Rachel Junck, a 20-year-old student at Iowa State, is running to represent Ward 4 in the Ames City Council.
If elected, Junck would be the youngest woman to ever win a seat on the Council in Ames’ history.
The population of Ward 4 in Ames is a majority of students, but there has never been a student elected into office, Junck said.
Junck has never run for political office before, but she grew up in Ames.
Junck said from the time she was of legal age to vote, she was voting in both local and federal elections. However, she also took notice that her peers had no interest in voting in the local elections and wanted to run partially to change that.
Her plan includes making Ames carbon-neutral and lowering waste production.
“I am aiming to fight climate change,” Junck said.
A carbon-neutral Ames would mean making no net release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Junck said she hopes to accomplish this by decreasing the amount of waste produced by the city and increasing composting and recycling citywide.
The Council elections will be the first time Junck is running for office.
Junck said she hopes to overcome people underestimating her as a person and as a candidate by inspiring more young people to get out and vote.
“Students are the highest registered population of voters and the lowest population of actual voters,” Junck said. “[It’s] directed towards young people, specifically the students, in Ames.”
Additionally, Junck’s campaign focuses on investing in Ames’ housing market.
By investing in public parks and creating inclusive and accessible housing, Junck said she hopes to make Ames a place where young people want to stay after graduation.
“Local action is just the beginning,” Junck said.