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My name is Gene Achziger and I’m running for Des Moines City Council to empower your community.

I’ve been involved in Des Moines for a while now so I’m fortunate to call a large number of residents my colleagues and friends. But over the next few months, I’m looking forward to meeting many more of you and your families and hearing how we can work together on the issues you care about. Until then, here are just a few words about me and why I decided to seek this office.

Much of my career was spent with the Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspaper as a copy editor, graphic designer, and union representative. More recently, I’ve taught journalism as an adjunct professor at Highline College — including advising The Thunderword newspaper, to which many of our students have contributed.

I served for 14 years as president of the Redondo Community Club. I helped lead the campaign for Woodmont and Redondo to join Des Moines in 1997.

In 2014, I was proud to become president of the Des Moines Legacy Foundation. Our mission is simple: to support our most vulnerable citizens with equipment and scholarships which benefit parks, recreation, seniors, families, and children throughout Des Moines.

Currently, I serve as a commissioner for Mount Rainier Pool, working hard to bring the pool up to the standards you expect. A particular passion of mine is encouraging more BIPOC children to learn to swim.

In recent years, I feel our City Council has isolated itself from the needs of many of our communities. From North Hill to Redondo, so many people have told me that we no longer have an open and transparent process at City Hall. They feel that our voices are not heard and sometimes not even welcome. I am deeply concerned about this because I know that a strong sense of community and a spirit of volunteerism have always been essential to making Des Moines a special place to call home.

With the right leadership, we can get that spirit back — and make it better than ever. If you’d like to learn more, please contact me at info@gene4desmoines.com.

We all win when we govern from the heart.