I’m running for mayor because I believe in Cedar Rapids — our people, our neighborhoods, our businesses and organizations and the positive can-do culture we’ve built here. The best is yet to come for our City!
First elected in 2007, Monica Vernon spent more than eight years on the Cedar Rapids City Council where she spent six years as Mayor Pro Tempore. She was Chair of the Council’s Community/Economic Development Committee and Chair of the Metropolitan Planning Organization where she worked with Cedar Rapids, Marion, Hiawatha, Robins, Ely, Fairfax and Linn County.
Monica has been instrumental in driving the successful recovery of Cedar Rapids after a historic 2008 flooding disaster. As part of the recovery efforts, Monica helped coordinate the recovery work with federal, state and local agencies, local not for profits, neighborhood organizations, local labor unions, and businesses to bring back housing, businesses, jobs and public facilities in the affected area that encompassed approximately 1/6 of the city. Monica is proud of the work that has been done to bring back the city better than ever while maintaining service delivery and growth in the rest of the community.
Prior to becoming a member of city council, Monica Vernon built a reputation for progressive leadership in her community. She spearheaded local efforts to raise $1.7 million to build the Madge Phillips Center for homeless women and children. In 2013, Trees Forever honored her with their Advocate of the Year award. As the former Chair of the Cedar Rapids Chamber of Commerce, Monica has long been a strong advocate for jobs & economic development, civil & human rights, affordable housing, diversity and inclusion, education, neighborhood safety, and other quality of life issues affecting the region.
Monica is a former small business owner and founder of Vernon Research Group, a 28-year-old market research firm that serves business and industry, government, education, health care, and not for profits. Prior to founding Vernon Research Group, Monica served as community relations director for Mount Mercy University and worked as a reporter for The Gazette. She has also been an adjunct faculty member of the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center in the Tippie College of Business at the University of Iowa.
A life-long Iowan, Monica Vernon holds a BA in Journalism and an MBA from the University of Iowa. She and her husband Bill have three adult daughters – Natalie, Frances, and Eleanor.