EDITOR’S NOTESince our creation in 2008, The Waterland Blog has allowed residents running for local office one free post for when they announce their candidacy:

Yoshiko Grace Matsui, a longtime Des Moines resident and water district commissioner, announced this week that she will be running for Des Moines City Council.

She will be running for Position #6, currently held by Vic Pennington.

This will be her second run for Des Moines City Council. 

Grace Matsui has been deeply involved in the community as an advocate and public servant since moving to Des Moines more than 15 years ago.

“I am deeply invested in the safety and care of Des Moines. I work daily to uplift the voices of community members and push for a more inclusive, community-centered Des Moines,” Grace Matsui said. “We have a lot of work to do, but together we can find creative, bold, and collaborative solutions to address Des Moines’ toughest problems.” 

Grace Matsui was elected to the Water District No. 54 Board of Commissioners in 2015 and says that she will draw on that experience.

“As a water commissioner, my peers have elected me every year as board president since 2016,” she said. “It’s given me a unique insight into city politics, where I have seen the impact of unheard community voices. Now is the time for change.”

She’s also a volunteer for the Des Moines Area Food Bank and serves as a director for the Des Moines Farmers Market.

Grace Matsui is a longtime public servant working in the Human Resources department of the City of Seattle for more than a decade as an Exams Administrator, developing and administering entry-level and promotional examinations for the Fire and Police departments. Before that, she worked in the City of Seattle recruiting office.

“Yoshiko’s experience and proven communication skills will not only bring a much-needed depth to the council, but she understands that how you get somewhere is just as important as the accomplishment,” said Gene Achziger, Des Moines City Council member. “People want to be a part of the process, and Yoshiko understands that democracy means listening to the people and not dictating an outcome.” 

And communication will be a significant theme of Grace Matsui’s campaign.

“For too long, community voices have gone unheard and issues unaddressed. As a public servant, I have dedicated my life’s work to serving my community and uplifting the voices and concerns of its members,” Grace Matsui said. “I want to bring collaboration and trust back to Des Moines.” 

Those aspirations have earned her the endorsements of Des Moines Councilmember Achziger, and her fellow Water District #54 commissioner, Kris Van Gasken. 

Grace Matsui lives in the North Hill Neighborhood of Des Moines with her wife Sile, father Earl, three chihuahuas, and next door to her sister. 

For more information, visit www.YoshikoForDesMoines.com.