The importance of youth in politics

Alexandra Dermody is a candidate for Davenport City Council. -promoted by Laura Belin

I turned eighteen years old in November 2018. By then I had already experienced an existential crisis due to the state of our world today. My family pulled me from high school in freshman year due to the impermissible increase in school shootings. They feared for my safety. I grew up with the horrifying and crushing reality of what our world is today, continually bombarded with the news of shootings, stabbings, ignorance to the highest offices, and a failing economy.

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Six things Iowa candidates need to know for the 2019 local elections

With umpteen presidential campaigns to follow and competitive races shaping up in all four Iowa Congressional districts, as well as for many state House and Senate seats, I haven’t published anything this year about the 2019 local elections.

Campaigns for school board and city offices will never be the most glamorous topics for political reporters, but the outcomes can greatly affect the quality of life in communities. Iowans thinking about running for office should read the action plan Lauren Whitehead wrote after her successful bid for Solon City Council in 2017. They should also be aware of the following dates and legal requirements:

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Why I’m running

Educator Jonathan Grieder explains why he’s seeking a city council seat in Waterloo. -promoted by Laura Belin

It was a cold February Sunday in 2018 when I became a dad. Holding my daughter for the first time was world changing. Here was this small human who looked so much like my wife that it took my breath away. And she would need us for so many things in the minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years ahead. And here she was in a tiny hat, wrapped in blankets. Parenthood is many things, but it certainly sets your priorities through a new facet.

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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.

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Three words

Bruce Lear helped negotiate educator contracts for 27 years as a regional director for the Iowa State Education Association. -promoted by Laura Belin

After February 16, 2017, I heard three words across the bargaining table that sent chills up my spine and tears to my eyes.

We were bargaining at a community college. The college had made an initial proposal to eliminate all provisions of the Master Contract except the base wage. We pushed to hear why. After all, those provisions had been in place for over 30 years, and they worked for both parties.

We didn’t get an answer. We pushed harder and a little louder. Still, there was silence from the other side. Finally, forgetting about everything except getting an answer, I used my undiplomatic voice and shouted, “We expect an answer, and we expect it now!”

The outburst was met with eye averted silence. Finally, in a voice barely above a whisper, the human resource director said, “Because we can.”

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Our new year of progress

On Wednesday, January 2 2019, Linn County Supervisor-elect Stacey Walker was sworn into office and voted chair of the new three-member board. Walker is the first African American to hold the position and serve as chairperson of the governing body of Iowa’s second most populous county. After he was sworn in, he shared the following remarks. -promoted by Laura Belin

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