Iowa City Downtown District Advocacy

Methodology of Candidate Review

A committee of 9 ICDD stakeholders, guided by the District’s legislative committee, reviewed the four candidates for the 2021 City Council election through a process that included a questionnaire, interview, score against the ICDD’s Advocacy Statement, and committee discussion.  The following summary reflects the committee’s compilation of the responses to these questions, their alignment scores, and strengths perceived by the committee during the review process.

The ICDD Legislative Committee contemplated the highly valued, yet differentiated experience and attributes of each candidate.  The committee encourages the community to read each candidates’ questionnaire responses, the review summary of strengths and ICDD alignment, and the candidate website information as educational tools to support your informed vote.

Summary Analysis

STOOD OUT:  Megan Alter – Megan has done her homework.  The review committee felt her responses to the questionnaire overall demonstrated more specific understanding, clear support of ICDD initiatives and positions, and a desire to work collaboratively to solve community-wide challenges.  


The review committee felt extremely positive that each candidate could serve the City and the ICDD well.  Each is informed, values inclusivity and community growth, and is interested in direct dialogue that is healthy and professional.  Great news for Iowa City! 

Meet the Candidates

Megan Alter

Council Candidate At Large

Megan Alter is a proud resident of the South District along with her husband and two children (at Alexander Elementary and Southeast Jr High). Megan is a longtime community volunteer: serving her 2nd term on the Housing and Community Development Commission; the leadership committee for the South District Neighborhood Association; a Big Sister (with the same Little) for 7 years and counting; a former Board Director with Iowa Women’s Foundation and a current Board Director with Summer of the Arts.   Megan works at ACT where she served as the chair of its Corporate Giving Committee and co-chaired ACT’s United Way Drive. Most recently, she co-founded Neighborhood NESTS, which created micro-hubs for at-risk students and families in need in the Iowa City School District during COVID. 

Megan earned her Ph.D. in English literature from the University of Iowa.  More information about her campaign can be found at:

Mayor Bruce Teague

Council Candidate At Large

Bruce Teague is the current Mayor of the City of Iowa City. He was elected to the city council on Oct. 2, 2018, and will serve a two-year term as mayor, from 2020-2022. He moved to Iowa City from Chicago when he was 17 years old and graduated from West High.  He is the Owner/CEO of Caring Hands & More LLC, which provides a variety of services, from supportive community living  and child care programs to home cleaning and lawn care. 

Mayor Teague graduated in 2002 from Kirkwood Community College with an associate’s degree in Applied Science in Nursing. Mayor Teague is also a 2001 graduate of the University of Iowa, where he holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Certificate of Aging Studies.  For more information about his campaign, see

Jason Glass

Council Candidate At Large

Jason is the current Vice Chair of the Iowa City Human Rights Commission, a 20-year Human Resources Professional that now teaches management and leadership at the University level, small consulting business owner, and current member of the Iowa Army National Guard’s 34th Army Band where he has served for 27 years and is a saxophone player and Drum Major.  Jason has been an Iowa City resident for almost 7 years after living the previous 9 years in North Liberty. He met his wife, Megan, in Hawkeye Marching Band in 1996 and they have two daughters and a Labrador Retriever.

Jason has Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA 1999) and Master of Business Administration (MBA 2010) degrees from the University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business, both with an emphasis in Management & Organizations. More information about Jason’s campaign can be found at

Shawn Harmsen

Council Candidate for District B

Shawn Harmsen lives in Iowa City with his wife Jody, daughter Katy, and son Jack. He teaches journalism, mass media studies, and communication at Coe College.  Since moving to Iowa City in 2010, Shawn has been a student, professor, husband, dad, little league coach, primary childcare provider, and community activist. He served as leadership of UE Local 896 COGS (the union that represents graduate students at the University of Iowa), campaign managers of Iowa City Councilwoman Mazahir Salih, Johnson County Supervisor Royceann Porter, and city council candidate Megan Alter.  Most recently, Shawn has been an activist against predatory out-of-state investors in support of affordable housing.

For more information about Shawn’s campaign, visit