Brainstorming new names for the Iowa Democratic Party's Jefferson-Jackson dinner

The Iowa Democratic Party announced today that its State Central Committee voted “to begin the process to change the name of the annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner following the 2015 Dinner.” In a statement I’ve enclosed in full below, state chair Dr. Andy McGuire said “it is important to change the name of the dinner to align with the values of our modern day Democratic Party: inclusiveness, diversity and equality.” She promised that all Iowa Democrats will have a chance to suggest new names for what has often been the party’s largest gathering of the year.

One obvious choice would be to name the dinner after longtime Senator Tom Harkin, now that the Harkin Steak Fry is no more. Or, if party leaders want to stick with historical figures whose legacy unites Iowa Democrats, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt.

What do you think, Bleeding Heartland readers?

Iowa Democratic Party press release, August 8:

Statement from IDP Chair Dr. Andy McGuire on SCC’s Vote to Change Name of Jefferson-Jackson Dinner Following 2015

DES MOINES – Today the Iowa Democratic Party’s State Central Committee voted in favor of a resolution to begin the process to change the name of the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner. The change will take place following the 2015 dinner. IDP Chair Dr. Andy McGuire issued the following statement on the resolution:

“Today the Iowa Democratic Party’s State Central Committee voted to begin the process to change the name of the annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner following the 2015 Dinner.

“The vote to change the name of the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner comes after much debate and discussion among our activists and grassroots leaders around the state. This was not a decision that was made lightly. The vote today confirms that our party believes it is important to change the name of the dinner to align with the values of our modern day Democratic Party: inclusiveness, diversity and equality.

“Moving forward, we will continue the conversation with Iowa Democrats about what the new name should be. The process for changing the name will be as inclusive as possible. We will ensure that all Iowa Democrats have the opportunity to have their voices heard, and offer suggestions for a new name.

“Iowa Democrats are proud that we are never afraid to move forward and modernize, and we continue to work hard everyday to elect Democrats all across Iowa.”

The SCC today also elected Kimberley Boggus as the party’s new Affirmative Action Chair.

“The Iowa Democratic Party is wholly committed to making our Party as inclusive and welcoming as possible. Today the State Central Committee took a major step in advancing these goals by electing Kimberley Boggus as our new Affirmative Action Chair. Kimberley is a strong leader who has proven to be a fierce advocate for Democratic values. With Kimberley at the helm, I am confident that the Iowa Democratic Party will continue to grow more diverse and inclusive as we bring our Democratic message all across the state,” added McGuire.

  • As I tweeted earlier,

    I don’t understand the fuss. George Jefferson and Reggie Jackson never owned slaves, so leave the dinner alone.  

  • Return to our roots.

    FDR built the great social programs that have been the foundation of the party’s success for decades.

    Tom Harkin built on that foundation with the ADA, and fought to protect it from efforts to attack it, including, sadly, from a Democratic President and some Democrats in Congress. (For Democrats who wanted to grand bargain with Social Security, I propose the GoldmanSachs/Citibank Dinner.)

    Tom said he was an FDR Democrat in a wonderful speech at the Wing Ding last year.  I think the party should honor these two great Democrats.  

  • most influential iowan ever

    I say go with Henry A. Wallace. He was Iowa born, an Iowa State University graduate, a vice president of the United States, secretary of commerce, secretary of agriculture with progressive views similar to the mainstream of the modern Democratic Party. Mr. Wallace is the perfect choice.

    • Henry Wallace

      Wallace left the Democrats in 1948 to run as a Progressive; a fact I learned last week actually, coincidental as it is. I’m not sure if this would be any form of disqualification.

      At ISU there are the similarly named (for different reasons) Wallace & Wilson towers. Brought to mind Woodrow Wilson & Henry Wallace.

      A friend of mine pointed out another example of alliteration; Harkin & Hughes. That is Tom Harkin & Harold Hughes the Governor & Senator from Ida Grove.

      • Glad to be rid of Jackson

        I know he was a populist but his treatment of the Cherokee Indians was abysmal and that’s a key part of his legacy.

        I think Harkin Hughes is a great combination for a name.  What’s not to like about either man?

  • The Harold Hughes Dinner

    has a nice ring to it.  

    I love Tom Harkin, but Hughes is even more revered, and was in many ways the founder of the modern Iowa Democratic Party.  

  • IDP Dinner

    The Harold Hughes Dinner or Harkin Hughes Dinner are my best ideas I think. I wonder if Andy McGuire browses this blog.

You need to signin or signup to post a comment.