In 1943 in a small Iowa town, a little boy named Lowell was born with severe mental and physical disabilities. When he was four, his parents were told that Lowell would have to go to a state supported facility for children like him. At that time this was often accepted as the best solution for disabled children and their families. Lowell was sent to an institution shortly after the birth of his younger brother.
I was ten days old when my brother Lowell was taken away. The only time I saw him was at his funeral 26 years later. I had just returned from serving in the Army, and notified the institution that I was coming to see my brother. He died before I got there.
I tell this story because it defines me. I am husband, father and public servant and I am Lowell’s little brother. For Lowell, I have focused my life and work on public service – as a police officer, Cedar Rapids Chief of Police, Director of the Sixth Judicial District and President of the American Parole and Probation Association – motivated by an aspiration to seek justice for those whose voices are not always heard.
Service has been the central focus of my life; I believe leadership does not rest, nor does it retire. Recently I served on city task forces as the Chair of the Law Enforcement and Gun Violence Committee and as a member of the Police and Fire Civil Service Commission. If I am elected mayor, I pledge to provide leadership for the future of Cedar Rapids, including:
- supporting our labor forces who are members of the Cedar Rapids community, raise their families here and spend their money in our local economy;
- working with all neighborhoods to increase social and economic capital to maintain a safe, equitable and trusting environment; and,
- increasing the speed of progress on flood protection and river conservation efforts.
I believe a welcoming, safe city for ALL our citizens is the foundation for expanding economic growth and vitality. I hold a business degree from Mount Mercy University and a master’s degree in public administration from Iowa State University. I’ve also served on many community nonprofit organizations’ boards and have been honored for business, leadership and volunteerism. Throughout my career and volunteerism in service, I have collaborated with community and business leaders, citizen groups and neighborhood associations toward innovative and quality opportunities and solutions for Cedar Rapidians. My economic development focus includes:
- continuation of the development of the downtown, New Bo, Czech Village and Ellis Blvd corridor business communities;
- expansion of Kingston Village and an opening up of the 6th Street and Ellis Blvd. corridor to create a “Gateway to the River”; and,
- positioning of our river not as a divider, but as an epicenter to our city and its economic development opportunities.
With the exception of my time in military service, I have been proud to call Cedar Rapids home since my family moved here when I was in the eighth grade. My wife of 37 years, Linda, and I chose to raise our daughters, Lisa, Paula and Sarah here. They have made us proud and blessed us with three wonderful grandchildren, Dylan, Riley and Autumn. For them, for Lowell and for you, I hope to become the next mayor of Cedar Rapids to provide Leadership for the Future to ensure the continued success of our great city.