Maria Ramos is a wife, mother, grandmother and first-generation immigrant.
Born and raised in Nayarit, Mexico, Ramos came to California when she was 12 and moved to Storm Lake, in northwest Iowa, in 1991.
Ramos, 44, is a proud U.S. citizen who has lived with her four children in Storm Lake for nearly three decades.
“My oldest is 27 years old and a registered nurse, my second one is 21 years old and a senior at UNI [University of Northern Iowa], my third one is a junior in high school and my youngest is a freshman in high school,” said Ramos. “I have two grandchildren and the third one on the way.”
Ramos grew up in a working class family, but now is a human resources professional at a local community health center, a position she has held for 10 1/2 years.
Beyond her professional and personal life, Ramos made the decision to run for Storm Lake City Council to help unify the community.
“I also believe there is a strong disconnect between all the different ethnic groups,” she said. “We needed woman representation, and what better than a Latina woman?”
If elected to the city council, her agenda would include affordable housing and looking into “private fencing guidelines.”
“Building affordable housing is a big issue right now that we must continue to address,” Ramos said.
She envisions a future for Storm Lake where all residents are prosperous and engaged in their community. Ramos said she loved her community and promised to fight for its best interests with all her heart and passion.
“I will co-chair a committee focusing on the census count,” Ramos said. “Our current numbers do not reflect total population, and my goal is to make sure everyone is counted. Accurate count will help us receive the necessary funding that will help our financial footing.”
Storm Lake, in Buena Vista County, is one of the state’s most diverse small towns. The Tyson Foods plant there has attracted workers from around the world.
Census data show 39.2% of Storm Lake’s population is white, 37.7% are Hispanic or Latino and 16.4% are Asian. U.S. citizens make up about 79% of the population.
Ramos plans to continue her community outreach activities and engage and empower everyone to participate in local decision making.
City Council elections are Tuesday. If you want to learn more about Ramos’ proposals, visit her Facebook page: Maria Ramos, Storm Lake City Council.
By Fabiola Schirrmeister