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Coping with Trump, replacing Corbett and Iowa City makes history: 2017 in local politics

The year started with reactions to the new Trump administration — some involving careful city council deliberations, one involving fire — and such reactions continue throughout 2017. The year also saw elections for the school board, followed very quickly by a major change in leadership after the new board was sworn in. There were also city elections. In Cedar Rapids, voters had to choose a replacement for Mayor Ron Corbett, who decided to run for governor, instead of reelection. Iowa City made history by electing Mazahir Salih to the city council, the first Muslim to serve on the council and likely the first Sudanese-American woman elected to office in the entire country. In a preview of what is to come in 2018, Iowa City native son and LGBTQ activist Zach Wahls announced a run for state senate just before Christmas. […]

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Voters will choose between Vernon and Hart for Cedar Rapids mayor on Tuesday

Voters choosing between Monica Vernon and Brad Hart in Tuesday’s run-off election for mayor of Cedar Rapids will find the candidates have much in common. Both list improving flood protection, fixing the city’s streets, fostering economic development and working with neighborhood associations to strengthen communities as priorities. At a candidate’s forum, neither expressed any current interest in serving more than one term, and both said they would not have run if Mayor Ron Corbett had sought reelection. Vernon and Hart even use the same phrase (“can-do”) on their campaign websites to describe the spirit of Cedar Rapids. […]

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The 2017 elections brought a historic win, a surge of write-in votes, a mayoral runoff and more to Johnson and Linn counties

The morning after winning a seat on the Iowa City Council, Mazahir Salih was up early working to support one of the causes she believes in. She testified before the Johnson County Board of Supervisors on community IDs, even though she’d barely had any sleep.
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Letter to the editor: ‘Vote Hall for sensible use of TIF’

Ryan Hall has a campaigned on a number of issues that I wholeheartedly support: family friendly neighborhoods, strong local foods policy, transparency and a strong local economy, which is essential for everyone to thrive. But I was most impressed by his approach to tax increment financing policy. […]

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‘This is about a movement’: District B candidate Ryan Hall wants to bridge the gap between students and others in Iowa City

University of Iowa undergraduate Ryan Hall said he believes his candidacy for the District B city council seat can help bridge what he sees as a gap between 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 really effect change.”
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Letter to the editor: Iowa City Council candidate Ryan Hall ‘will bridge that gap’ between city and university

Iowa City and the surrounding areas are something of a “company town,” and the “company” is the University of Iowa. They are our lifeblood, and students have always, and will continue to, provide boundless energy, excitement, ideas and money to our area. […]

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