Linda Langston

Former County Supervisor

Cedar Rapids, IA

Linda was first elected to the Linn County (Iowa) Board of Supervisors in 2002 and was reelected in 2006 and 2008. Linda currently serves as the President of the National Association of Counties, after having served as Chair of the National Democratic County Officials.  She also serves on a broad variety of boards and commissions in her local community, including the Corridor Metropolitan Planning Organization, Downtown District, and many others.

Prior to being elected to the Board of Supervisors, Linda was a museum director and a psychotherapist in private practice, as well as a small business owner, and was also the first in her family to graduate from college.

Pro-Growth Progressive Ideas Shared

Problem

Many at-risk preschoolers are kicked out of traditional preschool programs and not given the opportunity to a high-quality education. These students often need additional support and wraparound services in order to make sure they do no fall further behind. Access to an early education has been shown to help set students on a pathway to future success, avoiding additional services further down the road.

Solution

Linn County offers a targeted preschool program for these at-risk 3- and 4-year-olds who have been identified as needing additional support in order to be prepared for kindergarten. By targeting this at-risk population, the County is able to provide much needed resources for students who are not getting the support they need from traditional schooling. The County preschool program partners with community businesses to offer additional resources to parents, including after-school counseling and activities to be with their kids. By investing early in the services these students and their families need, Linn County has been able to help more students be successful in kindergarten and beyond. The program has already experienced a 14:1 return of investment in future cost-savings from other country services. 


Problem

Every year, counties are faced with disasters, whether man-made or natural. How a county responds to those disasters can have long-term effects on their economic recovery and future success. Strong leadership during times of crisis can help build resilience within a county and help that area recover faster.

Solution

County Supervisor Linda Langston has proposed a training program in Cedar Rapids to prepare local elected officials and key community members to manage and lead in crisis, particularly in disaster response. Better prepared leaders leads to better response, planning, and recovery after disaster and can help a county sustain its economic competitiveness even after facing such challenges.