Coming up in November is an extremely interesting election for the 4th Ward of the City of Ames’ City Council. On the ticket we have an incumbent — potentially the youngest woman to ever be elected to any elected position in Iowa history — and a candidate who, to me, is the right man for the job.
Joe Van Erdewyk is a former student here at Iowa State who had the chance to interact and learn from some of the smartest and most politically savvy professors our university has to offer — professors Dirk Deam, Jason Chrystal and others like them. It is obvious from talking with Van Erdewyk that he has learned numerous lessons from these incredibly intelligent people on what it means to be a good politician.
Henry Fairlie was a British social and political journalist who defined the art of being a politician as having the following traits: flexiblity, imperturbability (calmness), joy in the Game, ambition (for politics), respect for adversaries, an intuitive sense of people and possibilities and skill at making and remaking publics. Erdewyk carries these traits through the work he does, the people he knows and simply through who he is as a person.
To me, Erdewyk is the epitome of a working class guy who just wants what is best for the community.
In speaking with him I found that he’s been in a position where he has had to work many jobs to get through going to school here at Iowa State, which is something that I and many students are able to understand and empathize with. He worked hard to get his education and it's that sort of hard work and dedication that will make him an outstanding city councilman.
Erdewyk has incredibly nuanced and intelligent views and thought processes on issues like housing and city planning, which are plans that, to me, only someone who is both innovative and has lived in the community as a non student can pursue. He sees the issues that young couples have in finding equitable housing to start families in.
People want to stay in Ames, and having these young families be able to thrive is extremely important to expand the city economically. The floor of us being a college town allows us to take hits other cities might not be able to, but we can certainly expand and diversify the city's appeal to young families.
Erdewyk believes that we have the infrastructure to effectively take in the estimated 15,000-person population boom that is predicted for the city and that allowing more apartment buildings is a waste of space. His Ames 2040 calls for intelligent investment in the consumer market to further growth and maximize returns.
All in all, I believe in Erdewyk and his vision for Ames and I hope that when the City Council elections come around in November, you would cast your vote for him!