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The Ames City Council hears concerns about the proposed changes to Campustown, including a new plaza at the Ames City Council meeting at Ames City Hall on May 14. The council voted to pass the proposal. 

Rachel Junck received 49.6 percent of the vote in the recent three-way City Council race for Ward 4. The Iowa Code requires 50 percent plus one vote to win. Rachel was seven votes short. Therefore, a run-off election between the two top candidates is set for Tuesday, Dec. 3.

I continue to support Rachel Junck for several reasons.

First, she cares about and understands the need for addressing climate change. Our city has not been in the forefront on this issue. We need council members who face the seriousness of climate change and will move locally on it.

Rachel is more than a single-issue candidate. She did so well because she is smart, hard-working and she listens. As Rachel door-knocked (and she has done a heroic amount of canvassing Ward Four) she always asked people what their concerns are; she listens and attends to what people care about. 

As a life-time resident of Ames, Rachel has strong connections with the community. As a student in chemical engineering, Rachel also has first-hand knowledge of students’ concerns. Rachel wants to work to help Ames be welcoming to students and the larger community that the City Council represents. A city that accommodates a diversity of residents is a stronger, more viable city that can attract cutting-edge businesses and retain young people.  

I moved to Ames 22 years ago for a faculty position at ISU; I cannot imagine Ames without ISU and its annual influx of students, who comprise about half the town’s population. But I have yet to see an ISU Student serving as an elected City Council member. I believe it’s time to move towards a local government that is more inclusive of all Ames residents. Rachel has the intelligence, passion for Ames, and knowledge to serve the city well in that bridging role.

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