Deb Walker is a champion of equality, diversity and inclusion. Kindness is her superpower.
“That’s the one thing I try to teach my children is just be kind and try to have a little grace for people,” said Walker.
She’s the beating heart of the Citizens Project in Colorado Springs, a non-partisan organization dedicated to defending the same ideals Walker holds dear.
Her mission is to get voters to the polls and make sure they’re informed by organizing town halls and forums.
“Every single election we’re writing postcards and making phone calls. This past election we text messaged people,” recounted Walker.
She also helps publish a voter guide that goes to over 180,00 people. Her hope is to fill the gaps on issues that don’t command as many headlines or as much airtime.
“Whoever is serving on the school board is equally important as who’s President of the United States.”
One of those guides made its way into the hands of a woman who recently voted for the very first time.
“She said I could not have cast an informed ballot without the Citizens Project voter guide,” Deb said.
She also helped a convicted felon whose rights had been restored.
“She was terrified. She had never voted in her life and we told her she was eligible to register to vote. We accompanied her to do that registration and she was scared the whole time that she would be turned away or embarrassed. She was so proud! I like to think we helped her on her way to make sure her voice counted.”
On top of all that, Deb helps families navigate the murky waters surrounding the separation of church and state.
“The good news is the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled on a lot of these things so we know what the law actually says,” She’s not looking for gotcha moments. “We help educate them. We like to err on the side of assuming that everyone’s intention is good.”
Deb draws inspiration from her own kids, remembering a unique project her daughter did in school.
“They had to create a whole new country, and in her country, there was a secretary of love and a commissioner of honesty,” she smiled.
In her own small way, Deb hopes to make our country a little bit like the one her daughter imagines.
She knows changing hearts is a long game, but she’s certainly taking a swing.