Large Iowa cities spending more on police, less on social services

Iowa’s seven largest cities are spending more on policing per capita and a greater portion of their municipal budgets on law enforcement compared to the 1990s, according to a new report by the Iowa Policy Project. Over the same time period, spending on social services per capita and as a share of the municipal budget has declined in six of those cities.

Colin Gordon and Peter Fisher authored “Policing, public safety and community priorities,” published on July 22 (also available in pdf format). They examined budgets for the 24 Iowa cities with populations of at least 20,000, because “it is in our larger urban settings in Iowa that the problems with policing — including a well-documented pattern of disproportionate minority contact — are most acute.”

Seven of the cities studied are “metropolitan”: Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Sioux City, Waterloo, Council Bluffs, and Dubuque. Seven are suburbs in large metro areas: West Des Moines, Ankeny, Urbandale, Bettendorf, Marion, Coralville, and Johnston. Three are college towns: Iowa City, Ames, and Cedar Falls. Seven are micropolitan cities: Mason City, Marshalltown, Clinton, Muscatine, Burlington, Fort Dodge, and Ottumwa.

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Why I'm running for Davenport City Council

To my knowledge, Dirk Hillard would be Iowa’s only Deaf elected official if he wins a seat on the Davenport City Council. -promoted by Laura Belin

My name is Dirk Hillard. I am running for city council for Davenport’s 8th Ward.

I have lived in the ward for ten years while working for the Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center on the Rock Island Arsenal. I am familiar with my neighborhood, this city, and our region. I know the good things about living in Davenport as well as the challenges our city faces, such as public safety, infrastructure, and economic development.

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The importance of youth in politics

Alexandra Dermody is a candidate for Davenport City Council. -promoted by Laura Belin

I turned eighteen years old in November 2018. By then I had already experienced an existential crisis due to the state of our world today. My family pulled me from high school in freshman year due to the impermissible increase in school shootings. They feared for my safety. I grew up with the horrifying and crushing reality of what our world is today, continually bombarded with the news of shootings, stabbings, ignorance to the highest offices, and a failing economy.

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Images from the flood in downtown Davenport

Emilene Leone is a photographer who lives in the Quad Cities. -promoted by Laura Belin

Like many regions in Iowa, Davenport has experienced intense flooding this spring. We are no strangers to floods here, and much of our riverfront has been planned with the idea that floods will be a regular occurrence.

However, the flooding has been particularly intense this year, and as the Mississippi River has continued to rise, a break occurred in the temporary levee on Tuesday, April 30. At about 3:30 in the afternoon, floodwaters began to suddenly rush into the east side of downtown Davenport. With little warning, cars were quickly submerged and residences and businesses were forced to evacuate.

I took my camera downtown on May 1 to capture some images of the flooded streets and attempts by city staff and volunteers to protect the businesses and organizations in the Bucktown neighborhood from encroaching floodwaters.

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