South Dakota Focus: South Dakota Senate candidate Julie Garreau wants to hear what voters really want
The district...Julie Garreau wants to represent in the South Dakota State Senate stretches from the hilly banks of the Missouri River mid-state across rolling prairies, buttes, and pocket “badlands” to South Dakota’s western boundary. Covering more than 13,000 square miles, the rugged terrain of District 28 encompasses ranches, farms, towns, and two large Indian reservations, Cheyenne River and Standing Rock.
The area’s economic and social problems are just as big and just as rugged, but Garreau, an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe whose name will be on the ballot in November, wants to fix them by listening, rather than by telling people what’s going to happen.
“This is not about me. It’s about the people of this district and what they need. We need economic development that helps everyone. We want our farmers and ranchers to prosper. We want our young people to stay here and build families. We have law enforcement issues. When I get to the Senate, my job will be to pay attention to my constituents and find out how they want me to solve these problems...
Garreau will continue working for reconciliation between South Dakota’s white and Native communities and sees herself representing both. “Let’s get communication going. So many issues in this state are defined as ‘white’ or ‘Indian,’ but in reality are the result of poverty and exclusion that affects both communities.”
Garreau’s been getting an enthusiastic reception as she makes appearances across District 28. Her Facebook site shows a range of wholehearted support. “How about some meat? Or voter hauling?” one supporter wrote in. “Need legal research, holla at me!!!!” e-mailed another. “I can always use more volunteers, though,” Garreau said.
Though this is her first run for office, she’s no stranger to politics. She has been president of the Dewey County Democrats for two years and was a coordinator for then-Senator Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. She communicates regularly with the state’s national representatives, and in the Congressional Record, Senator Tim Johnson called her “a tireless advocate [who] deserves high praise for the love, hard work, and dedication she has shown for her community.”
Find out more about Julie Garreau at her campaign website.