116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Note: Staff editorials represent the consensus view of The Gazette’s editorial board. Read more about the process: Previewing The Gazette’s 2021 election endorsements
Three strong candidates are running for two at-large seats on the Iowa City Council.
Mayor Bruce Teague, first elected to the council in a special election three years ago, is running for his first full term on the council. He faces returning 2019 candidate Megan Alter and newcomer Jason Glass.
The three candidates agree on many of the big issues facing Iowa City — they all are supportive of the city’s police reform efforts, the climate action plan and prioritizing affordable housing. Any of them would be effective leaders on the city council.
With only two endorsements to give in this race, The Gazette editorial board supports Teague and Glass.
Teague has had a tumultuous tenure since he was selected by fellow council members as mayor in early 2020. Through the COVID-19 pandemic and the police brutality protest movement, Teague has shown leadership by instituting a local mask mandate and putting racial justice on the council agenda.
Also under Teague’s leadership, the city has amassed affordable housing funds through development deals and moved forward with its climate action plan.
Glass is a first-time candidate but has a record of community involvement. He previously was a gubernatorial appointee to the Iowa Human Rights Board and currently is vice chairman of the Iowa City Human Rights Commission, where he has advocated for local government to give cash payments to undocumented immigrants and others who were excluded from the federal government payments during the pandemic.
Glass, a former Republican, has built a diverse base of supporters, including some prominent local Democrats. We appreciated his response to a question about state legislative priorities: While Glass has harsh criticism for state Republicans for limiting local control and seemingly targeting Iowa City, he also understands the need to engage in productive dialogue with them, rather than trying to start fights on Twitter, as some local elected officials do.
Alter ran two years ago in a similarly impressive field of candidates and fell short of earning our endorsement that time too. We want to reiterate that we have no major qualms about her candidacy, we just thought other candidates stood out more.
No matter who wins in November, we are confident Iowa City is moving in the right direction.
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