David Martin seeks to act as voice of community on city council


Hugo Bolanos/Iowa State Daily

City Council meets to discuss the problems the city faces in order to keep residents happy.

Chris Anderson

Surprised by the results of the 2016 election, David Martin decided to try and make a difference by running for Ames City Council.

Martin, owner of a consulting business specializing in software issues, announced his candidacy on April 12 for the 3rd Ward.

“I decided to run because I was looking for a way to get more involved,” Martin said.

Martin was born in Ames and later moved to California to work for startup companies. He returned to Iowa State for undergraduate studying before receiving his Ph.D. at Boston University and later teaching graduate and undergraduate computer science.

After living in various other places, Martin chose to return to Ames for his love of the community and inclusive environment. As a member of the LGBTQ community, Martin remembers a time in the early ’80s when the people of Ames supported LGBTQ community members even though the federal and state government did not.

“Having grown up in Ames, I know it’s a good place to be,” Martin said. “I know it takes attention and work to keep it good. Those kinds of things are what brought me to give this attention.”

In addition to having grown up in Ames, Martin believes his experience in the business and academic communities qualifies him for a seat on city council. However, Martin is not afraid to admit the areas where he is not an expert.

“With the work I’ve done in my adult life, I have a good sense of when I know about something and when I need to learn more,” Martin said. “No single person can be an expert on everything.”

Martin hopes that as a member of city council he could listen to people in the community about what issues are important to them and how they feel they should be solved. One issue that is especially important to Martin is ensuring reliable internet for Ames citizens.

“I think it’s something that we need to study and we need to understand what the level of satisfaction is in Ames [regarding internet],” Martin said. “I’m getting the sense there are some concerns.”

Internet availability and reliability is something Martin sees a lot of importance in. If elected, he hopes to address this issue.  

“Right now, we’re living in a world where a small number of market forces are competing to try to bring service,” Martain said. “It’s leaving gaps.”

Although he has no clear plan set in place on how he would like to see internet improved in the city, he believes Ames can work with private companies to steer them in the direction of providing better service.

When asked about other issues he would consider, Martin hopes to work to make Ames a more inclusive place. He also wants to improve the means by which the city communicates with its citizens.

Martin plans to meet with people to figure out what issues are important to them.

“I’m looking forward to meeting with Ward 3 residents to hear what will energize us as a community,” Martin said. “That’s what I’d like to focus on first.” 

Martin is one of two candidates running for Peter Orazem’s seat. Orazem recently announced his plans to retire from the council.

Martin’s opponent, Rob Bowers, also recently announced his candidacy for City Council Ward 3.

Martin is spending the early days of his campaign meeting with residents and determining what is important to the Ames community.

“My conversations are just beginning, and I’m looking forward to discovering other areas of resonance in the coming months,” Martin said.