A Dubuque woman is running for mayor, saying the city’s current leadership isn’t serving the majority of its residents.
April White, 38, seeks the mayoral seat currently held by Roy Buol, who said last month that he does not plan to seek re-election in November. Longtime City Council Member David Resnick also has announced he will run for the position.
White is the home-school teacher for her two children and attends Loras College, where she is working toward degrees in psychology and criminal justice that she plans to use to become a victim advocate.
She said she chose to run for mayor because she believes the current city administration lacks compassion for and interest in the majority of residents.
She also believes the city needs a female leader. The city only has had one female mayor — Sister Carolyn Farrell in 1980.
Last week, City Council members approved a $1.8 million settlement with former Police Department Capt. Abby Simon, who sued the city and Police Chief Mark Dalsing in 2019 on the grounds of gender discrimination, harassment and retaliation.
White said that if elected, she would focus on promoting fiscal responsibility, reducing wasteful spending and avoiding tax increases. She also would work to improve city policy to ensure that mental health, drug and alcohol services are more easily accessible for residents.
White discussed with the Telegraph Herald her past issues with drug and alcohol abuse and being in an abusive relationship.
“I went through it for three years, and it was a nightmare,” she said. “I fought like hell, and I haven’t had a drop of alcohol or taken drugs since June 15 of 2015.”
White said she was in an abusive relationship for years. She said she was later raped multiple times by a family friend. She turned to drugs and alcohol to cope.
In 2014, White was charged with — and later pleaded guilty to — domestic abuse assault. She said she struck her then-boyfriend, now her fiance, when she was abusing alcohol and still coping with the trauma of abuse.
“He came to the bar, and I was a mess,” White said. “I assaulted my boyfriend. I take responsibility for that.”
White said that part of her life is now long past. Along with conquering her addictions, she also attended Northeast Iowa Community College, where she became the first chapter president of the local Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and was regularly named to the dean’s list.
While White plans to help local residents as a victim advocate, she also wants to help the community even more substantially by serving as mayor.
“I’m looking to stand for all the unheard masses,” she said. “I understand drug addiction and the people that are going through it. I understand everyone, not just the elite.”
If elected, she said she would work to improve transparency between city leaders and residents and seek to restore the city’s overall sense of community.
“There are a lot of people who have never met their mayor or City Council members,” White said. “We need to bring the governing establishment and the community back together.”