DES MOINES, Iowa — Candidates are already gearing up for the Des Moines mayoral election on Nov. 7. So far, two people have announced their candidacy: Council member Josh Mandelbaum and community activist Denver Foote.
Frank Cownie, the city's current mayor, has not formally announced if he will run for another term or not.
Mandelbaum declared his candidacy for the Nov. 7 election on Wednesday morning.
“This campaign will be about the future of our city. We can’t solve tomorrow’s challenges with yesterday’s ideas.” Mandelbaum said in a press release. “We need to set a bold vision for the future, pursue innovative solutions, and lead. We need a new generation of leadership focused on what Des Moines will become in the coming decades.”
Born and raised in Des Moines, Mandelbaum is serving his second term on the city council. He currently works as an attorney at the Environmental Law & Policy Center.
As mayor, Mandelbaum would prioritize creating affordable housing, supporting a strong public transit system, improving public safety and investing in green infrastructure, according to his website.
“In my time on Council, I have focused on solving problems that will make a significant difference in people’s lives,” Mandelbaum said in a press release. “I’ve led on big issues such as implementing bold local solutions to climate change. I’ve stood up to special interests to improve access to affordable housing, and I’ve looked for creative solutions to longstanding problems."
While Foote announced their run for mayor on Tuesday, the campaign will host a virtual kickoff Thursday at 7:30 p.m. on Facebook and Twitter.
Foote was born and raised in Iowa and currently lives in the Drake neighborhood.
In 2016, Foote began working alongside Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement. Since then, Foote has organized locally with Des Moines Peoples Town Hall. They also sit on the board of directors for the Iowa Abortion Access Fund.
"I know what it feels like to be silenced, to be hurt and to be forgotten," Foote said at a Des Moines Council meeting on Feb. 22, 2022. "We need transformative social justice, we need transparency, accountability and better care systems within our communities. We are done picking up crumbs.
Foote's campaign platform focuses on improving pedestrian infrastructure, addressing the houselessness crisis, tackling climate change, decriminalizing marijuana and relocating funds from the police budget to other causes.