“I need to roll up my sleeves and become part of the solution:” Megan Alter announces second bid for City Council

In an impassioned kickoff speech, Alter emphasized the importance of joy and love while outlining her goals if elected to the Iowa City City Council.


Daniel McGregor-Huyer

Megan Alter poses for a portrait on Friday, April 2, 2021 in front of the Broadway mural in Peppermint Plaza. She announced her second run for Iowa City City Council with a small outdoor gathering.

Marco Oceguera, News Reporter

Megan Alter kicked off her campaign run for the Iowa City City Council on Friday evening with a message of addressing the structural inequities exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“When people say ‘I can’t wait to get back to normal,’ I’ll be frank, I don’t like that one bit,” Alter said during her campaign announcement speech. “I don’t think we need to go back. I think we need to make a better normal.”

Alter, a manager at ACT, made her campaign announcement with a speech in front of the Broadway Mural in Iowa City’s South District.

This marks Alter’s second bid for a seat on the Iowa City City Council after an unsuccessful run in 2019. Alter is running for an at-large seat on the council.

Alter said the main factor driving her decision to run again was to address inequity rather than dissatisfaction with current members of the city council.

The two at-large councilors up for reelection in the November 2021 city election are Mayor Bruce Teague and Mayor Pro Tem Mazahir Salih, neither of which has made a formal announcement on whether or not they will seek reelection.

In regards to the Ad Hoc Truth and Reconciliation Commission and racial equality in a broader sense, Alter said she thinks that it is important to consider all voices and move forward as cooperatively as possible.

She added that she is most focused on ensuring racial equity in all spheres of society, such as economics.

Alter said the city government needs to step up, and that she specifically hopes to work toward developing permanent solutions for affordable housing and reducing the strain put on certain institutions, such as the Iowa City Community School District in providing a social safety net.

In her speech, Alter emphasized the importance of joy and the interconnectedness of three main pillars: equity, economy, and community.

“They all have to be understood as interwoven, you can’t separate these out as a checklist,” Alter said.

As the city expands, she said building a strong community requires including the rest of the city in economic development, and not just the downtown district.

“Let’s build some retail on this side of the city,” Alter said, in reference to Iowa City’s South District.

Angie Jordan, 35, a community organizer and resident of Iowa City’s South District, said as someone who personally knows Alter as a member of the community, she trusts her to make the right decisions and supports her campaign centered around joy.

“I feel confident that Megan can elevate those difficult yet necessary conversations,” Jordan said. “I just feel confident in what she means.”

Omer Sirag, 53, also a resident of Iowa City, echoed these statements and said that he hopes Alter will continue to keep the community in mind while serving on the City Council.

Alter closed her speech saying that she hopes Iowa City residents will continue to hold her accountable throughout the campaign so that she carries herself in the same way while potentially serving on the city council.

“I promise you, I am that person,” Alter said.