Twenty-five years ago I arrived in Iowa City from Chicago, a 17-year-old high school senior who was failing chemistry and in danger of not graduating. I was in complete cultural shock. But I got down to business, moved in with my sister and I graduated on time from West High School in 1994.
Soon enough, I fell in love with Iowa City!
I’ve worked as a bagger at Hy-Vee, a burger flipper at Hardees, and a laborer at Payless Cashway Lumber (I was the guy who didn’t know which end of the hammer to use). I also served as a nurse’s aide at Oaknoll, Mercy Hospital and Iowa City Hospice. I’ve been a recipient of food stamps and have lived in Section 8 housing. I understand the struggle of working around the clock, working multiple jobs, and still not making a livable wage to support myself.
From the youthful age 17 to my current age of 42, I’ve been engaged in Iowa City. I graduated from West High School and the Kirkwood Community College nursing program. The University of Iowa is where I received a B.A. in Psychology and certificate in Aging Studies. (Yes, I am a devoted Hawkeye fan.)
I have created and developed my businesses which provides services throughout this community, and currently employs 83 people. I own Caring Hands & More Home Health & Family Service; Caring Hands & More Multigenerational Center; and CHARM Homes (all affordable housing units). I am a trauma-informed care trainer.
I believe in investing in my community and have been active in the Iowa City Chamber of Commerce, Iowa City Noon Day Rotary, Target Small Business, Iowa Olmstead Consumer Task Force, Mental Health and Disabilities Advocate, AARP (past chapter president), IC Compassion/Immigration BIA Center (steering committee and past chair), Johnson County Livable Communities (committees included Task Force on Aging, and I am currently serving as vice chair, Cleaning 4 A Reason, and the LGBTQ community.
People say they never see me without a smile and that I have a great sense of humor. My more serious side has a proven record of getting things done when they need doing. I have had a lot of support, and in return, I am committed to extending a hand to others in Iowa City. I believe the City Council is the perfect place for my talents, lived experiences, and commitment to best serve our community.
Iowa City faces highly complex issues: affordable housing, livable wages (for city workers and the workforce in general), effective transportation, economic development, and diversity and inclusion. If you elect me to the Iowa City City Council, I will hear your voice! I will work diligently for policies that honor the belief that human rights are our right.
It is time for all voices at the table!
• Bruce Teague is a candidate in the Iowa City Council September 4 primary.