Today, July 16th, local community activist and lifetime southsider, Chelsea Chism-Vargas, formally announced her candidacy for the Des Moines City Council, Ward 4 seat.

Chelsea Chism-Vargas is a first generation Peruvian-American born and raised in the 4th Ward. As a lifetime southsider, Chelsea credits her community for providing her with the resources, experiences, and guidance that paved the way for her leadership. She is excited to gain the support from her community as she begins her candidacy for the 4th ward council seat.

She is grateful to already have gained a powerful endorsement from the Asian & Latino Coalition.

“One of the things I am most proud of is the community I come from. I’ve grown right along with the city of Des Moines and have become increasingly aware of the challenges my ward faces and the value and culture we bring to the city. I am running for this city council seat to represent my community and advocate for our needs. I’ve grown up here and the most radical thing I have done is stay put.” – Chelsea Chism-Vargas


Chelsea Chism-Vargas is currently an advocacy manager for a trusted reproductive health care organization. Her professional experience ranges from field organizing, coalition building, and direct member engagement. 

Chelsea is a woman who is dedicated to serving those most in need with a commitment to justice, inclusivity, and a desire to give back to the communities that made her the leader she is today.

Key issues of Chelsea Chism-Vargas’ campaign for city council include:

  • Economic Development (particularly in the 4th ward)
  • Affordable Housing for all residents and their families
  •  Infrastructure development, focusing on main corridors in ward 4
  • Public Safety with a comprehensive approach to the diverse communities and needs that our Police & Fire Departments serve 

Chelsea Chism-Vargas is a progressive leader with a vision for the 4th ward and city of Des Moines which includes adequate representation for residents and a commitment to developing even stronger, safer, more inclusive and celebrated neighborhoods. Her forward thinking perspective would be a valuable addition to the council and to the future of Des Moines.

Des Moines 4th ward includes the hard working neighborhoods of the southeast side of the city.  Election day is Tuesday November 5th. For ways to support the campaign, please contact [email protected] or follow her campaign on Facebook: Chelsea Chism-Vargas for Des Moines City Council, Ward 4.

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