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University Democrats: City Council ideals

BY GUEST OPINION | OCTOBER 13, 2011 7:20 AM

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The University of Iowa Democrats would like the Nov. 8 Iowa City City Council elections to produce members who are committed to providing all residents of Iowa City with an effective and efficient government that pursues policies to make Iowa City sustainable, progressive, and responsive to all of their constituents.

Making Iowa City more sustainable will need to include policies supporting sustainable building practices. The councilors should continue to encourage green-energy businesses to move to Iowa City and should promote simple actions like providing recycling to apartment buildings so all residents can easily recycle their waste.

It is important that we preserve the America we live in and ensure that it is available to future generations. Sustainable practices are as necessary at the local level as they are at national and international levels.

The City Council should continue to pursue progressive policies that will make Iowa City a better place to live. The affordable-housing issue has come up many times over the past few years, and it's time that steps are taken to implement affordable housing in Iowa City. Recommendations have been made by committees and councilors with ideas on how to solve the issue. It is time that the council acts on these recommendations and provides incentives for homebuilders to include affordable housing units in their building developments.

Without a plan for affordable housing (and incentives for builders to construct such developments), Iowa City will continue to suffer from the problems associated with grouping all of the city's affordable housing in small geographic areas and neighborhoods. Mixed-income neighborhoods will provide the town with vibrant and unique communities and make the city a better place to live.

The UDems would also like to see a government that is responsive to all residents of Iowa City. Students represent a large portion of Iowa City and deserve to have a voice in the democratic process. With a new City Council, there will be new ideas for downtown and near-downtown development. Students should have the opportunity to express their ideas for these areas. Students make up a significant portion of the downtown population and downtown economy, and if student needs and ideas are included, the area will see greater growth than if they were excluded from the process.

Technology will prove to be the key to providing Iowa City residents with the most efficient and effective government possible. Even though the recent attempt to upgrade the city's technology resulted in failure and legal actions against the software company, the City Council should not be discouraged. It is important that Iowa City continues to advance its technology so it can reach and serve as many residents as possible for the lowest possible cost.

All of the residents of Iowa City should vote on Nov. 8 and make their voices heard for whatever policies they support. Early voting is available on campus, and absentee ballots are available to anyone who requests one from the Johnson County auditor, so students should have no reason not to vote in the City Council elections. The only way to ensure that government itsresponsive to the needs of the youngest generation of voters is for young voters to exercise their right and vote in every election.

— University of Iowa Democrats
Check back in Friday's edition for the UI College Republicans' response.


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