. That we did care for what -what they cared about. And so, that’s what it boils down to, that’s why we lost in 2016, that’s what we need to do different in 2018. Cause if we’re not all saying the same thing if we’re not all out there talking about –this The Republican message is still gonna be “No.” And ours has to be that we are going to help move -move the state forward. And then everything else that people want to talk about can fit under that umbrella but we have to come up with that top of the pyramid message there, that everything else has to fit into.>>Shelly: Thank you, Troy. Julie?>>Julie: Um, I would say that it’s slightly different I would say, first of all, we haven’t been recruiting people to run for every race and we have to do that You can’t win what you don’t put people out there for -what you don’t have -go after. So that’s one reason, and when I’m looking at it, particularly legislatively, I’m looking at – the win is not just you winning, Scott, it’s winning the majority. And so, we have to look at both of those together. Then the other part of it is, uh, about the relationships, and, people want elected officials that they relate to, and they want to know that -and for all that I think Donald Trump is evil incarnate I mean, um, people -there are people who believe because they get his Twitter post and that they respond to him, and I bet you he never reads a single one, I don’t know but, they believe they have a relationship with him. And so we have -that changes how we do things. But people -I really think a key word for us is are we building those relationships? And how are we building those relationships? So the best thing that we’ve ever seen that works for our statehouse candidates and our senate candidates is at the doors because you’re building a relationship, and at coffees, you’re building the relationship. That’s what really helps people tie in. And so it makes it hard -I’m gonna, you know, pick on my -it makes it hard for a guy like Mike to come out and run – um, and I thought he brought a great deal to our governor’s race because yeah, everybody in Scott County knows him but the rest of the state didn’t know him. We have to also help our people in office have those relationships so they can move up to run for governor, because we need those people in those places. So, anyway. That’s mine.>>Shelly: I agree.
>>Scott: Thanks very much -appreciate it.
>>Shelly: Thank you so much, Julie.
>>Julie: You’re welcome.>>Shelly: Over here. Please introduce yourself.>>Eric: My name is Eric and I’m from Waterloo.>>Shelly: Eric from Waterloo.>>Eric: My name is Eric, from Waterloo. So, my question is how do you get Democrats to want to run as Democrats instead of -instead of not putting I’m running as a Democrat on their campaign signs or their campaign literature? They need to say, like, “I’m running as a Democrat [ ] or something, you know.>>Julie: Okay, I’ll take that one. I think that we have to show them that we’re proud that we’re Democrats, first of all you know, I mean, and that we’re confident about being Democrats that, that makes people say “yeah, I want to be a part of it.” But I do think it’s about the relationships Um, I think the other piece of that is it really helps if they have a local issue that they can get behind because that -[she claps]- really gets people locally engaged. You know, for right -I’ve been helping in -what did I do? Oh, “Proud To Be A Democrat.” Oh, that’s right. And, – I’ve been helping in West Des Moines. We’ve been recruiting candidates. We hope to have a full slate of people for our school board and municipal races and I’ve been having conversations with people about how to run and everything. And one of the things we’re just really trying to do is just build those relationships. Some people are gonna run this year. Some people are gonna run in two years. Some people want to run in eight years. It’s a -it is a slow process but the thing that we’re finding in West Des Moines that they’re uniting around is they really hated that water bill. Bear in mind we were the only metro city in ’93 that didn’t lose our water. And to talk about regionalizing it everybody who was living there then is like, “Ahhh!” you know, they’re just liked wigged out, including Julie Stauch. And so, we’ve got people running for the municipal offices because of that water board thing. So look for those local issues too. I think -I think that helps. You know.>>Bob: Kay. Well the uh, yeah -local pride is the – [ ] – [laughter] [talking over each other]->>Julie: It was me who [poked]. -[laughter]->>Bob: Um, yeah. Local pride. It’s uh -when I ran for state legislature we had some big orange signs that said proud to be a Democrat slap ’em on the cars, slap ’em on the -on the shirts and so you go down to a county fair and everyone was proud to be a Democrat And uh -it really took off. We haven’t done anything like that. We -we, our party literature when we have it you know, it’s maybe a flyer to stick in a door but I don’t know the last time, and maybe you can correct me, there – -time when we had a “Proud To Be A Democrat” or a Democrat -[laughter] Yeah. Yeah. But it has to be something that’s quick, easy, [ ] -that builds it up. Beyond that, I think uh, if you give them issues through a message, through a standard message, that they know, eventually they’re going to decide that they’re better off to be a Democrat because everybody is talking the same thing. And I think it -it kind of comes together in the wash.>>Shelly: Alright. Are you all done, Bob?
>>Bob: Yep. I am.>>Shelly: Troy, would you like to speak?>>Troy: Yeah, I don’t disagree with – I don’t disagree with anything that Julie or Bob said. Democrats should be unapologetic about being Democrats, plain and simple
>>[Absolutely] Um, you know uh -when I was E.D. of the party I traveled around that state a lot and you know where -I mean, there’s great Democrats all across the state, don’t get me wrong but like, some of the most fierce Democrats I’ve ever met are the ones in Western Iowa because you have -if you’re gonna be a Democrat in Western Iowa you have to be – you -you know you’re gonna be facing some hecklers, out there. and, you know, that’s what we have to do all across that state>>Shelly: Headwinds, tornados. – [Troy laughs] – we just have to be unapologetic about being Democrats. No one should, to your point Eric about people should put [proud] -they’re Democrats on their signs They should do that. They should do that and they shouldn’t be afraid to do that. and – to do that though we have to create the environment where it’s safe for them to do that and that means that we as a party have to make sure that we’re doing that [for them]. Not just from the state party, not just from a building on floor, but from over at, uh – all levels of the party, we have to not shy away from any fight, we have to not shy away from any – uh -criticism that might come our way from the Republican party we just have to keep meeting it head on, so ->>Bob: Could I get an alibi?>>Shelly: I actually would like to add something to -to what he’s saying. We also have to make sure that every Democrat of every different [breed] and color within the Democrat party feels welcome inside.>>[mm hmm. mm hmm.] >>Shelly: – once they’re inside because that’s really what I’d like you guys to address. I’m gonna add to his question >>Julie: Oh, okay. >>Shelly: and I’m gonna really put you all on the spot. Because we have Progressives, and we have Centrists, we have the pendulum that I spoke about in my opening statement. What will you do, as chair, when we have State Central Committee meetings and we have to do votes and we have to do resolutions and we have to come together and we have to meet and we have to get stuff done and you have all different breeds of Democrats, how are you gonna make things happen? And get things done and have unity? Go ahead, Julie, you can go first. >>Julie: Oh, okay. Alright. Well, one of the things I think we have to do is help people understand what they have in common even when they’re in different groups. You know help them find what they share whether -they may not share a be- a common belief about a particular issue but they -there are other things that they have in common, and help them understand that and see that -that they can work with everyone. I think as far as, um – the bigger question of, uh access for everyone it really comes down to respect, and we have to practice respect. And sometimes, for some people it requires practicing. You know, and not just automatically feeling that way. So we have to cultivate an environment where we practice respect.>>Shelly: [ ] respect [moment]. The fiercest most activist Democrats you will ever meet are in the SCC. – [laughter] ->>Julie: I want to say one more thing. To go back on a point that -that was made about Western Iowa, by Troy. I always think -someone told me once that they felt like they were a career military person, that they felt like I was a person who was always at the point of the sword, and I didn’t know what that meant, and then they explained to me what it meant, and I think we have to look at our Democrats in Western Iowa -they live at the point of the sword out there. They are really at the heat of the battle. And we need to be – we need to respect that what -what they accomplish there is different from what we’re gonna accomplish in a Dubuque or in a Waterloo or in a Polk County where we have a whole different environment and we have to respect that diversity.>>Shelly: Thank you, Troy?>>Troy: So, uh -we are the Big Tent party. We are the ones that -where everyone has a place to feel welcome and we have to make sure that we foster the environment that does that. Julie’s right, we have to show everyone respect. We have to listen to everyone. And we have to -you know, and we have to not be afraid to have hard conversations. Like, I think that, you know, traveling this state over the last couple years and seeing that there are divisions within the party that there are concerns within the party, that there are people who are at loggerheads at times. It comes down to the fact that there’s just a level of mistrust out there that still somewhat permeates certain parts of the party. We have to go out there we have to build that -er, we have to tear down that mistrust and build up the trust within the party. And so, starting with different entities like that State Central Committee I think that we can build that trust through action. I think that we task people with different, you know -if everyone’s just sitting on the side of the room and no one’s in the middle doing the work we’re not gonna get much done [ – ] no one’s gonna talk to each other. We have to get everyone into the middle of the room working together and through that action you’re going to see that people -that the mistrust is gonna go away. So we have to lead by example, uh -the State Central Committee does, and if I’m fortunate enough to be chair I’ll try to [foster] that.>>Shelly: I didn’t hear the last three words.>>Troy: If I fortunate enough to be chair I will foster that, try to foster that.>>Shelly: Say it with [confidence]. Alright, thank you, Troy.>>Bob: Well I think -I think the Constituency Caucuses are a big part of bringing it all together. And I say that because it allows people to define their issues amongst -friends and associates. They don’t have to go out into the broad body before they find they’re coalition. They can find it right there in that room. And, you know, we -we have a variety of caucuses, and we approve more every year. You know, if there’s somebody that’s really into duck advocacy we will have a Duck Caucus.>>Shelly: Okay. >>- [laughter]->>Bob: but it hasn’t happened yet.>>Shelly: Ah huh.>>Bob: But I think that, uh, civility, emphasis on decorum those are big things, and then I want to say something about Western Iowa. We had a congressional candidate that was forced out of the race. By threats. By death threats. By intimidation. By soft law enforcement and then we don’t have a candidate out there yet in the northwest Iowa. And we talk about “well we don’t need Western Iowa because they always lose out there anyway.” Look at the vote totals out of Blackhawk County. Look at the vote totals out of Polk County. Each of those we won by a few thousand votes. Not very much. You know how many votes they, uh – which county cancelled out Polk County, the last time we won Polk County? Sioux County! They carried Sioux County, a county of probably not more than fifteen or twenty thousand, and it was carried by 10, 000 votes. That is where we are losing our elections. Because we are no longer competitive in Western Iowa and we’re competitive in Eastern Iowa, but not enough to make a difference. We need to work those people back. It means playing a little more of a hardball game out there, as you have to, but we need to put money back in that area. In fact, when Kim Weaver was knocked outta that race there were people on Facebook, and there were a number of them, that were

2 Replies to “Veteran’s Caucus of the Iowa Democratic Party – IDP Chair Forum (8 July 2017) with closed captions

  1. There are closed captions on this video up to 1:16 (1 hour, 16 minutes). It is suggested to use the captions while viewing, even if not necessary, because the audio quality is not optimal and some responses were spoken very quickly. To "turn on" closed captions click the "CC" icon (lower right of video toolbar). –Apologies for the incomplete length of the captioning. Youtube is a flawed tool and should not be used to compose lengthy captioning work. Captions created by volunteer without certification in captioning.

  2. Click SHOW MORE in the description for names of candidates and attributions. Gratitude and credit to the Veteran's Caucus of the Iowa Democratic Party for hosting this forum and recoding this video (originally aired as a Facebook live steam to their constituency).

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