Why I'm running for Davenport City Council

To my knowledge, Dirk Hillard would be Iowa’s only Deaf elected official if he wins a seat on the Davenport City Council. -promoted by Laura Belin

My name is Dirk Hillard. I am running for city council for Davenport’s 8th Ward.

I have lived in the ward for ten years while working for the Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center on the Rock Island Arsenal. I am familiar with my neighborhood, this city, and our region. I know the good things about living in Davenport as well as the challenges our city faces, such as public safety, infrastructure, and economic development.

I am a native of Colorado, and I attended the National Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York. Having lived in different parts of the country, I also have a good perspective of what has and hasn’t worked in other places.

Finally, I have an uncommon personal story that has given me a unique perspective. I am Deaf, as is my wife (Monica) and both of my children (Sammy and Camilla).

Working to raise and support a family is challenging for everyone, but being Deaf adds extra challenges to nearly everything. I attended Rochester because it is the only technical school for the deaf in the world. To ensure my children receive the best opportunity possible, I have to send them across the state every week to attend school in Council Bluffs. As a candidate, engaging voters through door-knocking, meet-and-greets, and fundraising comes with difficulties that most other candidates don’t encounter. I have to work hard and make difficult decisions.

I believe this experience has given me an ethic and perspective that will me a thoughtful leader. I know firsthand that we can overcome our obstacles if we believe and work hard. I also know the benefits and possibilities that come with embracing our diversity and making ourselves a welcoming community.

My top issues:

  • Public Safety Plan. Increased focus on community-oriented policing efforts, crime prevention, recruitment efforts at Saint Ambrose University’s Criminal Justice Program and Western Illinois University’s Law Enforcement Program, diversifying the police force, and addressing racial disparities in arrest and traffic ticket rates.
  • Economic Development Plan. Ensuring young people want to stay in Davenport by enticing diverse and exciting businesses, ensuring equity in access to city resources for businesses of all kinds and in all neighborhoods, attracting new businesses by providing them with incentives to come here.
  • Infrastructure Plan. Better infrastructure will help keep a larger population base, and protect current small business policies that have been successful locally. Finding ways to cut costs at the city to ensure that infrastructure improvements are funded to the fullest ability, researching new options for infrastructure issues like road way conditions and public transportation, attracting small businesses relating to transportation such as bike-share programs and motorized scooter programs, and ensuring the city is making financially smart decisions when contracting out infrastructure work, so taxpayers won’t be taken advantage of.
  • To support my campaign, you can put a Hillard for City Council sign in your yard (email: dhjh24@gmail.com), make a donation through ActBlue, or follow my Facebook page: Dirk Hillard for City Council

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