Iowa Democratic Party Chair Candidate Forum
Grandview University (Des Moines) — Friday, Dec. 16 at 6 p.m.
The group The Political Party is hosting a forum for candidates running for the Iowa Democratic Party chair position in Des Moines on Friday, Dec. 16. The forum is part of the group’s effort to keep people interested and involved in politics following the Nov. 8 election.
“The goal of the forum is to have a very open and transparent conversation with these candidates about what the future of the Iowa Democratic Party looks like,” said Veronica Tessler, who is on the Political Party steering committee. “It’s a way to start this conversation with these candidates coming from a wide range of backgrounds and figure out who the next, best leader of the Democratic Party in our state is.”
The Political Party is a non-partisan group focused on engaging young people in politics and encouraging action through hosting issues-based events in Iowa. The group hosted two previous events — one in Des Moines and one in Iowa City — leading up to the Nov. 8 election.
Chair candidates were given a questionnaire with questions on topics including party building, the role of the chair and preparation for midterm elections in 2018. Candidate responses will be published before the forum.
Tessler said she is interested to hear from candidates about how they will handle issues like outreach to rural communities, encouraging progressive candidates to run for state and local offices and organizing major events, such as the Iowa Caucuses.
“One of the main things is just being an inclusive party, and that means representing Iowans of all stripes, including young people,” Tessler said.
Candidate responses to the questionnaires will help direct questions asked by forum moderators: Zachary Mannheimer, the vice president of creative placemaking at Iowa Business Growth and former executive director at the Des Moines Social Club, Mandy McWherter, Political Party Communications, and recently-elected Linn County Supervisor Stacey Walker. Members of the public are encouraged to turn in questions by submitting them on Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag: #PoliticalPartyIA.
Although the event is free, individuals interested in attending are encouraged to register.
“We really want to make this a process that reaches a lot of people because we need people involved and engaged from here on out if we want to see progress in our state and in our country,” Tessler said.