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LISTEN: Racial equity is a big part of the conversations surrounding city council elections in Des Moines

Des Moines City Hall
Clay Masters
Three incumbents and five challengers are vying for three seats on the Des Moines City Council in next month's election.

Early voting for city and school board elections is underway across the state. In Des Moines, there are three city council seats on the ballot. These elections come following a year in which racial justice protesters have regularly showed up at city council meetings. Iowa Public Radio’s Clay Masters talked to Des Moines Register reporter Melody Mercado.

“We're seeing a majority of candidates asking for the implementation of a citizen's Review Board of the Des Moines Police Department,” Mercado said. “That's something that was being called for last year 2020 when the ordinance for racial profiling was approved, and that was something that was left out.”

There are three incumbents running for re-election and five challengers on the ballot. For the at-large seat, Connie Boesen (incumbent) and Justyn Lewis are running. Marcus Coenen, Bill Gray (incumbent) and Indira Sheumaker are running to represent Ward 1. While Josh Mandelbaum (incumbent), Cory McAnelly and Brandi Webber are competing for Ward 3.

Election Day is November 2. Iowans can vote early at their county auditor offices.

Read more about changes to voting laws in Iowa this year.

Clay Masters is Iowa Public Radio’s Morning Edition host and lead political reporter.