I was disappointed that for Cedar Rapids City Council District 5, The Gazette endorsed the young woman over the experienced Justin Shields. The Gazette cited ongoing flood protection funding as a major issue. The newspaper may have forgotten all of the trips many of us have made to D.C. and Des Moines.
I have known and worked with Shields for nearly 20 years. He was president of the Hawkeye Labor Council when I was president of the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City Building Trades.
I accompanied many groups, which included Shields, Mayor Ron Corbett, several City Council members, several Chamber of Commerce members and labor folks to D.C. and Des Moines. It is frustrating to try to explain to lawmakers who aren’t from Cedar Rapids how much ongoing assistance we still need. Shields requested and maintained an audience every time and adamantly laid out our plight. They listened as he has earned their respect. He has earned the ear of state and federal government representatives and several agencies. That is only one of several attributes. Now about his passion. Here is a way to define Shield’s passion. He makes $17,000 annually before taxes as a City Council member. He routinely works 50 hours a week. He is getting paid $6.50 an hour before taxes.
Experience, knowledge, loyalty, dedication, federal and state networking capabilities across both aisles and honesty all for $6.50 an hour. Good luck finding anybody with those qualifications for less than minimum wage.
Raymond A. Dochterman