Interview with Des Moines Mayoral Candidate Josh Mandelbaum

Downtown Des Moines skyline from Gray's Lake Park Bridge

Downtown Des Moines belongs to all Iowans. It serves as a critical meeting point for State Wrestling, Girls and Boys Basketball, concerts and shows. But as large employers pull out, are we heading back to the dark days of the eye-sore 80s? Mayoral candidate Josh Mandelbaum has thoughts. He also shares one of his biggest regrets as a City Councilman.

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Josh Mandelbaum, Candidate for for Des Moines Mayor

Candidate for Des Moines Mayor, Josh Mandelbaum

Mandelbaum discusses his plans on how to make the city more walkable, if Police should be back in schools, and his ideas on affordable housing.

He defends the Energy and Water Benchmarking Ordinance that requires building that are 25,000 square feet or larger to submit energy and water consumption to the city. We also discuss if the dark days of downtown will return.

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Are Dark Days of Downtown returning

With Wells Fargo, Nationwide, and Dotdash Meredith announcing plans to leave downtown Des Moines is facing an employee exodus. Mandelbaum says he’s not worried however, and points to the new generation of Iowa businesses growing rapidly into Des Moines.

One example cited is OpenLoop. The city has given a $250,000 forgivable loan to the company as an incentive to expand in downtown. OpenLoop’s CEO, Dr. Jon Lensing has already announced plans to hire 400 employees in their Des Moines office.

Mandelbaum doesn’t believe we are looking at an exodus, but simply an evolution of downtown work culture.

Vision Zero

Mandelbaum wants to implement a Vision Zero plan to reduce our 20 annual traffic fatalities to 0. He says that can be done by reducing speed and changing traffic flow in a way that’s actually favorable to communities and businesses. He gives two strong examples, citing the success of Ingersoll Avenue, and 6th Street’s rejuvenation.

Connect with Josh Mandelbaum

Mandelbaum is running against longtime fellow council member Connie Boesen (who was on this show 2 weeks prior). Frank Cownie, who has served as Mayor of Des Moines since 2003, has not announced plans to run.

Learn more about Josh Mandelbaum and his run for Mayor of Des Moines at his official website:

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