Iowa City Ad Hoc Truth and Reconciliation Commission chair Amel Ali resigns

Following her resignation, Amel Ali said she plans to pursue further advocacy work in public and mental health in the future.

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Jerod Ringwald

Iowa City mayor Bruce Teague listens Truth and Reconciliation Chair Amel Ali during a special meeting of Iowa City City Council for the removal Ali from her position on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022.

Archie Wagner, News Reporter


This is a developing story. Check back for updates. 

Iowa City Truth and Reconciliation Commission Chair Amel Ali resigned from her position effective immediately in an email to the Iowa City City Council Tuesday.

The council voted 6-1 to indefinitely delay its decision for a second time to remove Ali from the commission on Aug. 16. The decision came after Johnson County Board of Supervisors Chair Royceann Porter said Ali insulted local Black leaders by using a racial slur on the podcast “Rock Hard Caucus.” The commission suspended Ali on Aug. 4.

The commission was charged in September 2020 to investigate claims of racism and build support for marginalized groups in Iowa City.

Ali is the second chair to resign from the commission following Porter’s resignation as chair in 2021.

RELATED: Iowa City City Council delays motion to remove Truth and Reconciliation Commission chair

In an interview with the Iowa City Press-Citizen, Ali said she doesn’t want the commission to fail and hopes that with the removal of old issues and can move forward.

Ali said she has plans to pursue further advocacy work in public health and mental health advocacy.

Ali publicly declined to respond to the press on Tuesday via Twitter.

 

In an interview with The Daily Iowan,  Iowa City Councilor Janice Weiner said the council should allow the TRC and its members the opportunity to deal with this and come to a resolution on their own.

“I didn’t think that the city council should impose their will on the commission,” she said, “I thought we needed to give them the opportunity to make their own choices.”

The council will move forward and appoint members to fill vacant seats on the TRC.

The appointment process can time because of requirements set for board seats such as the gender balance requirement, Weiner said.

“We may choose to appoint one person tonight, we may choose to appoint two, we may choose to put it off, I don’t know what the council is going to decide,” Weiner said.

If the appointment is put off, Weiner said the appointment would likely happen at the next city council meeting in two weeks. A reason for that would be to give applicants more time to apply because of the recency of Ali’s resignation.

The commission’s next meeting is Oct. 6.

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