Keara R. Dever
Kettering Municipal Court Clerk
Southwest Ohio, Local
The people of Kettering deserve an exceptional organizer, passionate advocate, and thoughtful planner to lead their municipal court system, and Keara Dever is up for the Clerk’s tasks. Her experience running her law firm has prepared her for this campaign where she plans to maintain the court’s budget in a sensible way along with working closely with other community leaders to ensure Kettering’s court runs smoothly on behalf of the people it serves. A vote for Keara on November 2nd means a vote for moving Kettering in the direction of progress and justice for all community members.Dever for Clerk
Meet the Candidate
Can you tell our members a little bit about your journey to filing as a candidate?
I got a phone call asking me if I was interested in running for this position and my immediate reaction was, “Not me!” There was no way I was going to step into that arena; I had imposter syndrome and thought I could never do that. But then my wife and I reflected on it and how much we care about these issues and I thought, “Well, why not me?” I thought this is the opportunity to run for a unifying position grounded in public service and love of community.
Tip O’Neill famously said that “all politics is local.” What are the top two issues your community faces today and how do you plan to address them?
Primarily, I think one of the biggest issues facing our society, both locally and beyond, is the increasing polarization and political antagonization that is seemingly drive everyone more and more apart. Specifically, I believe that local elected officials can take a huge step forward in mending some of these problems by exemplifying non-partisan, honest representation. I believe, at our core, we all can find unity in our love of our communities and we need to start on the local level and find that common thread that unites us. As Clerk, I have the opportunity to lead in such a manner that shows that I clearly represent all of the constituents, regardless of politics, and focus on what makes our community better.
One issue more directly in the purview of a Clerk’s job description would be attacking the pervasive issue of driver’s license fees and suspensions. What most people might not know, is that a lot of folks will face minor fees or minor suspensions and quickly find themselves getting in a hole with the BMV that they can’t get out of. If someone has trouble accessing the court to pay a fine, for instance, eventually a block will be placed on their license. Then their license will be suspended. If their license is suspended, they’re either going to stop driving or continue to drive without a license. If they stop driving, they stop working, they work less, or can’t get a job. Then you don’t have people working, so you have unemployment issues, loss of tax revenue, etc. And if they drive without a license, then we have more drivers driving without proper insurance. If that person gets pulled over again, they get another fine, they get another suspension on their license, and their license reinstatement fees begin to skyrocket and they get into holes they can’t climb out of. And there’s a lot of those things you’d think are small but, in the aggregate, they cause big problems for people and for the community as a whole.
The bottom line is that we need an efficient and accessible clerk’s office that takes aggressive and meaningful action to help people get back to valid licenses and puts a stop to endless cycles that drain our community’s resources.
What stands out in our values as most important to you and your experience (or expected experience) in public office? Our values are:
∙ Economic empowerment
∙ Equity and independence
∙ Dominion over our bodies
∙ Access to education
∙ Safe communities in which to live and raise our families
As a practicing attorney for the past several years, what I have come to intimately know is that accessibility and the ability to adequately participate with the court system are essential to folks feeling empowered and overall fostering equity and independence. When the court system is equally and easily accessible to underserved or marginalized groups of people, then they have the power to engage and have more control over their lives. Specifically with dealing with court systems, the more inaccessible it is to certain people, the more the things keeping them disadvantaged will be compounded. I’ve seen a lot of these issues, particularly as an immigration attorney and an attorney who represents indigent clients. Accessibility is a prevalent and very real issue. If we want to give people the opportunity to be able to not continue to be disadvantaged by our systems and institutions, then we need to have those realizations and take real, corrective measures.
What does a Matriots PAC endorsement mean to you and your campaign?
The Matriots PAC endorsement means everything to me personally and to my campaign because this is a race I decided to run solely because of my firm beliefs and the values that The Matriots exemplify and so passionately promote.