Iowa City City Councilor Andrew Dunn brings fresh perspective

In his new role as city councilor, Andrew Dunn said he plans to combat issues of equity, affordability, and sustainability in the community.


Matt Sindt

Andrew Dunn takes his new seat as councilor and shakes hands with City Attorney Eric Goers during an Iowa City Council special formal meeting in the Emma J. Harvat Hall in City Hall on Jan. 10, 2023.

Isabelle Foland, News Reporter

Former Iowa House candidate Andrew Dunn took a seat at the table last week with the Iowa City City Council in City Hall as its newest councilor. Dunn will serve for the remainder of former Councilor Janice Weiner’s term, which ends Jan. 2, 2024.

Dunn has been involved in politics for over a decade and said he wants to prioritize affordable housing, community affordability, and preservation of community culture in his new position. He was appointed and sworn into the council on Jan. 10 following three rounds of nominations from the council.

“Here in Iowa City, we’re very lucky to have a strong, cohesive progressive majority on the city council that allows us to do some really great things that impact our community every day,” Dunn said.

Dunn filled Weiner’s seat after her victory in the Iowa Senate election.

His involvement in politics started in 2008 when his family financially suffered due to the closure of his father’s business, Dunn said in an interview with The Daily Iowan.

“I decided that we needed to have more people involved in politics and government that are going to fight for working families, for people who are vulnerable, and for marginalized communities,” Dunn said.

Dunn started his political involvement with volunteer work for former President Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign.He was also involved in Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2015 presidential campaign.

Dunn served on several legislative advisory councils and as a legislative aide for Sen. Claire Celsi in the Iowa State Senate. More recently, Dunn ran for a seat in the Iowa House for District 85 in 2021 while still attending  the University of Iowa.

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As a councilor, Dunn said he wants to focus on supporting small businesses, climate and sustainability issues, and equity and racial justice issues in the city.

“Once I’m on firmer footing and have my head on straight, I plan to host regularly scheduled office hours once or twice a month in between council meetings,” Dunn said. “I want to make sure that people know that the council is accessible and is there to help and to be an asset to people and to provide services and assistance.”

Iowa City Mayor Bruce Teague said Dunn brings a fresh and unique perspectives to the council.

“There’s something to be said about seeing a representative that is the median age within our community,” Teague said. “We have an affordable housing crisis in our community … and I think having Dunn there, who is a current renter, can help us to achieve some of those aspirations that this community so desperately needs.”

Councilor John Thomas, who was the first councilor to nominate Dunn during the appointment process, said Dunn’s eagerness to learn the operations of the city council set him apart from other candidates.

“I felt, especially in that it was an appointment that has a very short duration, having that background seemed to be particularly critical in that if he was to be able to function at a higher level from the date of the appointment through the year, that gave him an advantage, at least with some of the candidates,” Thomas said.