Our city needs a voice to unify the experiences of the past with fresh, innovative thinking of today’s youth to bring about change. I have that ability and want to represent all of you.
First, let’s unify our city. Being a biracial business owner and father, I know it’s hard to bridge current gaps. Saying we must take bold action to address racial inequality without a plan of how, will lead to us having the same conversation in the next election. Saying we must build trust by relying on the same system where trust was broken, could cause bigger gaps in our community.
As a community, let’s start asking how instead of accepting the what. During my campaign I have met with community leaders and citizens to learn their issues and voices. This includes officers, police chiefs and members of the sheriff’s department. To address inequality requires taking time to meet the groups we are advocating for. That is why I got involved in the Sept. 18 National Black Voter Day — I was the only candidate there. These are important events for us to gather input and to build trust.
I have endorsements from all sides on this issue. Why? Because in my business I’ve proven my ability to listen to and communicate with varied groups of people and backgrounds. Meeting both sides of an issue is a goal to find a common ground and develop solutions. Few people are likely aware that kids must pay for their bus passes to get to school and some can’t afford this. Scenarios like this exist in our community and often get overlooked. There are community groups that need a seat at the table, and I want to give them that seat.
Secondly, let’s ensure Coralville has financial strength. We cannot talk about Coralville’s $340 million in debt and promote additional expenses — new transit system, more affordable housing, diversity programs etc. — without a plan. This fails us all. Being a small-business owner impacted by the pandemic, I know firsthand we need creative ideas and sometimes money to generate revenue. We need diverse thought to tackle these issues. Current projections show 73 percent of the city debt to be paid in 2034 — let’s understand the cost of carrying this debt and what we can do to pay it off sooner.
Please vote on Sept. 29 and let your voice be heard.
Nick Burrell is a candidate in the special election for Coralville City Council on Sept. 29.