Guest Columnists

Cedar Rapids can be a community all are proud to call home

The future of Cedar Rapids is very bright.

We’ve come far after the 2008 flood, and will continue that progress by working as a united community. As mayor I will focus on bringing our city together so we can fix our crumbling streets, protect our homes and businesses from future flooding, expand development beyond downtown and NewBo, strengthen our neighborhoods, stop violent crime, grow our job base and local economy, create housing options — for everyone within our city limits — and get the respect we deserve from our state leaders as the second largest city in Iowa.

I believe I am the best choice for Cedar Rapids because I am a proven leader who understands the strengths and weaknesses of our community and can bring people from diverse backgrounds, interests and affiliations together to find new and effective solutions and ways to do business.

My work requires me to handle complex issues and transactions, and I have vast experience in leading groups of decision-makers, and bringing them together to make quick decisions. I know I can do the job from the first day. These are some of the reasons our campaign is now supported and endorsed by people throughout our city.

I am not, however, a career politician. This is the first time I’ve ever run for office. I will not be swayed by any political party. I will keep the divisive politics that have led to dysfunction in Washington, D.C., out of our City Hall. After all, serving as mayor is about getting the job done for the people, not scoring political points or holding a title.

The one and only reason I am running for mayor is to continue serving this great city.

Over the years my service has been recognized with the following awards: United Way Northcott Award for Outstanding Leadership and Volunteering; Linn County Bar Association Citizenship Award; the Cedar Rapids Five Seasons Citizenship Award; the Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser Award (with others) and the Community Trustee Award from the Leadership for Five Seasons program. I promise to give that same effort, even more, as our next mayor.

As a fiscally conservative, but socially conscious political outsider, I can provide a fresh perspective to our city. I will make sure we watch our budget carefully to keep our taxes in check. The city will remain “open for business” and protect our homeowners.

Your continued engagement and advice will always be important, so I promise to be accessible, too. A good mayor listens more than he speaks. We are all stronger when people who want to help have a chance to do just that. And to gather ideas I will continue to attend neighborhood association meetings each year. I also will establish a mayor’s youth council to regularly meet with young people in our community to hear their ideas and concerns and to encourage them to be an engaged part of our community. A mayor’s senior council or intergenerational council may soon follow.


We started this effort from scratch and have come a long way in conveying our message, thanks to so many committed volunteers. I am humbled by that support and by everyone who voted for me on Nov. 7. I’m asking for your support and for your vote again on Dec. 5.

Finally, I promise to be a true servant leader for everyone in Cedar Rapids. Together we can be a more welcoming and engaged community, one we are all proud to call home.

Thank you.

• Brad Hart is a candidate for mayor of Cedar Rapids

FORUM INFORMATION — The Gazette and KGAN invite the community to a Cedar Rapids Mayoral Forum from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at the downtown public library. Candidates Vernon and Hart will share their platforms and vision as potential leaders for the city through one-on-one interviews, a moderated question-and-answer session and an issues-based speed round. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required due to limited seating. Register at or by phoning (319) 398-8240. The forum also will be live-streamed on The Gazette’s website and Facebook page.

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We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

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