Letter: I trust Chris Nelson to ensure Ames residents’ benefits


Sarah Henry/Iowa State Daily

Ames Police Chief Charles Cychosz addresses City Council and Ames residents about safety concerns and community resources on Sept. 25, 2018, at Ames City Hall.

Jacob Schrader

My name is Jacob Schrader and I am a junior at Iowa State. This Tuesday I will be voting to re-elect Chris Nelson to Ames City Council for Ward 4, and I hope you do too.

Two years ago, the City of Ames was looking to update its rental occupancy code, changing how many people are allowed to live in a rental house. From a student perspective allowing more students to live in a home is the goal as this would increase supply and lower the cost of housing around the city.

A draft proposal had key parts that would have restricted student housing options without gaining much in terms of safety. Students mobilized to voice opposition to these parts.

Student Government passed a resolution requesting changes and I, as a Student Government Senator, created a petition that gained over three thousand signatures in three days. I also started to go to City Council meetings along with some other students.

At these meetings, Councilman Chris Nelson consistently attempted to ensure that students received a good deal. When other members of the Council appeared dismissive of student concerns, Chris Nelson did not.

He listened and worked to find the balance between affordable housing and safety. When the occupancy code eventually passed, one of the more restrictive parts of the proposal, tying the amount of people allowed to live in a house to parking even though many ISU students do not own cars, was nowhere to be found.

I am voting for Chris Nelson because I trust him to ensure that what happens at the city works for all residents of Ames, including students.

Beyond the example above regarding affordable housing, he has led on sustainably, social issues, and creating a long-term vision for Ames. He understands that city government is more than a zero-sum game, but that good government means finding solutions that benefit everyone.

So, this Tuesday, Dec. 3, please vote to re-elect Chris Nelson. I will.