Why I'm running for Davenport city council

Bleeding Heartland welcomes guest posts by candidates. -promoted by Laura Belin

With modern American politics being what they are, is it any wonder most everyone is disenchanted with our elected officials and government? In recent years, our government has exhibited extreme incompetence, a level of insolence that is unacceptable from the federal government.

That is why, despite my young age of eighteen, I plan to run for city council this November in Davenport, the city I was born and raised in. The city I love with all my heart.

Given my age, am I the most qualified to run for office? Why would I even want to, considering the vicious game of partisanship? Well, I would propose the idea to you that our elected officials don’t need fancy degrees or some extreme circumstances that make them ‘qualified’, instead they should have a deep seeded concern for the welfare of their friends and neighbors, and for the future of our society.

In my short time alive, compared to others, I have observed and studied a disturbing trend enveloping modern America: politics has become a show. Our leaders are nothing more than smiling bureaucrats in a suit that can, quite adeptly, lie through their teeth with ease, and have little care for their constituents. They crave power, influence, relevancy, money. Little more.

Now, is every politician like this? Certainly not. I’ve seen good hearted souls with a true desire to create positive change. Yet, in a world plagued by self interest and greed, good men and women don’t often get very far.

Don’t let my cynical tone dissuade you, though. I believe that all these issues can be resolved. But the way we address this must change. We, especially my generation, expect that screaming into the void will achieve something. My generation can conduct walk outs, protests, internet campaigns, and the like, but these things don’t change anything in a substantial enough way. There’s still gun violence. There’s still war. There’s still hate crimes. And there’s still corruption.

We must change our approach when fighting for change. This trend of radical politics and malignant partisanship is eating our society alive. The younger generations demand change in such a radical way and in such an amount that it can’t actually be achieved, at least not practically. Cooperation is an art form lost; Thoughtful discussion and common sense are ideals now childish folly. This arrogance on our part scares me. We’re so focused with party politics, siding with ‘the correct side’ that we refuse to work together. A house divided against itself, cannot stand.

Never in American history since the Civil War have we seen such a division, and it grows more with each day. We owe it to ourselves, our mothers, our fathers, our siblings and friends, to work together to build a better system. A better America. Because America is not great. Not right now, and not for a long time. But it can be. We just have to try. We have to want change. It cannot be forced.

I stated before that I’m running for city council. I am doing so with three goals:

1: Our public school system is failing. We need to address the unacceptable, crushing debt that threatens to collapse our schools.

2: Crime needs to be addressed, thoughtfully and with compassion. The recent spike in youth crime, more specifically, needs to be addressed, and not by simply locking up every child. We need a better approach.

3: Corruption needs to end. Despite what many may think, corruption runs rampant in municipal governments. I’d dare to say even more so that state and federal. The reason is that municipal governments don’t face the same kind of scrutiny state and federal governments do. Whether it be outright illegal, or more moral corruption, it still exists, and exists so as a slap in the face of every citizen.

I don’t subscribe to Democrats or Republicans, exclusively, because I believe that solving these issues should not be dictated by party affiliation.

That is why, despite my age and relative inexperience, I am running for office. Because I am not content to sit idly by and do nothing when I see corruption and ignorance run rampant. Davenport, my hometown, as well as the nation can thrive, if only we put country before party. As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “It is not fair to ask of others what you are not willing to do yourself.”

  • Questions for the author/candidate

    Hi Alex,

    I live in the 7th Ward and I have several questions about specific Davenport related policies/issues.

    The current makeup of the council has failed miserably at maintaining oversight of a corrupt city administration staff. They have brushed harassment and discrimination under the rug and they have wasted tax payer money. What will you do to make the oversight of the city leadership staff better?

    Second, the city council and administration has been systematically attacking the independent civil rights commission which protects marginalized people from being discriminated against. For personal reasons and for corrupt reasons. The council and mayor attempted to appoint conflicted people to the commission who are involved in endeavors and businesses with direct conflicts of interest with commission business. And they have failed at communicating with the Civil Rights office. Only Ray Ambrose has made an effort to meet with and keep updated on the commission. How will you approach this?

    Finally, there are issues with the police department and the city hiring diverse staff. They refuse to. What can you do about that. Thank you.

    7th ward resident
    Taylor Street
    52804

    • To Answer Your Concerns

      To answer your first question, I believe that we, the residents of 7th Ward, and Davenport, need to scrutinize the city council more. We need to hold them to a higher moral, ethical, and professional standard. Now, how exactly to do this can be a bit complicated, but the simple answer is we just need to be willing to call out these people when they do something wrong, like sexually harassing someone then trying to cover it up. The corruption can be rooted out, but I won’t lie, it won’t be easy.

      And don’t get me started with the Civil Rights Commission. What the city council and mayor has tried to do to them is beyond terrible; It’s outright illegal. We need to protect the Civil Right Commission, and I personally believe, give them more independence and resources to help aide the disenfranchised and marginalized people of Davenport. This goes to a larger issues I have with the lack of transparency in the city government, and just how corrupt they are. But to try and answer the question more directly, I will simply call them out when they mess up.

      To answer your last concern, I wholeheartedly believe we need more diverse staff in the city and police department, and I would encourage both sectors to hire more diverse staff. To be honest, there’s quite a few people in the city government I’d LOVE to replace, and there’s plenty of people of color who’d do a million times better than them. I would simply, yet firmly, encourage a more diverse staff to be hired. Though I don’t think I can force either sector to hire based on race or ethnicity. I think if we, as a community, put enough pressure on them, though, they’ll listen to us.

      I hope I answered everything. And if you haven more questions, you can email me at alexfordavenport@gmail.com

      • Excellent

        Thank you! The civil rights commission is so important to those of us who need protections. I am going to be asking that from all candidates. I want to know if they promise to fund it more, to care about communication with the Director and staff, and trusting the office to do its job as it has been since the 60’s.

You need to signin or signup to post a comment.