DAVENPORT, Iowa -- She was the last candidate to declare her candidacy in Davenport's mayoral election this year, and is also the youngest contender. Elizabeth VanCamp says it's not the years that count but the ideas.
VanCamp, 29, said she looked at the field of candidates that were running, and it compelled her to run.
"I didn’t feel like any of them were really saying anything other than the status quo. We were hearing the same things, again, that I have heard my entire adult life: 'We need to fix the road, we need to address the riverfront,'" she told News 8. Those are important things, she acknowledged, "But I wasn’t hearing anything about getting to the bottom of the issues that are really holding back a lot of people in our community."
VanCamp wants to get to the root causes on the issues she's been hearing from Davenport residents, she told News 8 at a meet and greet event at a supporter's home.
"Addressing poverty and homelessness are big ones for me. Until we address poverty, the things that are holding a lot of people back can't get better. So our community as a whole can’t get better."
She said she wants to focus on restorative justice for juvenile offenders and supporting the school district and the police department to build community and mentorship.
"One way I can think of is creating a program, where our police and fire departments can actually go and teach our students the importance of those departments, and the importance of following the laws and what happens when if you get in trouble with the law, and just giving a good, positive outlook on our police and fire departments, that our kids see more than just what they see on the news."
For her, global warming is a local issue: "We have seen these affects of climate change now and if we keep ignoring it, the riverfront is going to be the least of our problems."
And going green is an opportunity, she said: "We are already struggling because we are traditionally a farm state and our farmers are hurting. If we don’t start to move with the industry, which is moving towards more green energy, we’re going to start to hurt as a city."
VanCamp admitted she faces a learning curve, like others would on the council, she said. But she added that she would resign from her current job as social media specialist for the University of Iowa, and dedicate herself fulltime to a mayor's duties.
"Now my generation is having our own kids that we need to worry about and I allowed the adults in charge to handle things for a time, and they haven’t done a good enough job."
She may be the youngest, but she said she doesn't have time to wait around.
The Davenport primary election is on Tuesday, October 8, 2019. The top two vote-getters will advance to the general election in November.