Cara Galloway, a graduate of the most recent class of the Ottumwa Leadership Academy, has been elected City Council Person.
Galloway believes that Ottumwa has been taking steps in the right direction and her initial consideration in running for the elected position grew out of her desire to see the progression of our community continue. After learning that there would be three open seats in the 2021 election, Cara met with local leaders and confidants to discuss running for one of the open seats. “I wanted to make sure it was the right seat for me and the elected position I could have the most benefit at this time,” she said. “After these conversations, I had a pretty good idea that I was going to run. However, when my daughter and I were at a council meeting, and she asked me why there was only one girl, Holly, on the council and a bunch of men. That comment sealed it for me.”
Galloway’s time in the Ottumwa Leadership Academy also impacted her views on stepping into new leadership positions; “O.L.A. showed me the importance of good leaders and how a good leader can make progress. It also taught me people have to step up to be leaders. You cannot always rely on others to do what’s best for the group or community at large.”
Cara has big goals for the next four years. “I think I gave the courier a whole page of items,” she said, referencing candidate interviews completed by the local newspaper. In her new role, she hopes to help our community continue to grow in its quality-of-life efforts, economic development, and to see increased inclusivity efforts. “I would like to see our community become One Ottumwa, meaning I would like to see our community truly embrace all of our cultures and people in Ottumwa,” she stated.
Her new role, which begins in January, will add twice-weekly meetings, plus any additional special meetings to her already busy schedule. As a full-time employee, a single mom, and a dedicated community volunteer, Cara said she knows balancing all her commitments will take focus. However, she has one strategy that allows her to spend time with her daughter and stay involved; “There are committees I am on that I bring Kennedy to. I think it is important for children to see firsthand the importance of giving back and being part of the community.”
To others looking to run for an elected office, Cara offers the following advice. “Find a good team. I cannot stress how important this is. Without my amazing team, I do not think I could have won. There is so much more to running than one can do alone. Having people by your side and that shows up is so important. There were many times I needed someone to just run ideas off of or someone to take care of something while I was doing 100 other things. I am beyond grateful for them.”