By Anthony Brown
I am 29 and have lived in Cedar Rapids since 1999, graduated from Jefferson High in 2002, and attended Kirkwood Community College. My better-half and I just purchased our first home by Mount Mercy University.
I am actively involved in our community. I work for an organization called Diversity Focus, where I am the manager of Community Engagement and Development. I connect corporations, organizations and communities to sustainable engagement opportunities. I am a part of the board of directors for Foundation 2, on the Equity Committee for Grant Wood Area Education Association, a member of the Iowa Safe and Supportive School Certification Program Advisory Board and the board of directors for Access Iowa and ImpactCR, participated on the marketing committees for the United Way and the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation.
I volunteer for other organizations such as Waypoint, Cedar Valley Humane Society and One Iowa. I also organized community events such as the CR Pride Fest and Festival Latino de Cedar Rapids, among others.
I am stepping forward to serve on City Council because I am a connector, listener, includer, servant leader and community builder — all characteristics that a council member must have to be effective.
Some actions I want to take:
Cedar Rapids is a great place to do business, though sometimes we do not see similar immediate benefits as property owners. I want to create a program where property owners can take out forgivable, or low-interest, loans for projects that maintain or increase property values. Other communities across the state have similar programs, such as the Neighborhood Finance Corporation in Des Moines, or Targeted Investment Neighborhoods in Dubuque.
We don’t have the most successful culture for startups and small businesses. Developing partnerships with organizations such as Kiva, which allow community-backed micro loans for small businesses and startups to receive funding, will foster an innovative and dynamic culture.
I will hold monthly community meetings, outside of council meetings, to have conversation about what is going on in our community. I want to be proactive in serving, rather than reactionary.
Cedar Rapids is a great place and I want to continue building it into a place for us all to work, play, do business, and live in. For more, please visit www.brownforcr.org or Facebook at www.Facebook.com/AnthonyBrownCR
l Comments: AnthonyBrownCR@gmail.com