He grew up in a large Texas town, but senior Johnathan Garcia has never felt warmth like he has as part of the Upper Iowa University community. Majoring in biology life science, Garcia acknowledges that he initially chose to attend UIU after his mother, Janette, was hired as the University archivist. However, like many students, he soon not only fell in love with Campus life but also Fayette, Iowa.
Outside of the classroom, Garcia is involved in many clubs and organizations, such as Science and Environment, Peacock Technology and Gaming, Veterans, Art, Student Philanthropy and Criminal Justice. He also was the UIU Student Government Association treasurer his junior year and serves the community as a Fayette Ambulance Service driver. Recognizing his passion for service and community, Garcia’s classmates and friends approached him about running for Fayette City Council.
“At first I didn’t know if I should run, but then some of my friends shared the idea with my family,” Garcia said. “When my family said they supported the idea, I told them I would think about it and eventually it was ‘let’s do it.’”
Despite being the youngest candidate and not a longtime Fayette resident, Garcia set out to prove himself as a legitimate candidate and went door to door to talk personally to residents. Although some were his political opponents, he also took pride in knowing the ballot included other members of the Peacock family — Residence Area Coordinator Nathan Post, eSports coach/Game Day Video coordinator James Lowery, Director of Academic Success Amy Tucker, and (incumbent mayor) Vice President for External Affairs Andrew Wenthe.
While his education remained his top priority, all of Garcia’s other time was focused on the election. Garcia campaigned for the health and safety of Fayette with the knowledge that he and the other candidates placed importance on the enhancement of the community’s Main Street and increased job opportunities. He also wished to develop more promotional road signs to introduce motorists to Fayette.
Unfortunately, with the passing of this past November’s Election Day, Garcia fell short of his goal of being elected but refused to let the results discourage him.
“I enjoyed every second about running for city council,” Garcia said. “I will always pursue any opportunity that is presented to me and I will always advocate for people to get involved, vote or run for office.”
Following graduation, Garcia plans to pursue a career in the field of emergency management. However, it appears that he may also need to make time in his schedule for some extracurricular activities. Wherever his career may take him, Garcia says he may seek public office again if he feels he can make a difference.
(Editor’s Note: Johnathan’s story is among the featured articles found in the 2020 winter edition of The Bridge magazine. The Bridge is tentatively scheduled to be dropped in mailboxes the week of January 26.)