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City council candidate pushes diversity to the forefront

BY JULIA DAVIS | OCTOBER 24, 2013 5:00 AM

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As the upcoming election nears, one Iowa City City Council candidate believes his platform of diversity will land him a spot on the Council.

Kingsley Botchway II, a six-year resident of Iowa City, decided to run for City Council because he believes although the city has many positive assets, the availability of these assets is lacking, leaving many citizens unable to take advantage of them.

To combat this issue, Botchway believes the city needs to focus on being more economically diverse in order to make all resources available to the Iowa City population.

“I not only want to emphasize diversity as far as looking at how we treat minority populations, but also diversity of business, and diversity of thought,” he said. “Right now, we’re very downtown-centric, so an economic-development plan that really speaks to the entire Iowa City is something I would really like to see.”

The graduate of UI College of Law also wants to bring back relatability and involvement to the City Council.

“Our City Council doesn’t get out to a lot of events; they don’t get out and talk to a lot of groups of people,” he said. “I plan on getting out there and reaching out to those groups so that they can be a part of the discussion.”

According to one local official, Botchway’s passion has been mirrored by Iowa City in regards to getting citizens involved. 

“Iowa City prides itself on gathering broad public input … in order to determine what the citizens value, and what the vision and goals are for the future of our community,” said Karen Howard, an associate city planner. “Based on this input, the city has adopted a comprehensive plan that covers all areas of Iowa City.”

The 28-year-old views community approval of city spending as a central concern for the new Council.

“I think that we need to do a better job as far as spending the money where the community wants it to be spent,” he said.

Carol deProsse, a former Iowa City city councilor, said she thinks Botchway’s attributes make him a viable option for City Council.

“He’s intelligent, he has new ideas, and he’s a very honest, forthright, and sociable person, which I think makes him a good fit for this great city,” she said.

Botchway stressed the point while Iowa City has a lot to be proud of, the city must do a better job making sure these positive attributes have the opportunity to reach every group who calls the city home.

“What I want to promote is pushing Iowa City back to a pinnacle in Iowa but also doing it in a way that really makes all the opportunities that Iowa City has to offer accessible to everyone,” he said.


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