Davenport Deaf man running for city council

DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) -- The candidate list is growing for people running for office in Davenport. A man who is Deaf is among those wanting a place on the city council.

Dirk Hillard, Davenport 8th Ward City Council Candidate

Dirk Hillard says he's always been interested in politics since he was a young boy. He says even though, he communicates differently than others that's never stopped him from pursuing his goals.

“I was born Deaf, I’ve had that experience my whole life,” said Hillard, a candidate for 8th ward city council.

Hillard was born in Colorado but went to a children’s Deaf school in St. Louis, Missouri. After high school, he moved to Rochester, New York for college. In 2007, he took a job at the Rock Island Arsenal and made the Quad Cities his home. He’s now hoping to add a new experience to his life by running for Davenport's 8th Ward Alderman.

“Really like being involved in my community and my state. I care about a lot of the issues that affect our community,” said Hillard.

Hillard, his wife, and two children are all Deaf. He says he hopes to push for issues like public safety, addressing the juvenile car theft issue, and transparency between law enforcement and the community.

"Having more sensitivity training for police officers, fire, and EMT for different folks that they might encounter when they are out in the community. Such as deaf folks, blind people, people with disabilities, people with autism," said Hillard.

Hillard is the founder and president of the Quad Cities Deaf Club and Governor Kim Reynolds appointed him the Commissioner for the Deaf Services Commissions of Iowa as well as the Licensure Board for Professional Sign Language Interpreters. Hillard says he hopes to not only inspire people but be a patron for his community.

"I'm really passionate about advocating for the rights of Deaf children to improve their lives and the services for Deaf children here in the Quad Cities," said Hillard.

Looking out into the world, we all have dreams and goals we would like to accomplish. Dirk Hillard is fulfilling his.

Everybody that lives here, everyone who's a citizen in the Quad Cities can be involved and not let any barriers hold you back. Believe in yourself, like I believe in you and know that you can achieve those goals that you have," said Hillard.

Hillard is currently in the process of turning his candidacy paperwork into the Auditor's Office. He has a "Meet the Candidate" event set up for this Sunday at the Machine Shed 7250 Northwest Blvd, Davenport starting at 12:00 p.m.

The election for Davenport city positions and the school board will be held November 5th.