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Ahead of November's special election, here's what issues matter most for Ward 1 voters

While many Ward 1 residents may be undecided on whom to vote for, they know what issues matter most to them.

BEAVERDALE, Iowa — In less than two months, residents of Des Moines’ Ward 1 will have the chance to voice who they want to represent them on the city council.

While many Ward 1 residents are still undecided about whom to vote for, they know what issues matter most to them.

"We need to do things different," said Claudia Thrane, a resident of Ward 1. "Many times, we see these candidates when they are running, but you don't see them when we need them."

Longtime Ward 1 resident and Lower Beaver Neighborhood Association president Jeremy Geerdes said there’s a lot of work to be done.

"There's several issues that I have identified that I think are important in our neighborhood," Geerdes said. "The solutions that we have right now really aren't doing anything for anybody."

Some of the issues Geerdes referred to include tackling homelessness, improving mental health services and commercial redevelopment in many of the ward one neighborhoods. 

More than anything, Thrane, Geerdes and other constituents said they want accountability.

"If there’s an issue, would you please respond? And, you know, answer your phone every now and then? The bar isn’t very high right now," Geerdes said. 

"They need to take the time to talk to them, to talk to people that live there, that just moved there, about what they want and what their needs are," Thrane added.

According to their website, the Lower Beaver Neighborhood Association plans to host an open forum where Ward 1 candidates can come and speak to residents about why they’re the best fit for the role. 

The date for that forum has not yet been announced, but will be held ahead of the special election on Nov. 7.

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