‘I think we need leadership that represents everyone’: Angela Winnike wants to bring a new voice to the Iowa City Council

Ask Angela Winnike, a candidate for one of the two at-large city council seats, why she is running for the Iowa City Council, and she talks about making the council a better reflection of the city’s population.

“I think we live in a community that’s really inclusive and open-minded, but I think we need leadership that represents everyone in our community,” Winnike told Little Village. “And that means people of all gender identities, all ages, all ethnic and cultural backgrounds and different economic backgrounds.”

The 34-year-old Winnike, who grew up in Iowa City, said she feels the city council has traditionally been dominated by “people of a certain age range.” Winnike said she’ll “bring a young voice to city council,” and “the ability to talk to people of all different backgrounds and ages.”

Her job as chief of retail operations at Java House and Heirloom has helped her understand how to effectively communicate with a wide variety of people, Winnike said. In addition to that fulltime job, Winnike has also served as a board member of the Iowa City Downtown District (ICDD) and is currently ICDD’s nighttime mayor.

“Becoming more involved with the downtown organizations, mainly the Downtown District, that’s made me more aware of what’s going on, made me want to make a change,” she said.

One change Winnike sees as important for the future of Iowa City is “a younger workforce in our community.” To do this, Winnike said the city must address the issue of affordable housing.

“People who are middle-class, people who are my age and trying to buy a home, people who recently graduated from college and are just entering the workforce have a really hard time finding housing they can afford,” she said.

Winnike proposes increase housing stock by increasing density.

“I think that we need to be a little less restrictive on development, [including] vertical development,” she said, explaining that allowing taller buildings to be constructed will create more housing while preventing sprawl. She also said there are opportunities to redevelop existing properties to provide more housing opportunities in the city.

Winnike said she considers serving on the city council to be chance to collaborate with the community.

“I think that being on city council and representing our community means learning and growing with the community,” she said.

“I realize I might be younger, I might not have all the time in the world because I’m working full time, but that doesn’t mean I am not just as passionate or care as much.”

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