Archive for  December 13th 2017

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IOWA  —  Tuesday evening marked the first night of Hanukkah.

To celebrate the holiday in the metro, the first candle on the giant menorah in front of Maccabee’s Kosher Deli was lit.

“Every time there is a moment of chaos, or we hear so many bad stories or so many bad things, just do another act of kindness. Yes, if you’re at school or you’re at home and you need to call someone, you know someone that’s sick, you have a friend that’s being bullied, do one act of goodness and kindness,” said Motti Jacobson of Lubavitch of Iowa. “That’s our mission and every bit of light that we can bring to this world.”

This is the 17th lighting of the menorah. One candle will be lit each night of Hanukkah, which ends on December 20th.

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa  —  Monday’s swearing-in ceremony of new at-large West Des Moines City Council member Renee Hardman was groundbreaking.

Defeating incumbent Rick Messerschmidt, she became the first African American woman and second female city council member in West Des Moines history.

“It was a moment that I was most proud of and just took a moment to thank God for leading me on this journey,” said Hardman.

A standing room only crowd recognized the milestone of triumph.  Hardman said, “All you can say is you are humbled by it. Your spirit is humbled by the extraordinary showing of support, and for that I am grateful.”

Many eyes witnessed history, but it was Hardman’s leap of faith from Chicago nearly 40 years ago that laid the foundation for the monumental moment.

“I came to Iowa in 1979, sight unseen to attend Drake University,” said Hardman.

That same blind faith mentality is what impressed her most about the voters as she campaigned for their support.  She said, “I did learn that people didn’t necessarily care whether I was a woman or an African American. They cared about what I brought to the table.”

Now with a seat at that table, Hardman says her path may allow others to pull up a chair, as well.

“I want them to see that if you work hard and have the values necessary and you look people in the eye and say, ‘I want to be your voice, I want to hear what is on your mind,’ it can happen.”

Two issues Hardman hopes to make an early impact on are citizen engagement and affordable housing in West Des Moines.

For full video of the swearing-in ceremony from the Communicator Newspaper, click here.