Election Q&A: Cooweescoowee District
Updated: Oct 24, 2018
TAHLEQUAH - The Election Board for the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians has finalized its list of 16 candidates for November’s Tribal Council Election. Upon receiving the finalized list, the Giduwa Cherokee News attempted to reach out to each candidate to participate in a Q&A session.
COOWEESCOOWEE DISTRICT CANDIDATE
Editor's Note: Candidates Clifford Wofford and Ramona Ukestine did not respond as of press time.
Name: Jeannie Tidwell
Cumulative years on Tribal Council: None
Why did you decide to run for Tribal Council in 2018?
Jeannie Tidwell: I noticed in our immediate area there, which I believe is the biggest demographic, you never hear about people receiving assistance. You never hear about meetings. It is like we are out in no man’s land and everyone is disengaged. I want to get people more involved, what their rights are, I want them to know if they are qualified for assistance or if they aren’t. This point right now, no one is getting answers on anything. I am running for accountability and to help our people be stronger.
GCN: What do you believe are some of the most pressing issues our tribe faces and what will you do to address those issues?
JT: I do believe that there are pressing issues. There are some resolutions or laws that I do believe that need to be changed, for the reason being that there’s inconsistency in a way that some of the laws that are there. I believe that sometimes people that are on council or committees, they may use that in the wrong way and sometimes that benefits just themselves and it allows for discrimination against other people.
GCN: What do you believe are the most pressing issues facing your potential district?
JT: I think it is just the people not having the knowledge or information that they need. You don’t hear of anything. You hear nothing of what’s happening with the people. I don’t even think there is meetings being held. I want to make sure that there are monthly meetings. To me, that is real concerning because if you are not having a monthly meeting, updating your people, or you are not listening to their concerns or their needs, then what are you doing? I really want to keep people connected to the tribe.
GCN: Have you set specific goals and a timeline to accomplish them if you were to win the council seat? What would be your first order of business?
JT: My first order of business would try to get people more engaged. I kind of like to look into issues that any of the elderly might be having and there may be things that they are eligible for that they don’t know about. I want to make sure that they are up to speed on what is going on. Also, one of my big things is education. I really believe that our tribe needs to get more involved in the education department and possibly help kids with tutoring and stuff like that.
GCN: How do you plan to stay connected with the constituents in your district (meetings, social media, home visits, etc.)?
JT: All of the above. I love to go out and meet people as long as they are welcoming me to come in. I’ll go eat some beans and taters with somebody. Social media, I will probably make sure that I have a page now and that will be a cornerstone for everyone to be engaged with me. I’ll make sure that my phone number is published out there, so if they need to contact me at any time.