Cedar Rapids City Council Endorsements: Three Candidates We Deserve

It’s nearly voting time again. On Tuesday, November 7th, residents of Cedar Rapids will have the chance to cast their votes for a host of municipal candidates, and I urge you not to miss a chance to elect these three candidates who I am confident will forge the next chapter of progress for our great city.

Dale Todd – District 3

In full disclosure, I must start by admitting that Dale Todd has been a longtime personal friend and mentor. Much of my understanding of how communities work and how the intersectionality of social problems can add to the dysfunction and breakdown of neighborhoods, I learned from Dale. He is well-steeped in politics, but more importantly he understands how to build coalitions. He is respected in communities across the city, by Republicans and Democrats alike, and it is in part because he is a quality human being with a heart for this city and its residents. It is also due to the fact that no one works harder than he does when it comes to projects that will improve our city. He is an expert on housing, recreation,  and community development – all issue areas that are becoming priorities for our city. Electing Dale Todd to city council would represent a quantum leap for progress.

Learn more about Dale Todd here.

Ashley Vanorny – District 5

Ashley Vanorny is the consummate humanitarian. The daughter of a union worker, this lifelong Cedar Rapidian has made it clear that she has entered this race with one purpose: to make our community better. A newcomer to formal electoral politics, Ashley has spent nearly all of her free time serving others by volunteering with non-profit organizations that focus primarily on emergency services for foster youth. A breath of fresh air, Ashley would bring pragmatism and new energy to the council. Ashley is hoping to become the first millennial elected to the council by challenging an incumbent that is nearly a half century her senior. While youth is no guarantee of innovation (and old age no guarantee of wisdom), in this case, our city could greatly benefit by a new perspective seeking to represent a rapidly changing southwest side of Cedar Rapids.

Learn more about Ashley Vanorny here.

Dr. Damian Epps – At-Large

Dr. Epps moved with his family to Cedar Rapids in 2008, right before the flood that would become one of the worst natural disasters in American history. He came here to lead one of the largest African American churches in Iowa – a challenge in itself – but was quickly faced with a myriad of other community challenges. Without hesitation, he rolled up his sleeves and jumped right in. Pastor Epps, as I call him, jumped right in because there was work to do and problems to be solved. Over the years he has proven to be a reliable and effective leader, often being called upon by city leaders to help mitigate rather complex social challenges. His leadership on council is sorely needed for many reasons, but for this one especially. He understands the needs of the most vulnerable communities in our city, and carries with him their hopes and dreams. He is not a career politician. He is a man of the cloth who is willing to serve the masses, and as we enter into this new era of growth, his perspective is essential.

Learn more about Damian Epps here.


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