DES MOINES, Iowa — Seven total candidates are running for the Ward 1 office on the Des Moines City Council.

Rob Barron, Chris Coleman, Kathy Hellstern, Dennis McCullough, Rose Marie Smith, Kimberley Strope-Boggus and RJ Miller are all looking to fill the seat left vacant by Indira Shumaker.

“I want to run to make sure people that look like me, that come from the lower income areas, that they have a voice,” said RJ Miller. “Because I’ve noticed that our more lower income neighborhoods have been neglected.”

Miller talked about his priorities with WHO 13 News on Monday. Giving a voice to the lower income community is his first priority, followed by affordable housing and homelessness. He also wants to focus on violence in Ward 1.

“So we understand that poverty produces crime,” said Miller. “If individuals’ stomachs are touching their backs then it’s going to cause the individual to respond by selling illegal drugs, robbing people. So I feel like we need to reinvest back into the community and provide jobs that pay a livable wage so we can change the condition that’s producing a young person to grab a gun in the first place.”

Only two weeks out from election day, Miller said that people are asking about the former Ward 1 Representative Indira Shumaker. Miller said that he is a progressive like Shumaker, and he wants to keep pushing those types of policies while being accessible to constituents.

To learn more about Miller’s policies and background, you can go to his Facebook page.