By Sarah Watson
Iowa City’s nighttime mayor is taking a shot at a day shift.
Angela Winnike is running for an at-large seat on the Iowa City City Council. Winnike has lived in Iowa City all her life, graduating from Iowa City West in 2001 and the University of Iowa in 2006.
After graduating, she served as the chief of retail operations for the Java House and Heirloom Salad Co., and in April, she was appointed to be Iowa City nighttime mayor, in which she serves as the go-between for downtown businesses and the city.
“I am a voice for those who are not always represented,” Winnike said. “I am a single, minority, woman, and I want to bring that perspective to the council.”
Her platform includes addressing lack of transportation, allowing more accessibility to city government leaders, and developing a safer and more welcoming downtown.
Winnike said she wants to increase communication and transparency between city government and members of the community through an online platform. With technological advances, Winnike said, she would like to see more information online about city government and a comment form put in place for easier communication among councilors and the people of Iowa City.
“Everyone carries around a phone, it would be a really simple way to give our entire community better access to information,” she said.
As a former student and employee in Iowa City, Winnike said, she wants to improve the amount of transportation in the evenings and on weekends.
“A lot of students work in hourly jobs, especially in the service industry, as do a lot of low-income hourly workers in our community,” Winnike said. “Because bus routes are so limited, people have a hard time accessing things like, for example, going to a City Council meeting every first and third Tuesday.”
She said she would like to see more creative options to address the problem like ride-sharing apps or nighttime carpooling.
Winnike also supports creating a safer and more welcoming downtown.
“Our downtown community is for everyone,” she said. “Downtown is what everyone looks at. It’s important that we keep it vibrant, that we keep developing it.”
In her role as nighttime mayor, she has helped implement programing such as SHOUT, in which student ambassadors stationed downtown can provide assistance to students who don’t require police intervention.
As with many of the other candidates, Winnike said she wants to make affordable housing one of her biggest priorities. Steps she wants to take include implementing stricter regulations for landlords, creating a better balance between rental and owned property, and increasing the density and upward growth of housing downtown.