Ames School Board election profile 2021: Amy Erica Smith


Amy Erica Smith is running for one of the three open seats for the Ames School Board in the Nov. 2 election.

Josue Aceves

Amy Erica Smith, associate professor of political science at Iowa State University, is one of seven candidates running for a school board position. 

Smith has lived in Ames since 2012 and has served on the Ames Council Board on the Social Justice Committee. She has a specialty in Latin & Brazilian politics. 

“We need to make sure we get a strong leader who has a demonstrated track record of supporting their teachers and staff and helping people feel included,” Smith said in a zoom meeting when discussing hiring a new superintendent. 

One of the biggest challenges she sees affecting Ames right now is making sure Ames and Iowa State follow CDC guidelines regarding COVID-19. Smith said when the CDC said schools should enforce mask mandates, Ames schools should follow. Smith will go off of data in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19. 

Smith said that making sure everyone’s opinions are respected is something the school board should be doing better. Smith said everyone is a member of the community, and the community should come together to solve issues currently facing Ames. 

An important issue Smith cares about is the matter of diversity in Ames. She supported Black Lives Matter Week despite the vocal minority who protested against it. However, she believes the week can be improved on. She defended the inclusion of age-appropriate LGBTQ+ issues mentioned in schools, which was a target for conservative backlash. 

Smith said for the next BLM Week; she plans to have better planning and communication within the community in order to make Black Lives Matter Week better. Smith wants issues brought up in BLM Week, such as disparities and inequalities in the school system, to be year-round.  

Early absentee voting is available at the following locations.

  • 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 30: Ames Public Library

  • Nov. 1: Story County Auditor’s office during business hours