Melisa Fonseca becomes first candidate to file for 4th Ward council vacancy

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By Robert Maharry, Times-Republican

Earlier this week, a Marshalltown businesswoman who is seeking to become the first Latina ever elected to the city council submitted her nomination petition for the 4th Ward vacancy left by the passing of longtime Councilor Al Hoop.

Melisa Fonseca, 27, who graduated from MHS in 2014 and subsequently worked toward a BA degree in real estate and financial management with a minor in Spanish at the University of Northern Iowa, returned to Marshalltown while she was still in college and commuted back and forth to Cedar Falls for her final 2 ½ years. She is now a Broker/Owner and REALTOR ® at Alta Vista Real Estate, which is based in Marshalltown, and is licensed to sell real estate in the state of Iowa.

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During an interview with the T-R, Fonseca said Hoop’s passing left “big shoes to fill” on the council, and she described him as a pillar of the community.

“I want to support and serve the members of our community, and I am committed to stepping up and standing for the values that people like Al Hoop lived,” she said.

She is now raising her son, who is a student at Woodbury Elementary, in the town where she has spent almost all of her life, and Fonseca said she hopes to build a community that more Marshalltown natives will want to return to as they start careers and families.

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“It’s important that members of the council are representative of the community. I’m a millennial, a woman, a mom and a Latina. If elected, I want to bring more people into the conversation by engaging members of our community who primarily or prefer to speak Spanish. By engaging members of our community who have not typically been engaged in the process, we can make city government work for more people,” she said.

Fonseca would also seek to bring people together through “pragmatism, negotiation and compromise” by utilizing her business background. She also called herself a learner who has been loyal to her jobs and is serious about the responsibilities that come with serving on the city council. A few of her goals include supporting small businesses, creating a more “accessible and representative” city government and continuing to work on improving the community to build “a more vibrant Marshalltown for generations to come.”

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“I want (voters) to know that I’m a small business owner, and I want them to know that I want a place that my son can come back to after he graduates college just like I did. That’s what we need more of. We’re raising our children here, and are they coming back? And how can we open it up for them to come back like I did?” she asked. “I came back. There was no doubt about me coming back. My family is here, my sisters, my mother, and Marshalltown is where I’m rooted. There’s no doubt about it. I’m from here, and I’m gonna stay here. I have a business here, and I’m here for the long term.”

Fonseca, who is bilingual, also wished to share a statement in Spanish.

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“Mi nombre es Melisa Fonseca. Me enorgullece decir que soy de Marshalltown, Después de graduarme de Marshalltown High School, Obtuve una Licenciatura en Bienes Raíces y Finanzas de la Universidad del Norte de Iowa, y luego recibí mi Licencia en la Venta de Bienes Raíces en el Estado de Iowa. Como dueña de la agencia inmobiliaria, Alta Vista Centro de Bienes Raíces en Marshalltown, me siento afortunada de poder utilizar todos los días en mi profesión lo que aprendí en UNI, ser REALTOR es una profesión que me ha permitido conocer personas de cada parte de nuestra comunidad. El consejero Al Hoop dejó un gran puesto en el Consejo Municipal de Marshalltown para el Distrito 4: era un miembro devoto al Consejo.

Quiero apoyar y servir a los miembros de nuestra comunidad, y estoy comprometido a dar un paso al frente y defender los valores que vivieron personas como Al Hoop.

Me postulo para el Concejo Municipal porque quiero contribuir a mi comunidad. Crecí aquí y estoy orgullosa de criar a mi hijo aquí. Es importante que los miembros del Consejo sean representativos de nuestra comunidad. Soy millennial, mujer, mamá y latina. Si soy elegida al consejo, quiero atraer a más personas a la conversación, involucrando a miembros de nuestra comunidad que principalmente hablan español. Al involucrar a miembros de nuestra comunidad que normalmente no han participado en el proceso, podemos hacer que el gobierno de la ciudad trabaje para más personas. También sé cómo unir a la gente. El gobierno local depende del pragmatismo, la negociación y el compromiso para funcionar correctamente. Mi participación en esta comunidad y las habilidades que he aprendido a lo largo de mi carrera en el sector inmobiliario me han preparado para este puesto. Espero lograr, si soy elegida, apoyar a los dueños locales, crear un gobierno municipal más accesible y representativo y continuar el trabajo para mejorar nuestra comunidad. ¡Juntos, construiremos un Marshalltown más vibrante para las generaciones que vienen!”

The special election will be held on July 16. The deadline to file is June 21 at 5 p.m., and 75 signatures, all of which must come from residents within the 4th Ward, must be collected to submit a nomination petition at City Hall. An exact breakdown of the boundaries of the four wards is available at https://www.marshalltown-ia.gov/DocumentCenter/View/851/Voting-Ward-Map?bidId=.

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Contact Robert Maharry

at 641-753-6611 ext. 255 or

[email protected].

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