In Ames, three citizens are running in the Fourth Ward race for a seat on City Council. I endorse Rachel Junck for several reasons.
A recent speaker at ISU said that representative democracies need elected officials who reflect the diversity of their citizenry. She was not endorsing strict quotas; instead, currently under-represented groups should have a voice in government.
As a chemical engineering major at ISU, Rachel represents students, who comprise a majority of voting-age adults in Ames but tend to be unheard in local politics. In addition, as a lifetime resident of Ames, Rachel also represents year-round community members. She understands the interaction of town and gown that helps to define Ames.
As a young scientist, Rachel cares intensely about climate change, a phenomenon that will impact younger lives most profoundly. She has the technical knowledge to understand what steps municipalities can take now to move to zero emissions. We do not have to wait for the federal government to make local progress on this pressing issue.
Rachel has observed many discussions about housing in Ames and what it requires for students and year-round residents to co-exist. She supports having a clear statement of rights and responsibilities for both sides – landlords and tenants. I lived for years in an urban, university neighborhood and know that students and year-round residents can be great neighbors.
And as someone who grew up here and who hopes more ISU students remain here after graduation, Rachel is committed to improving the quality of life in Ames for young and old, students and year-round residents alike.
As a college town, Ames would be more representative of all its citizens if we had a voting member of the student body on City Council. Rachel Junck is uniquely qualified to fill that position.