A lifelong Iowa City resident, ready to serve.
Laura Bergus, 38 years old and a lifelong resident of Iowa City, is running at-large for city council. Laura has a passion for community development, access to justice, and the arts. Laura has committed herself to work for a better community for all of us.
In high school, Laura learned that she loved her local government. Working for the City of Iowa City televising the city council meetings, she saw her elected leaders grapple with community issues mundane and complex. Since then, Laura has stayed engaged in city government. Until 2008, she was a municipal employee. She worked in North Liberty and Iowa City covering public meetings, promoting city initiatives, and working to connect citizens to their government. When she left professional public service to attend law school, Laura was appointed by Iowa City’s city council to serve on a public commission. Now, as an attorney, Laura helps Iowans resolve disputes through mediation and working in our local courts.
Laura believes local government should be fair, accountable, and transparent. On city council, Laura will keep her focus on policy and planning, not micromanaging. Laura believes the role of the city council is to listen to citizens and staff, exercise judgment and discretion, and to set the strategic plan. Laura will help Iowa City stay on target for a just, sustainable, and equitable future.
Laura knows Iowa City must continue its work to address the lack of affordable housing. Iowa City needs to acknowledge the challenges in our transportation systems throughout the region. Iowa City should encourage responsible and sustainable economic growth, because a stable and growing tax base is necessary to support Iowa City’s progressive services and innovative solutions. Careful growth will help protect the environment and sustain more living-wage jobs. Iowa City must approach all of these issues with a focus on celebrating our diversity, striving for equity, and creating a truly welcoming and inclusive city.
A proven Community Leader
Engagement in Iowa City has long been important to Laura. Her work and leadership has engaged her in the fabric of our community and includes:
Joining as a founding member of FilmScene’s board of directors, helping to bring independent, non-profit cinema to Iowa City. She’s now working with FilmScene and the Englert to make Iowa City the greatest small city for the arts in America.
Serving nine years on Iowa City’s telecommunications commission, where she pushed the local cable provider for accountability on rates and services and recommended broadband policy to the city council.
Giving hundreds of hours to help victims of domestic abuse, counseling non-profits, and defending Iowans against creditors, including through Iowa Legal Aid’s Volunteer Lawyer Project, and being recognized by the Iowa Supreme Court for her pro bono legal services.
Connecting the organizations and agencies directly serving our community with critical funding through service as a member of the board of the Community Foundation of Johnson County and the executive council of 5224GOOD.
Working to bring neighbors together with active involvement in the South District Neighborhood Association, which helps educate Iowa City about the area’s many amenities and welcoming neighborhoods. Laura also recruited volunteers, organized events, and raised funds to benefit Grant Wood while her daughter was in elementary school.
A Breadth of Experience in Iowa City
Laura has chosen to live her entire life in Iowa City. She attended Grant Wood and Hoover elementary schools, went to South East Junior High and City High. She left high school at age 16 to attend the University of Iowa. There she earned her degree in anthropology with special honors and highest distinction. After working in local government for several years, she attended the University of Iowa College of Law, where she received academic awards and graduated with highest distinction.
Since 2011, Laura has been an attorney in Iowa City. She is now an owner and managing partner at Hayek, Moreland, Smith & Bergus, LLP. Laura is also a professional mediator and works in collaborative law. Laura lives with her husband, Nick, and their seventh-grade daughter, Evelyn, in southeast Iowa City, a few blocks from the house where Laura was born.
Laura is ready to apply her leadership, good judgment, and thoughtful decisions to city council. Laura will work to build consensus and to keep the City of Iowa City on track. She is asking for your support. Laura wants a chance to do the work.