Today’s episode is about political participation featuring interviews with two disabled activists. First, I speak with Reyma McCoy McDeid, Executive Director of the Central Iowa Center for Independent Living in Des Moines and a former candidate for state legislature. Next, I speak with Sarah Funes, a recent graduate of UC Berkeley who is very active with get out the vote efforts locally in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Both Reyma and Sarah discuss what political participation means to them. Reyma shares her experiences running for office in Iowa and the importance of creating structural changes to encourage more disabled people to consider running. Sarah talks about her activism during her time as a college student at UC Berkeley and her current work increasing voter turnout and registration.
Candidates with Disabilities Running for Office in 2018 and 2019 (National Council on Independent Living)
Carter, Sherman. (August 15, 2018). These female candidates are fighting for the right to use campaign funds for child care. Vice.
Cockrell, Cathy. (October 28, 2014). Hell-bent on getting out the vote. UC Berkeley News.
The Des Moines Register. (May 24, 2018). House District 38: McCoy McDeid faces Matson in Democratic primary.
Institute for Educational Leadership. ADA Generation: Sarah Funes.
Ho, Sophie. (November 5, 2014). Voter turnout markedly low in Tuesday’s election. Daily Cal.
Kelly, Michelle. (April 10, 2013). Before You Judge Her, Meet Sarah. The Skyline View.
Powell, Robyn. (May 31, 2018). People With Disabilities Are ‘Severely Underrepresented in Elected Office.’ These Candidates Hope to Change That. Rewire News.
U.S. Government Accountability Office. (October 3, 2017). Voters with Disabilities: Observations on Polling Place Accessibility and Related Federal Guidance.
Wong, Alice. (October 21, 2018). Recap of #CripTheVote chat on voter mobilization and outreach with guest hosts Sarah Funes & Sarah Blahovec.
Reyma McCoy McDeid is the Executive Director of Central Iowa Center for Independent Living in Des Moines and a former candidate for state legislature.
She has carved out a unique career in employment services, disability advocacy, and education and she works to engage voters with disabilities into the political process and educate elected officials on the issues that impact Iowa’s largest minority community. She holds a Master’s degree in Nonprofit Administration with a concentration in Business; her vocation is supporting fellow individuals on the Autism spectrum to lead independent, fulfilling lives.
Sarah Funes is a recent UC Berkeley graduate with a degree in Political Science. She grew up in San Mateo County where she started her career as a Youth Commissioner on two county commissions during high school. In college she worked with the Chancellor’s office of California Community Colleges on rewriting Title V and served as a Vote Everywhere Ambassador with the Andrew Goodman Foundation. In her free time she enjoys traveling and spending time with her service dog Barack.
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Cheryl Green, Audio Producer & Text Transcript
Alice Wong, Writer, Producer, Interviewer
Lateef McLeod, Introduction
Mike Mort, Artwork
Theme Music (used with permission of artist)
Album: NO BIG DEAL
Artist: Wheelchair Sports Camp
“3 of us” by Ketsa. (Source: freemusicarchive.org. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License.)
“The Temperature of the Air on the Bow of the Kaleetan” by Chris Zabriskie. (Source: freemusicarchive.org. Licensed under an Attribution License.)