Louis "Lou" Braatz III, who describes himself as a community volunteer and activist, has announced he is running for one of the three at-large seats on the Lincoln City Council this spring.
Braatz, 36, said he has worked with others to try to change things from the outside and now wants to try to shape the future of the city from the inside.
"I believe in people coming together from all backgrounds to shape the future of our city. Together, many have tried to communicate, and effectively collaborate with our government with varying degrees of success from the outside. So why not try going inside?" he said in an email about his candidacy.
Braatz is seeking one of the at-large council seats, meaning the council members can live anywhere in the city, rather than in a specific geographic district.
Voters will elect three at-large representatives to the seven-member council in the spring elections.
Braatz said he is a stay-at-home dad with three girls, ages 7 to 11, and has worked on three election campaigns: Patsy Koch Johns, who ran successfully for the state Board of Education; Larry Scherer, an unsuccessful legislative candidate; and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
Braatz's platform includes scheduling more City Council meetings in the evening so "working residents can join in the conversations" and a commitment to mitigating the effects of climate change, support for the city's park system and for promoting a safe, inclusive environment.
The candidate's platform is available on his campaign website: louforlincoln.com.
Braatz said studies show money influences politics, but “right now people power may have the upper hand.”
He said he knows he will probably be outspent during the campaign, “but not outworked.”
Braatz is a registered Democrat, but said good ideas can come from "any direction, any person, any group and any party."
The council is nonpartisan, so party affiliation is not listed on the ballot. However, the two major political parties have worked to elect council members from their parties.
Two at-large incumbents have said they will seek re-election, Roy Christensen and Leirion Gaylor Baird. Brayden McLaughlin, Tom Nesbitt and Deb Andrews have also announced they will seek a council seat this spring.