Royceann Porter to serve as Board of Supervisors chair

Porter will take over the position from Pat Heiden, who is retiring after her term ends this year.


Jeff Sigmund

Johnson County Supervisor RoyceAnne Porter addresses the crowd on Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020. Supervisor Porter held a victory for Biden party at Mercer Park.

Rachel Schilke, Senior Print Editor

Royceann Porter, Johnson County supervisor and founder of the Black Voices Project, will take on a new role as chairp of the supervisors.

Porter is the first African American to hold the position since the county’s establishment in 1837, according to the county. She will take over for former chair Pat Heiden, who will retire after her term ends this year.

Porter has served as a supervisor since 2018 and was re-elected in 2020. In 2021, she served as the supervisors’ vice chair.

The Board of Supervisors unanimously selected Porter to serve as chair and supervisor Lisa Green-Douglass as vice chair on Monday. The two will serve in these positions for one year.

“I am excited and honored to be elected chair of the Board of Supervisors for 2022,” Porter said on Monday. “The last few years have been challenging for everyone, but I look forward to the next year as we — the board, along with all elected officials, department heads, and employees — continue to work together to improve the lives of all people in Johnson County.”

As chair, Porter will lead the supervisors through conversations concerning upcoming projects, including the potential purchase of a BearCat, a smaller armored vehicle, to replace the county’s Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle.

As previously reported by The Daily Iowan, Porter is vocal in keeping the MRAP vehicle out of her neighborhood, Iowa City’s South District, which historically is home to a large population of underrepresented community members.

The supervisors are set to vote on the budget for the sheriff’s office on Jan. 12.

Within the Iowa City and Johnson County community, Porter is recognized as an advocate for Black individuals and community leader in areas such as affordable housing and workers’ rights. She is the president and founder of the Black Voices Project, an organization dedicated to amplifying Black voices within the community.

She also served as chair of the Iowa City Ad Hoc Truth and Reconciliation Commission until March 2021, when she resigned from commission after allegations of misconduct were brought against her.

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