By now you’ve probably heard of “We Built Sioux City,” which went viral on YouTube this week (closing in on 120,000 views as of Saturday night). Even the governor linked to it, along with the Sioux City Journal’s Bret Hayworth, of course. This has to be one of the all-time great efforts to promote a RAGBRAI host city. Because of my Sioux City family roots, I forgive creator Melissa Lanzourakis-Joens for getting one of the worst pop songs ever stuck in my brain again.
Sioux City isn’t the only Iowa city to feel proud about this week. Dubuque has received a U.S. Commerce Department award for economic development excellence because of the Roshek Building redevelopment project. It’s nice to see Dubuque leaders recognized, because so much has been done to make that a sustainable community. I haven’t visited Dubuque in some time, but I look forward to being there in October for 1000 Friends of Iowa’s annual meeting at the historic Julien Hotel. I think my kids will love the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium.
In the sustainable communities department, Davenport is giving Dubuque some competition. Davenport received the U.S. Chamber of Commerce 2010 Siemens Sustainable Community Award for a Midsize Community, and if you read the long list of accomplishments here, you’ll understand why. Along with many eco-friendly city initiatives, Davenport adopted a property tax rebate plan to encourage improvements on properties in the city and provides “the national model for a more cost effective and environmentally responsible approach” to floodplain management.
Last month the Des Moines metro area topped Forbes’ list of “Best Places For Business And Careers,” while Forbes named Cedar Rapids first in terms of projected job growth.
If you feel like wearing your Iowa pride, head on over to the Raygun website (that’s the hip Des Moines business formerly known as Smash). I believe “Des Moines, Hell Yes” is still their all-time best-selling shirt, but they have many other designs, including “Peace. Love. Iowa.” and “Iowa: The California of the United States.” Within the past few months Raygun launched new designs featuring Iowa cities and towns:
Cedar Rapids: Above water since 2009!
Decorah: Lutherans gone wild!
Iowa City: All our creativity went into the name
Quad Cities: Twice as nice as the Twin Cities
Everything’s greater in Slater
Council Bluffs: Gettin’ lucky in Council’Tucky
Dubuque: The Iowa Riviera
Sioux City: The hottest thing north of Omaha and south of Sioux Falls
Naturally, Raygun is already selling t-shirts inspired by the YouTube video: “We Built Sioux City on Rock ‘n’ Roll.” According to the Des Moines Register, they’re still looking for ideas to put on shirts about Ames and Cedar Falls.
This thread is for anything on your mind this weekend.
UPDATE: I forgot to mention that according to a new survey by Gallup and Healthways, the Des Moines-West Des Moines metro ranks third and Cedar Rapids fourth in the nation “for providing residents with basic needs in health care, safety and other essentials.”