Bruce Teague, if advanced on Sept. 4 and elected on Oct. 2, will be the first member of Iowa City Council to represent the disabled. He will provide additional balance.
For years the physically disabled have been ignored in Iowa City. This is why SEATS was allowed to go up 100 percent in out-of-pocket costs; rents rise with each Social Security cost of living increase; and SNAP benefits are cut while the cost of food rises. Some of these expenses may be beyond the control of city government, but other benefits and services are not.
I am especially interested in safe sidewalks and transit.
Banking-up of snow against curbs and sidewalk ramps, downtown and especially in neighborhoods, is a constant winter danger to the wheelchair-bound. Throughout the year, placement of outdoor dining tables block downtown egress where wheelchairs and walkers are crowded off sidewalks. The frame of former outdoor-restaurant seating at the Old Capitol Mall, that should have been dismantled when the business closed, blocks the downtown Transit Center sidewalk. There is a lack of shelters and/or benches at bus stops in working-class neighborhoods and along several transit routes.
Bruce will be able to deal with these problems because, unlike present council members, he able to think where problems for handicap people exist — at ground level, not at the 15-story level.