Dubuque Named a 2019 All-America City
Randy Gehl, Public Information Officer
June 23, 2019 -- For Immediate Release
DUBUQUE, Iowa – The National Civic League has named Dubuque a 2019 All-America City. The award recognizes communities that leverage civic engagement, collaboration, inclusiveness, and innovation to successfully address local issues. This is the fifth time Dubuque has received this distinction since 2007.
“This award recognizes communities that come together to improve their future,” said Dubuque Mayor Roy D. Buol. “Being named an All-America City five times in just 12 years affirms that we are making progress and is a tribute to the work of so many people and groups. It also tells the world that Dubuque is a vibrant community that works together to address challenges.”
The National Civic League said the 2019 All-America City Award celebrates examples of civic engagement practices that advance health equity in local communities. The competition sought projects that demonstrated inclusive decision-making processes to create healthy communities for all, and particularly for populations currently experiencing poorer health outcomes.
As part of the competition for the award, a delegation of Dubuque residents traveled to Denver to participate in presentations and workshops at the 70th All-America City Awards & Conference, June 21-24. The Dubuque team included representatives from the City of Dubuque, Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque, Crescent Community Health Center, Dubuque Community Schools, the Dubuque Dream Center, Dubuque Main Street/Dubuque Eats Well, the Fountain of Youth, Inclusive Dubuque, and the Multicultural Family Center.
“It has been a wonderful experience to be part of sharing Dubuque’s story at the All-America City competition,” said North End Neighborhood resident Audrey Morey. “Perhaps other ciites can benefit from our success story, as we might benefit from theirs. Feeling blessed to be a Dubuquer!”
“This experience was amazing -- hearing all the similar challenges that other communities face but yet we share one thing in common: we are active in trying to improve our community!,” said Caprice Jones, director and founder of the Dubuque Fountain of Youth Program. “I spoke with a woman from El Paso, Texas, and she shared how generational poverty affected her life and how she is a part of solutions! That was very inspiring! Denver has allowed my life to be exposed to many cultures and I’m grateful for the opportunity!”
Dubuque Dream Center Executive Director Robert Kimble was also part of the Dubuque delegation and said he enjoyed the experience. “We were reminded that other communities are facing similar challenges all across the nation, we had opportunities to network and gain creative ideas on how other communities strategize to address difficult challenges, and we experienced fun moments of bonding with other Dubuque community leaders,” said Kimble
“Going through the AAC process of learning and identifying the many organizations that are impacting lives in the Dubuque community provided perspective on the many caring organizations and people that exist in the Dubuque community,” he added. “One of the most important results of this experience is the realization and reminder that community organizations who work together to authentically engage and empower their community will produce the most life changing results for their community -- and Dubuque appears to be moving in the right direction.”
“It is amazing to work with all the people on this trip,” said Suzie Stroud, a social worker with the Pacific Islander Health Project at Dubuque’s Crescent Community Health Center. “The partnerships and collaboration in this difficult work enables us to support each other. It is also amazing to see that our work is being recognized. It gives me renewed energy to get back to Dubuque and continue.”
Dubuque’s application focused on the civic infrastructure built on the Inclusive Dubuque network of over 60 partners working to advance justice and social equity, and Imagine Dubuque 2017: A Call to Action, the comprehensive planning process that collected input from 6,000 residents to identify a roadmap for Dubuque’s future. The application and presentation also featured three projects demonstrating how partners are impacting health outcomes for all residents. “Health Care for All” highlights the progress Crescent Community Health Center has made, the impact of the Pacific Islander Health Project, and the recent work of the Brain Health Task Force. The Bee Branch Creek Restoration Project was the second project highlighted and the collaborative work happening by the Dubuque Eats Well coalition to increase access to healthy local foods is the third.
Finalist communities’ presentations brought their written applications to life and demonstrate the positive effects of using equitable engagement strategies to address issues such as promoting mental health, addressing obesity and building stronger neighborhoods.
Dubuque is one of 10 communities to be designated a 2019 All-America City:
- Battle Creek, Michigan
- Cornelius, Oregon
- Dubuque, Iowa
- Gothenburg, Nebraska
- Lancaster, Texas
- Mission, Texas
- Rancho Cordova, California
- Rock Hill, South Carolina
- West Hollywood, California
- Wichita, Kansas
Dubuque was first named an All-America City in 2007 when its application described the America’s River Project, Downtown Master Plan, and Crescent Community Health Center. Veteran-Oriented Programs, Workforce-Development Efforts, and the Historic Millwork District Revitalization were profiled in 2013 and 2012’s successful application focused on the community’s Plan to Improve Third-Grade Reading. In 2017, Dubuque’s winning application featured the Dubuque Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.