DeJear is small business owner and community activist
Senate Democratic Leader Zach Wahls today appointed small business owner and community leader Deidre DeJear of Des Moines to the Temporary Redistricting Advisory Commission.
The Commission is responsible for conducting hearings to gather input from Iowans about new maps that will be drawn for legislative and Congressional districts later this year, based on updated information from the U.S. Census Bureau.
“Deidre DeJear is committed to free and fair elections,” Wahls said. “Now more than ever, we need to ensure Iowans have fair maps for legislative and Congressional districts going into the 2022 elections. Iowa’s nonpartisan, independent system for redistricting should not be undermined by politicians.”
DeJear said she is enthusiastic about serving on the Commission because of her passion for voting rights.
“It is of the utmost priority that every Iowan has equal access to the ballot box,” DeJear said. “In order to deliver safe and accessible elections to Iowa’s rural, urban, and suburban communities, we must also ensure that the state of Iowa has fair maps for legislative and Congressional districts.”
DeJear said her passion for voting rights advocacy started when she campaigned for her grandmother who ran successfully for County Commissioner of Elections in Mississippi the 1990s. Ever since, DeJear has championed voting rights and supported national and local candidates in Iowa.
DeJear founded Caleo Enterprises in 2008, which specializes in marketing and project development for small businesses and nonprofits. In 2018, DeJear became the first African American nominated by a major political party for statewide office in Iowa. DeJear graduated from Drake University.
For more than 12 years, DeJear has also supported efforts to increase financial management skills for Iowans, and strengthening financial capability and wealth attainment of Iowa’s African American community.
This week, Iowa House Democrats named Ian Russell, an attorney from Bettendorf, to serve on the Commission.
After receiving updated figures from the U.S. Census Bureau, the nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency will draft a proposed redistricting map and submit it to the Legislature. The Commission will conduct at least three public hearings across the state to gather comments from Iowans on the maps.
Following the hearings, the Commission will submit a report to the Legislature summarizing information and testimony received during the hearings. The commission’s report shall include any comments and conclusions which its members deem appropriate on the information and testimony received at the hearings.
The report must be submitted within 14 days of the date the first redistricting plan is delivered to the Legislature.