John Phoenix was born in Oakland, California, in 1947, but has lived most of his life in central Iowa. He graduated from Des Moines North High School in 1965 and graduated from Northwest Missouri State University in 1969 with majors in mathematics and chemistry.

John has had three very diverse working experiences. Phase one of his career was 12 years spent as a customer engineer for IBM. Phase two was 11 years as a small business owner. The successful business was then sold to the employees. Finally phase three was 13 years as an employee of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. He first worked for the DNR as an Environmental Specialist in the Air Quality Bureau, then was promoted to an Executive Officer position in the license section of the Law Enforcement Bureau before retiring in 2010.

John started his political life in the College Young Democrats from member to president and finally to regional director. In 1990, he won his first election to the Board of Directors for the Des Moines Public Schools and was reelected in 1993. He was elected President of the School Board by his colleagues for the 1995-96 school year.

John is a member of AFSCME retirees local. He has served as a union steward and executive board member.

John and his wife, Diana, married 40 years, live in Ankeny as do their son, daughter, son-in-law and grandson. They attend Highland Park Christian Church, where John has served as a deacon, Financial Secretary and on other church committees.

John enjoys his family and outdoor activities like hunting and fishing. John has served on the Des Moines Parks and Recreation Board.

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