Thriving Small Towns and Big-City Neighborhoods

Our state has about the same population as the City of St. Louis, Mo. – about 3 million. We are like one city spread across a larger geographic area. As a state we are too small to get caught up in the old political divide of rural versus urban. We need a Governor who understands we rise or fall as one.

Many of our smallest towns and their counterpart neighborhoods in our largest cities confront the same issues every day. Whether the issue is road and bridge repair, school quality, human services needs or unemployment, small towns and big city neighborhoods in Iowa have more in common than you might think.

To embrace the important differences between rural and urban Iowa and protect our common ground, we should implement a Department of Cultural Affairs and Community Development where small towns and big city neighborhoods can cultivate smart growth policies, broadband communications, cottage industries, historic preservation, technology start-ups, housing and community attraction so have cleaner water, we should separate the water and environment quality from DNR and create a separate state agency.

Let’s put Iowa communities back in charge of deciding their own future, and letting the state government know how we can partner to help them achieve their goals. Government works so much better when the decisions are made closer to the people. Let’s turn the creativity and ingenuity of Iowans in their own communities loose in the name of real economic development and quality of life gains.