Hello, my name is Mika Covington and I am running for Iowa Democratic Party State Central Committee (SCC) in Congressional District 2.
I am a college student at the University of Iowa studying psychology and German. I have been a Democratic Party activist and organizer since 2010 where I started by volunteering on a Mayoral campaign then working for President Obama as an organizing fellow and later I volunteered with Organizing for Action (OFA) as a spring fellow. I am also a former Pottawattamie Democratic Party central committee member and Affirmative Action Chair.
Yes, I was born in Nebraska and moved to Iowa in 2012 to work for President Obama and to attend college at Iowa Western Community College. Additionally, I moved to Iowa because of being transgender and living with a rare genetic disease called cystinosis. In Nebraska, because of being transgender I had no civil rights.
Living in Nebraska, I, unfortunately, experienced discrimination and oppression. This has taught me how harmful discrimination and oppression is to a person and further inspired me to fight against all forms of discrimination and oppression. Not to say that there is no discrimination and oppression in Iowa because there is and we still have areas to work on.
Because of what I have experienced I became aware of how important it is to step up and fight for the change that is needed. Therefore, I moved to Iowa to fight for that change.
More recently, I fought for working class and progressive values by being involved in the 2016 Presidential primary and working for Senator Bernie Sanders as a Field Organizer and then at the Iowa Democratic Party State Convention running for Democratic National Committee member. However, I came up short on the votes and was not elected.
Why I am running:
I am running because I am committed to ensuring that everyone who is a Democrat or supports Democratic issues are welcome and included in our party. I am also committed to assisting the IDP to ensure we have the tools and resources to win back the State from regressive Republicans.
I firmly believe that if we want change to occur we must step up to the challenge and create the change.
I think that we need to do more to be inclusive of students and young people and people who do not fit within the gender binary. Making the party more inclusive of transgender and non-conforming peoples is a major issue of mine which I have been working with a couple people on the SCC for the last couple months and have already taken action in Johnson County.
I know we need to reach out and bring back the 4.4 million Obama voters who voted in 2012 but stayed home in 2016. Of these 4.4 million, 43 percent were not contacted by any candidate in 2016 because it was believed they would be reliable Democratic voters.
I understand that we must update and modernize the way we are campaigning. We must put more emphasis on digital advertising and social media. We must follow the example of those already using social media and live streaming technologies. As Senator Bernie Sanders has done with live broadcasting his town halls. He was able to reach millions more than conventional online videos. We could use this tool to live broadcast many of our events and especially our fundraisers which in turn would include more people.
I am running because I have seen that the party still has many areas where we can improve. For example, the party treats those with money differently than those without money. We have fundraisers and events that exclude people who don’t have $50 to $75 to give to the party to participate in these events. Additionally, we seem to favor our incumbents and claim that primaries and open discussion of the issues are somehow divisive. Frequently, I hear party officials discourage the discussion and challenge to status quo.
I believe that I am uniquely qualified to be on the SCC because of my work on issue and advocacy organizations such as the Cystinosis Research Foundation and the Cystinosis Research Network. And because of living with cystinosis I learned at an early age to be organized, to advocate for myself, and to be responsible especially when it came to managing my health and navigating health care coverage.
I hope I can count on your support at the Iowa Congressional District 2 Democratic Party Convention.
If you have any questions or concerns contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org