Each week, we nominate a Young Dem in Idaho for our weekly spotlight. Our goal is to increase involvement and highlight the hard work of amazing Young Dems in our state. To nominate someone for Young Dem of the Week, please email us at email@example.com.
Our Young Dem of the Week for the week of March 26, 2018, is National Committeewoman Jessi Boyer. Jessi is 34 and has an 8-year-old daughter. She is Field Director on the AJ Balukoff for Governor campaign. Jessi was Chair of the Twin Falls County Democrats, a role is she stepping down from after moving to Boise last month.
Question 1: What made you want to get involved in politics? What was your first political experience like?
Jessi: I’ve been mentored by a few strong, dedicated women who recognized my fire for justice and taught me the importance of taking personal responsibility for creating the world I want to live in. My first job in politics made me feel completely in over my head, and that feeling hasn’t really diminished very much.
Question 2: What is one thing you were surprised to learn when you first got involved?
Jessi: To be honest, I was surprised there even was a career path that could employ my aptitudes and passions. There was always a part of me that was impassioned by political and social issues and disliked feeling helpless to do something about them. Then I applied for the table partners’ field fellowship as the field organizer for Planned Parenthood in Twin Falls and I immediately knew I had found my tribe.
Question 3: Who is/was your greatest political inspiration? Why?
Jessi: I’m in love with the powerful ways women have shaped the U.S. I single out women, and especially women of color, because everything they accomplished they had to fight harder and dig deeper for than their male colleagues. Shirley Chisholm, Cecile Richards, Ruth Bader-Ginsburgh, Nina Simone, Hillary Clinton and Maxine Waters are some of the names that inspire me to persist.
Question 4: What words of wisdom would you give to young people?
Jessi: Cultivate your skills, embrace your strengths, and use your platform to raise others up with you. Resist the urge to tear people down, especially those who share your values. Keep your passion for this work alive by freely sharing knowledge and challenging yourself to view the world from the eyes of a beginner.
Question 5: What issues are you most passionate about?
Jessi: The things that get me the most fired up are the pieces of legislation thinly veiled as “protections” but glaringly motivated by shame-based religious ideology. The alarmingly common right-wing practice of ignoring or denying the validity of evidence and fact drive me to action. Access to health care, equal rights, access to abortion, and creating an economic system that doesn’t siphon wealth from the bottom to the top are some of the most important issues to me.
Question 6: What would you like to see happen in Idaho politics this year?
Jessi: I’d like to see us pick up legislative seats and I think we will, especially if we all get out and knock those doors. I want to see Medicaid Expansion on the ballot and it’s looking hopeful. I’m sad the bill by Rep. Melissa Wintrow trying to keep deadly weapons out of the homes and hands of convicted violent abusers failed to pass and I hope we can rally around her efforts and make this legislation happen next session. And of course, I want to see AJ elected governor of Idaho!
Any other comments you’d like to make?
Jessi: I want to shout out my mom, without whom I wouldn’t have a career. She is the best Granny to my daughter, Joss, and has been my saving grace. I love you, Mom!
To nominate somebody for Young Dem of the Week, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us why they should be Young Dem of the Week.