Addressing the need for consistent, long-term affordable housing requires systemic changes. I will start by engaging in a thorough analysis of vacant properties, development projects, regulatory incentives, the local construction industry, Iowa City Housing Authority, assets owned by the county, including vacant land and underutilized real estate, and zoning/permitting regulations, including those related to accessory dwelling units and other small-scale housing options, repurposing, and parking requirements.  

I will work to expand programs that incentivize property developers and landlords to increase the supply of affordable housing, particularly considering the recently passed state law allowing them to refuse to accept vouchers. Incentives may include tax breaks, density bonuses, accelerated permitting processes, and donated properties. I will also work towards developing laws that ban rental application fees and that give the county, city, nonprofits, and/or current tenants the “Right of First Refusal” on residential properties being sold.  

I will investigate the possibility of developing more community land trust opportunities and making additional investments in affordable housing trusts and/or preservation funds. I will also pursue grant funding, budget shifts, public-private partnerships, and other revenue sources to work towards providing more winter shelter funding, emergency rental funding, expansion of Iowa City’s South District Home Investment Partnership Program, and creation of similar programs throughout the county. I will work to increase other long-term housing options as well, including stipends for housing and funding for non-market housing for immigrant workers and those fleeing to Johnson County from elsewhere in Iowa. It is important to ensure there are options that are inclusive of people who use substances and who have children and pets. Ideally, these will be managed by nonprofits. I will work with local housing and shelter agencies during this entire process. I am committed to proactively inviting relevant organizations and other professionals to be a part of every policy and program discussion, from the beginning.   

^ top


I am committed to fostering a more accessible community for all residents of Johnson County. This encompasses not only physical accessibility but also various barriers to engagement that individuals may encounter. My policy proposals aim to mitigate these challenges comprehensively. 

First, I will advocate for more inclusive engagement practices to ensure that marginalized communities have a meaningful voice in decision-making processes. This involves actively seeking out input from diverse groups and prioritizing perspectives of those affected in policy discussions and initiatives. 

Secondly, we need to improve access to information by broadening our multilingual and plain language communication strategies. By disseminating information through diverse channels in all of the languages spoken by our community members, we can ensure that everyone has equitable access to important resources and updates. 

I will also pursue the implementation of more flexible services to accommodate diverse needs. This includes scaled pricing and offering alternative service hours and mobile delivery and pick-up options to reach individuals who may face barriers such as transportation challenges, caregiving responsibilities, or work schedules.  

Additionally, we must provide comprehensive accessibility and diversity training to stakeholders across various sectors. The University of Iowa, OneIowa, and other local agencies offer several options, and Senator Harken’s manual on accessible buildings is a great resource that should be provided to all developers. By increasing awareness and understanding of accessibility issues, we can foster a more inclusive culture and ensure that services, programs, public spaces, and events are designed with accessibility in mind. 

I will also insist on a commitment to continuous improvement and the creation of a task force or other system for regularly evaluating our accessibility initiatives beyond ADA compliance. It will be crucial to include people who are autistic, low-income, and LGBTQ+ and those who have disabilities, lack personal transportation, and face other barriers to engagement as we assess and refine our strategies based on evolving needs. By prioritizing accessibility in all aspects of governance and community life, we can create a more equitable and inclusive Johnson County for everyone. 



Environmental goals are not isolated and must take precedence in many decisions related to other areas of governance. I will advocate for the East Central Iowa Climate Action Plan to include a commitment to achieve 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 100% carbon-free energy, utilizing the report presented to the Iowa Utilities Board by a coalition of organizations last year. 

Specific actionable steps I will work towards include the integration of more rain gardens, rain barrels, and permeable soils or pavements into our community, which will reduce stormwater runoff and improve water use efficiency. Not only should these features he built into future county developments, we should also incentivize private businesses and homeowners to take such steps.  Additionally, we should be doing more to decrease landfill use by increasing the accessibility and ease of recycling and composting, particularly in rural areas. This includes the provision of curbside pickup of glass on an as-needed basis for those with transportation barriers, increased distribution of kitchen food-scrap containers, and the pick up and redistribution of usable items that local stores are unable to sell. I would like to explore programs that incentivize the donation of such items and penalize their waste. We also need to prioritize educating our youth and the general public about environmental concerns and action steps.  

Most importantly, I will continually seek the guidance of local climate-focused experts and organizations such as Great Plains Action Society, the Iowa Chapter of the Sierra Club, Millennials for Climate Action, 100 Grannies, Iowa Environmental Council, The Lena Project, Iowa City Area Group of the Sierra Club, Iowa Watershed Approach, and Food and Water Watch Iowa. I would advocate to invite them to be an active part of creating the East Central Iowa Climate Action Plan and extend invitations to any meetings that include discussion of climate-related policies.   


Food Security

I am committed to addressing food insecurity in Johnson County by leveraging existing resources and collaborating with community stakeholders. Our county’s Food Policy Council plays a vital role in improving dialogue and providing advice on food and agriculture issues. I hope to work closely with the Council as they update their strategic plan, advocating for a focus on expanding access to fresh, healthy food options year round, increasing supports for local farmers, and addressing the root causes of food insecurity.  


LGBTQ+ Rights

I intend to be actively involved with the new advisory task force and will work to expand protections for LGBTQ+ people in Johnson County in several ways, using the Municipal Equality Index (MEI) scorecard as a guide.  I would work to codify a requirement that all single-user sex-segregated facilities within the county such as restrooms be available to people of all genders, and advocate for the installation of gender-neutral, accessible bathrooms at public facilities that lack them. Additionally, I would push for county-wide protections against conversion therapy for minors, active state-level advocacy, and resistance to restrictive state legislation, including the pursuit of legal action and a county wide declaration of non-enforcement of current and future anti-trans and anti-protest laws, especially those that target trans youth. 

In addition to increasing protections, I would like to work towards improving acceptance and social support via further proclamations, the sponsorship of summits, workshops, and training focused on LGBTQ+ issues, the creation of an LGBTQ+ county employee affinity group and a c community medical transportation fund, and the support of community-based organizations dedicated to these issues. In light of the removal of so many related lessons from public schools, it is crucial that much of this effort focus on youth. County manuals, outreach materials, and other media should also be assessed for LGBTQ+ representation to ensure inclusivity in language and imagery.



In addition to actively working to provide more shelter, long-term housing, mental health care, and transportation services, I will endeavor to create a holistic action plan that addresses area homelessness, in part via expanded street outreach and engagement. Houston’s successful “The Way Home”, which created “a system to identify the chronically homeless and match them to appropriate affordable housing, coordinate a service system to support long-term housing stability, and create enough permanent housing to meet the demand”, is a good model to look to. As part of this plan, I will work with the Johnson County Local Homeless Coordinating Board  and advocate to provide funding for the hiring of additional specialists to create a street outreach team that can build ongoing relationships with unhoused folks across the county and fully assess social determinants of health. The local UniteUs program provides technology and databases that we could use to coordinate services in the same way that Houston uses their Homeless Information Management System. Supports provided in this plan should allow for and lead to the creation of a “Right to Shelter” law like the one New York City has had in place since 1979. As with all things, I will proactively invite organizations serving unhoused individuals in Johnson County to be directly involved in the development of this plan and in any other discussions affecting the populations they serve.   



In order to build a stable and adequate childcare infrastructure, I will pursue the development of a long-term Childcare Action Plan. I will advocate for this plan to include investments in workforce development such as county-sponsored scholarships, childcare training programs, and registered apprenticeships in partnership with local schools. I also support increased investments in the Johnson County Childcare Coalition Wage Enhancement Program, including the development of incentivization programs encouraging businesses to contribute and retention and hiring bonuses. As the primary barrier to affordable childcare in Iowa is a lack of providers, efforts to improve the situation must focus on increasing the workforce. 

I will also pursue increased county investments in childcare subsidies via the Child Care Assistance Incentive Program; in free preschool via additional School Ready Scholarships; in crisis childcare and other emergency assistance funds; and in full-day camps and respite care.  All programs should be funded at rates that allow providers to pay themselves and employees a living wage and offer appropriate benefits without increasing the cost of childcare for parents. Both providers and parents should have flexibility to create and/or find a childcare program that meets their schedule and needs. Therefore, home-based childcare and neighbor or relative care should be eligible for County funded programs. Public/community-wide childcare programs funded by the County should include care for neurodivergent children and those with disabilities, offer reduced rates for Low-to-Moderate Income households, and undergo an equity review every three years. The initial action plan should include a goal to decrease the average cost of childcare in Johnson County to 7% of a household’s income, which is the benchmark for affordable childcare set by the federal Department of Health and Human Services. The average cost in Johnson County is currently 25 percent. 


Reproductive Rights

I will push to defend reproductive rights by exploring strategies such as non-enforcement, enforcement de-prioritization and funding restriction ordinances and resolutions. The GRACE Act in Austin Texas is an example of a city council passing such a resolution in the face of state laws that limit city power. I would also like to set up a community medical transportation fund and instate a Reproductive Justice Commission like the one in Atlanta.  


Workers’ Rights

I will strive to establish an equitable and inclusive ongoing Workers’ Board that provides workers with a formal role in local government. This board should be comprised of a cross-section of workers representing various industries who would create and distribute community surveys, hold listening posts, analyze data, engage in research and bargaining, and make recommendations to the Board or Supervisors regarding policies, ordinances, and programs to support Johnson County workers. I would proactively involve this board, as well as the Center for Worker Justice, SEIU, COGS, AFSCME, the UI Labor Center, Hawks Union, Iowa City Federation of Labor, and other local unions and labor organizations in all policy decisions that affect workers by inviting them to participate in all related meeting


Public Transportation

Public transportation is a key component of equity, especially in areas with extreme weather conditions. I will work towards the formation of a Regional Transit Commission with a formal role in government, comprised of interested parties from each city in the county. This commission would be tasked with creating a plan to fill gaps and create a county transportation system that is accessible and easy to navigate. Transfers, costs, unserviced areas, late-night, Sunday, on-demand, and work and medical transportation services, should all be considered while exploring innovative and sustainable initiatives with stakeholders. 


Scroll to Top