University of Iowa undergraduate Ryan Hall said he believes his candidacy for the District B city council seat can bring together students and other residents of Iowa City.
“A lot of the struggles that students are going through — the affordable housing crisis, paying way too much of the little money that they have trying to put a roof over their head — also effects our poor and working class in Iowa City,” Hall told Little Village. “So, if we bridge those gaps with the students and the residents of Iowa City to find solutions and build up the movement that is needed to build the voices, [and] the power of our local people to really effect change.”
Hall said increasing student involvement in politics and the broader community is one of his “big three issues.” The other two are sustainability and racial and economic justice.
“In terms of sustainability, the city has done a great job with its climate action plan, but there is still of a lot of action that needs to be made,” Hall said. “Implementing more bicycle infrastructure, making our communities more walkable and doing more with renewable energies, with energy efficiency, with how we’re using our land.”
Hall connected the justice issues he is concerned about to maintaining and increasing local control over political decisions.
“What I really want to see happen in Iowa City and other communities in the state is we have local control over our wages and our policies, and it’s not decided by what happens in Des Moines,” Hall said. “This is an issue across the political spectrum. We should be able to decide our own fate. And so, if we want a minimum wage that is $10.10 an hour, we should be able to work towards that.”
Hall said he believes the important issues facing Iowa City don’t break down along partisan lines.
“If we come together to find solutions, to form coalitions and to innovate about how we do it, then we can really build our local economy to work for all people,” he said.
“There’s a lot that still needs to be done to make progress. I think that we’ve set the groundwork for that momentum, but we need to engage students, engage new people into this process, so that we are building up a coalition that will transcend just this election year,” Hall explained. “Because this is about a movement. This is not about me or one election or one candidate. This about bridging a gap that has traditionally been in Iowa City, between the city and the university.”