116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — Ashley Vanorny, a worker in health care administration, is seeking reelection to her District 5 seat on the Cedar Rapids City Council.
Vanorny, 36, filed nomination papers Tuesday to be on the Nov. 2 ballot in hopes of continuing to represent District 5, which primarily encompasses southwest Cedar Rapids. The District 5 race currently is uncontested.
She was elected to the council with 1,442 votes — over 59 percent of ballots cast — in a 2017 runoff election against three-term incumbent Justin Shields.
Vanorny earned an associate degree from Kirkwood Community College before receiving a bachelor’s at the University of Iowa. She recently completed her master’s in health care administration from Des Moines University and works as a clinic administrator.
Additionally, Vanorny is involved with community not-for-profit organizations, particularly regarding children in foster care. She serves on the Linn County Foster Care Review Board and other not-for-profit boards, as well as state and national groups for municipal elected officials.
On the nine-member council, Vanorny serves on the Development Committee as well as the Public Safety and Youth Services Committee.
Vanorny told The Gazette her priorities remain similar to when she sought her first term: fixing city streets, improving transparency and accessibility, providing permanent flood protection, investing in mental health resources, addressing food insecurity and building more affordable housing.
She said she hopes to keep “making sure that Cedar Rapids continues to be an inclusive and welcoming place for everyone, and that they understand how to utilize the municipal resources that are within reach.”
“It’s really a continuation of everything that I have been doing and seeing some projects through to fruition, so I’m excited about it,” Vanorny said. “I know that it’s been a sincere honor to be able to serve, and it’s coming from a place of gratefulness that I step up to the plate again and ask to serve for another four years.”
As Cedar Rapids grapples with the impacts of last summer’s derecho and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Vanorny said steps need to continue to be taken to ensure the city’s resiliency.
“That is one of the biggest goals, is just making sure that we are working on a network to ensure that nobody goes hungry, nobody goes unhoused,” Vanorny said. “It was highlighted during the derecho, during the pandemic, but those are things that were already issues that we needed to be focused on prior to those disaster emergencies, so those continue with an even greater vigor.”
Vanorny will be on the Nov. 2 ballot along with candidates for four other council seats, including a slate of mayoral contenders, plus school board candidates.
Voters also will decide whether to extend the 1-cent local-option sales tax that funds the Paving for Progress street-repair program and whether to permanently authorize the gambling referendum in Linn County, which would keep open the door for Cedar Rapids to seek a license for a casino.
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