Dubuque Launches Inclusivity Campagin
by Katie Wiedemann, Reporter
DUBUQUE, Iowa - Dubuque is trying to bridge a gap between those who've lived in the city for years and those who've recently moved to the growing city for work. It's a new initiative the city calls Inclusive Dubuque. City leaders hope the effort helps with an age old problem.
After growing up in Florida, Anderson Sainci moved to Dubuque for college. He stuck around after graduation and is now an Americorps Vista worker. Sainci said it can be hard to make new friends in Dubuque.
"When you first come in, you get those strange awkward looks," Sainci said.
Dubuque native and NAACP President Lynn Sutton said that's a common sentiment for newcomers.
"We're all somewhat creatures of habit but here in Dubuque it's almost become a hindrance in a sense," Sutton said.
A group of city leaders is launching an awareness campaign to help Dubuque natives understand why they say it's critical to make newcomers feel included in the community.
Greater Dubuque Development President Rick Dicksinson said inclusiveness is an economic development issue.
"When we see a newcomer, although we need to look at them as our brother or our sister, we also can look at them as having a pretty big dollar sign on them too, because they mean revenue and success for our community economically," Dickinson said.
Greater Dubuque Development has a newcomer relations coordinator who connects new residents with the things they need to settle in.
City leaders say it's the day to day interactions new residents have with the natives that make them feel connected.
"Once you build relationships with people and you feel value in the community, you want to make sure you do your part to contribute to the community, " said Sainci.
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