Election Q&A: Illinois District
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.
Editor’s Note: Peggy Girty is an incumbent for her district and runs unopposed in this year’s Tribal Council Election. As such, she was asked a different set of questions to reflect on her past term and discuss her plans for another two years.
Other incumbents Eddie Sacks of Canadian, Frankie Still of Flint, Charles Smoke of Saline and Clifford Wofford of Cooweescoowee did not respond as of press time.
ILLINOIS DISTRICT INCUMBENT
Name: Peggy Girty Age: 59 Community: Vian Years on council: 7 years
GCN: What year did you initially choose to run for Tribal Council and why?
PG: I ran in 2011 and my main focus was to continue to help the people in Illinois District. The politics never entered my mind. A councilor’s job is difficult at times, especially the politics, I am not a politician by no means, I just like helping people. The positives of helping people far outweighs the bad, that is why I keep doing what I do.
GCN: What does it say to you that you are unopposed on the 2018 ballot?
PG: I am not sure about the no opposition, I just know that when its my time to move on, I will know and someone will replace me. What are some of your accomplishments from your time on council? PG: My main accomplishment and focus is to try to make sure the people in my district keep getting assistance when they need it.
GCN: What do you believe are some of the most pressing issues our tribe faces and what will you do to address those issues?
PG: To provide the people with their needs. To provide employment so they can be self sufficient. Provide educational funding to our UKB students to further their education and incentives to our high school students to graduate. In order to be able to provide this, we need businesses to make money to meet these needs.
GCN: Are you part of any UKB committees or have you gotten involved in other ways?
PG: I was on the Education committee for the first couple of years I was on the council, the committees were then halted. I have recently been placed on the Housing Committee, excited to be on that committee.
GCN: How do you connect with your constituents currently (meetings, social media, home visits, etc.)?
PG: I connect with constituents through monthly meetings, home visits if they need help with an app and social media, when I need to contact about school vouchers or cards. Will you be doing anything different going forward to connect with your constituents and keep them informed? PG: I am planning to send out a leaflet, which will include the chiefs report to the people as well as directors reports, information not normally in the newspaper.