Yoder to IU Dems: ‘It’s going to come down to values’


Shelli Yoder listens to an opening speech by Margaret McGovern, the former mayor of Greenwood, during a Johnson County Democrats dinner Aug. 24 at the Valle Vista Golf Club in Greenwood. IDS File Photo Buy Photos

She came in shaking hands, greeting some students for the first time with a handshake and others with a quick embrace and smile of recognition.

Yoder spoke to the crowd following a campaign video compiled by IU College Democrats President Chris Babcock emphasizing President Barack Obama as a forward-moving leader and Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney as an extremist who would send the United States backward.

In her speech, she referred to several of the video’s points, such as ensuring contraceptive access for women and preventing cuts to educational grants, but she also expanded on the video.

Yoder said she is campaigning to educate voters, particularly those in the southern part of the district, and that those citizens have options in the voting booth.
“Relying on advertising to make decisions is putting someone else in the driver’s seat,” she said.

Later, she brought up the issue of the national deficit, expanding on her stance during an audience question-and-answer period.

“We can balance our budget by looking at both sides of the checkbook, by looking at how we spend our money and how we earn our money,” Yoder said.

She said she wants to approach the deficit with more of a scaffold than an axe.

Since she visited the IU College Democrats before the spring primaries, Yoder said she’s stopped being bothered by the fact she was not a seasoned politician.

“I’m a tenacious individual,” she said. “I don’t give up very easily. There have been times I’ve underperformed, and I’ve challenged myself to become better. I’ve challenged myself to become more educated on issues and open myself up to different points of view.”

With 33 days left to register to vote in 2012, Yoder and Babcock said it is imperative for students to not only register to vote themselves, but to encourage their friends to do so, too.

“As I travel the district, it’s so clear folks feel disengaged from the political process,” Yoder said. “They feel like their vote and voice doesn’t matter. I want people to remember their importance in the political process.”

Students broke into interest groups after the presentations ended, signing their names to help with various club causes.

Babcock said Yoder’s presence at the call-out was a rallying call to students to get energized for the coming two months, particularly for local races that could have greater weight closer to home.

“I really can’t emphasize how important it is for students to get involved in the congressional races,” he said. “This race, it’s one that we can win.”

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