116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
It looks like Cedar Rapids is going to have a competitive race for mayor this fall. And that's potentially good news for those of us that would like to see a robust discussion of issues facing the city.
Although the filing deadline for candidates is months off, the campaign is taking shape.
Mayor Brad Hart has said he plans to seek a second term, with hopes of seeing through continuing work on derecho recovery and efforts to encourage diversity and inclusion.
Hart likely will have challengers. Three have announced an intention to run.
Amara Andrews, head of business development and communications for the transportation division at TrueNorth Companies and active in numerous community causes, announced this week she's running to become the city's first African American mayor.
Tiffany O'Donnell, CEO of Women Lead Change and a former longtime TV news anchor on KGAN/KFXA said in announcing this week she wants to 'bring our diverse community together.”
Jake Brummer, a Cedar Rapids small business owner, also said this week he plans to run. Brummer and his partner, Amy Winker, lost one business, the Kingston Pub, to derecho damage but then reopened the Red Frog bar in the Czech Village.
We'll be looking for candidates who can best explain a vision for the city's future and outline plans on how to make it happen. How will the candidates address efforts to address racial justice issues in law enforcement and beyond? How will they tackle youth violence, workforce gaps and the need for affordable housing?
What's their assessment of the city's derecho response and recovery, and how best can we prepare for the next disaster? Will they back an extension of the local-option sales tax for street work? What's the best strategy for enhancing outdoor recreation? How would they assess the city's economic development strategy, and do they favor a more regional approach? This is just a sample of the issues facing Cedar Rapids.
We hope an early-starting campaign will provide ample opportunity to explore these and other issues. Although it's true, technically, the mayor is just one City Council vote, we've seen how influential the office can be in the right hands.
We appreciate the willingness of candidates to step forward. And we're looking forward to what we hope is a substantive campaign.
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