Judy Plank

Plymouth County Democrats, 3/23/2017 Edition 1, Volume 3

 Tell me about your family:

I live in Remsen with my husband Paul and our cat Sweetheart. We have two grown children, four grown grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

Tell me about your hobbies or interests, past or present:

I have a backyard veggie garden, which provides fresh vegetables not just in the summer, but year round, as I can tomatoes and relishes and fill my freezer with many veggies and fruits. My house is full of books, mostly non-fiction. Through reading I love to learn about new things. I’ve also dabbled in writing poetry. I am near the end of a three or four-year process of writing my first and hopefully only book, a history and family autobiography.

Tell me about your educational and occupational history:

I attended a rural schoolhouse for the first few grades before it closed. I then attended the Marcus Public School through graduation. I attended Westmar College in Le Mars for a year before I was married. Twenty years later I graduated with a BA in sociology major/psychology minor from Southwest State University in Marshall, MN, and went on to get an Associate Degree in accounting a few years later.

As a perpetual student I have a sporadic work history, but I have worked in a welfare department for 18 months, in a residence for mentally ill persons for three years, and financed most of my college doing childcare in our home by day, attending college by night.

Tell me about your involvement with the Democratic Party:

I began my political life supporting George McGovern in 1970 as the head of his campaign in Lyon County, MN, and was a delegate to the state convention and briefly on the State Democratic Committee. I was also an election Judge through numerous elections in Minnesota. I was involved with local groups of activists everywhere I could find them since protesting the Vietnam war and joined two protests in Washington, D.C. , against the Iraqi wars.

As a diehard progressive/ socialist peace activist I supported Dennis Kucinich for President in 2008 and Bernie Sanders in 2016. A highlight for me was my opportunity to introduce Bernie to a crowd of about 1,100 at the Sioux City Convention Center prior to the caucuses. I remember going door-to-door with County Chair Mark Sturgeon in Kingsley one election season and have been fitfully involved with the Plymouth County Democrats for a number of years, mostly just before elections. Mark and I have held signs together protesting Rep. Steve King on a couple occasions.

Tell me about any awards or commendations you’ve received:

I received a Best in Place for a Lily at the Marcus Fair. I have a couple commendations for being a cofounder of Healing our Borders and co-facilitating the Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP).

Tell me something not many people know about you:

Try as I might, I cannot whistle and have always been envious of those who can.

Tell me what you’re most proud of:

For some years now I have been co-facilitating Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) workshops in the Fort Dodge Correctional Facility and am part of the New Roads Reentry Team here locally, to assist people returning from prison to readjust to society and hopefully not return to prison.

Who is your biggest hero, past or present?

There are too many to choose from, but I especially admire the Dalai Lama and Bishop Desmond Tutu.

How long have you been active in your favorite causes and/or community in Iowa?

After we moved back to Iowa about 19 years ago we spent about ten winters near Douglas, AZ, on the border with Mexico and witnessed the migrant situation firsthand. I was at the founding of Healing our Borders, a group attempting to stop the increasing deaths of migrants crossing the border and to change the nation’s immigration policy. We held weekly vigils remembering those who perished, and handed out blankets to migrants returned to Mexico by the border patrol late at night on the coldest nights, with temperatures in the teens at the higher elevations. I was also at the founding of DouglaPrieta Works, a self-sufficiency project across the border in Agua Prieta, Sonora, to provide employment to lessen the need to cross into the U.S. for work.

Recently I organized a protect against Wells Fargo in Sioux City this summer due to their financing of the Dakota Access Pipeline and have supported other DAPL activities.

Were there any significant hurdles or fears you had to face over the years?

Dealing with family members who have had long-term codependency/ addiction issues.

Tell me your biggest concern today:

My personal current concern is our state and national healthcare situation. My daughter has chronic health problems and moved to Iowa a year ago to be closer to us. Assisting her with the paperwork through different agencies in different towns and departments has been a constant and never-ending stress. Many people who most need the help are just not able to navigate the impossible system, and I fear should it get more complicated the entire system will implode on itself. We so desperately need single-payer health insurance, as all other wealthier nations enjoy. That was one of the reasons I supported Bernie.

Tell me your favorite quote:

I have this posted on my desk: “Breathe, Grandma. Life is precious! Love you.”

– My granddaughter Athena.

To meet Judy and many other interesting Plymouth County Democrats, come to our monthly meetings, held the 3rd Monday of the month (locations announced via email, on KLEM 1410 AM, and in the Le Mars Daily Sentinel)

Caucus

The Plymouth County Democrats will be holding our odd year caucus on Saturday, March 18, 2017, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Merrill Civic Center, Lower Level, 608 Main Street, Merrill, Iowa, 51031.  An official call to caucus was sent to precinct committee persons and central committee officers.

This caucus is open to all registered Plymouth County Democrats.  Feel free to attend to view the proceedings and/or to volunteer to fill precinct committee person vacancies for your precinct.

The main purposes for this caucus is to fill vacancies in the County Central Committee, elect new officers for the next biennial period, and propose platform planks.  We are also using this occasion to hold the March County Central Committee meeting and to host a thank-you event to those who volunteered this past election cycle.

Maureen Wilson

Plymouth County Democrats, 2/3/2017 Edition 1, Volume 2

Tell me about your family:

I have four children, twelve grand-children, and seven great-grand-children.

Tell me about your hobbies or interests, past or present:

I love to go camping. For years my husband and I camped at Correctionville and Scenic Park. Now we have a camper at Camp Boji at the lakes and try to spend as much time there as possible during the summer. I am a member of the American Legion Auxiliary and a member of the Iowa Voters for Companion Animals group. For several years I volunteered at the soup kitchen in Sioux City.

Tell me about your educational and occupational history:

I graduated from Kingsley High School and attended Westmar College for one year. I worked at Northwestern Bell for a year as a long distance operator then held a few other jobs after getting married. I worked for Senator Tom Harkin for over 20 years.

Tell me about your involvement with the Democratic Party:

I started as a volunteer with Senator Tom Harkin’s office in 1986 and then was hired on as staff after a year. As I said, I worked for the Senator for over 20 years. I was a member of the Woodbury County Democratic Central Committee for many years and served as secretary for over 10 years. I am currently a member of the Plymouth County Central Committee.

Tell me about any awards or commendations you’ve received:

Last year I was honored to receive the activist award from the DAWN’S List group. I received 10-year and 20-year awards from the US Senate for my years on Senator Harkin’s staff. Upon my retirement I received recognition from Governor Chet Culver, the City of Sioux City, the Iowa House and Iowa Senate.

Tell me something not many people know about you:

I lived on an acreage for 20 years and learned to vaccinate cows and sheep.

Tell me what you’re most proud of: I am most proud of my children, who have always been supportive of me in the choices I have made regarding my personal life and my work with Senator Harkin. I’m also very proud of the work I did for the Senator and in being able to help constituents who were confronting difficult issues.

Who is your biggest hero, past or present?

My biggest hero is Senator Harkin. He fought for all the right causes and was very effective in his work. His constituent work was his highest priority, and I am proud to have been a part of that.

How long have you been active in your favorite causes and/or community in Iowa?

Probably active for over 40 years.

Were there any significant hurdles or fears you had to face over the years?

One hurdle was learning how a Senate office works and learning to deal with agencies to help constituents. Dealing with threatening people coming to the office was a definite fear, but I did it and learned a lot about dealing with various personalities.

Tell me your favorite quote:

My favorite quote is “There are those who look at things the way they are and ask why…. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?”

– Bobby Kennedy

To meet Maureen and many other interesting Plymouth County Democrats, come to our monthly meetings, held the 3rd Monday of the month (locations announced via email, on KLEM 1410 AM, and in the Le Mars Daily Sentinel)

Dianne “Kay” Luckett

Plymouth County Democrats, 1/9/2017 Edition 1, Volume 1

Tell me about your pets:

I have a six-year-old Bichson named Molly Bear.

Tell me about your hobbies or interests, past or present:

Kay Luckett
Kay Luckett

My interests are water color art, community service, and traveling. I’ve been doing water colors for six years and do three classes at the Sioux City Art Center every year. I am President of the Arts Center, The Friday Club, and Secretary of several other clubs and organizations. I take care of St. George’s Episcopal Church as the Senior Warden now for the 15th year. I work at Hands Around the World in Orange City from April to December and take the winter off because of the weather in Sioux County, which is actually worse than Plymouth County. I have traveled all over the world, including many of the lower 48 states, Alaska, Europe, and the Caribbean.

Tell me about your educational and occupational history:

I have an MA in history (I am an Egyptian freak) as well as a major in English and taught high school for 35 years. I have been retired from teaching for 16 years.

Tell me about your involvement with the Democratic Party:

I am the Secretary of the Plymouth County Democrats and have been active in the Democratic Party since 2008 but a Democrat since before Reagan was President. I am a big Obama supporter. I believe politics is the business of every citizen.

Tell me something not many people know about you:

I’ve been very lucky most of my life, so I’m well named.

Tell me what you’re most proud of:

I recently found out that I am related to Henry the VIII (not directly, but through one of his sisters, which one I don’t know, and that’s a long story. That part of the family left the U.S. when the Constitution was signed after fighting in the Revolutionary War (apparently on the wrong side). They left for Canada, going so far as to change their name, but eventually came back years later. The Lucketts have been here since 1650, arriving in Maryland and living there until the Revolutionary War was over (THEY fought on the right side). They received land certificates to go to Kentucky, so every summer eight or ten allied families would take their worldly goods and head west, eventually settling in western Kentucky, where my grandfather was born in the late 1700’s.

Tell me your favorite saying:

My favorite saying is “Keep putting one foot in front of the other!” Moving on…

To meet Kay and many other interesting Plymouth County Democrats, come to our monthly meetings, held the 3rd Monday of the month (locations announced via email, on KLEM 1410 AM, and in the Le Mars Daily Sentinel)