In The News

  • All-America City Award 

    Tuesday, June 20, 2017

    Congratulations to Council Bluffs, Des Moines and Dubuque for being honored with the 2017 All-America City Award for their civic engagement to help more young children from low-income families achieve grade-level reading proficiency and early school success.

    Fifteen communities across the country were honored with the 2017 All-America City Award (AAC) for their civic engagement to help more young children from low-income families achieve grade-level reading proficiency and early school success. Research has long shown that when children read at proficient levels by third grade they are more likely to complete high school prepared for college, a career and active citizenship.

    The AAC Awards were presented this year during Grade-Level Reading Week in Denver, Colorado. at the All-America City Awards Gathering hosted by the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, along with the National Civic League, which created the prestigious program 68 years ago.  

    2017 All-America City Award Communities:

      • Springdale, AR

      • Avondale, AZ

      • Stockton-San Joaquin County, CA

      • New Britain, CT

      • Delray Beach, FL

      • Suncoast (Sarasota & Manatee Counties), FL

      • Council Bluffs, IA

      • Des Moines, IA

      • Dubuque, IA

      • Springfield, MA

      • Kansas City, MO

      • Montgomery County-Dayton, OH

      • Lane County, OR

      • San Antonio, TX

      • Roanoke, VA


    Data collected by the U.S. Department of Education on fourth-grade students taking reading tests has shown that a wide gap exists for children from low-income families, especially among black and Hispanic children, compared to children from more affluent, white and Asian families. The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading now has more than 300 communities nationwide that have formed local coalitions to work together with parents, schools and other groups to close this reading gap and help more children succeed in school.

    To learn more about the AAC Award criteria and to view profiles for each AAC Award recipient, visit






  • Annual Conference Features Civility Discussion 

    Monday, June 19, 2017

    ​You’re passionate about your community; that’s why you ran for office or work in city government. Citizens get passionate too, which is what makes your city a great place. But when passion gets out of hand, incivility and discord can start to rule.
    Nearly every community would prefer a culture of collaboration, civility and respect over a culture that promotes distrust, division and drama. But in communities across the country, Midwest and even in Iowa the League has heard about struggles to maintain the values of respect and teamwork. That’s why civility and collaboration are the topic of discussion at the Opening Luncheon of this year’s Annual Conference & Exhibit in Davenport.
    During both the Opening Luncheon, and at a workshop following the luncheon, you’ll have the opportunity to talk through the challenges and solutions to help your community move past the difficulties. These conversations are designed to promote good government and help you serve the community you love.
    Register online and learn more about the Opening Luncheon, workshops and other conference activities.
  • Cities Encouraged to Take IFA Housing Program Survey 

    Tuesday, June 13, 2017

    ​The Iowa Finance Authority (IFA) is conducting a survey to gather feedback from cities and counties regarding the Workforce Housing Loan Program (WHLP). WHLP provides financial assistance in the form of a repayable loan to cities and counties that demonstrate a need for additional workforce rental housing for Iowans as a result of employment growth within the local unit of government’s jurisdictional boundaries. Only cities and counties in Iowa are eligible applicants for WHLP assistance. Please complete the brief survey to share your opinions on the program.
  • USDA Offers Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grants 

    Tuesday, June 13, 2017

    USDA Rural Development is currently accepting applications for distance learning and telemedicine grants. The program is designed to help rural communities use the unique capabilities of telecommunications to connect to each other and to the world, overcoming the effects of remoteness and low population density.

    Local governments are eligible for the grants, which can be used to acquire eligible capital assets such as audio, video and interactive equipment, computer hardware, network components, inside wiring and more. Additional information about the grants and application process is available on the USDA Rural Development Web site.

  • Two Wheel Tour of Davenport 

    Monday, June 12, 2017

    Pedal your way through Davenport on the Bike Tour during the League’s Annual Conference and Exhibit, September 27-29. Join colleagues for a leisurely bike ride along the riverfront to view several attractions and neighborhoods, including a self-supported municipal improvement district.

    Cyclists of all levels are welcome. Bring your own bike and helmet, and register now as space is limited. With the bus mobile workshops filled to capacity, this is a chance to get into the city to see Davenport first-hand. Two Bike Tour workshop times are available: 10 a.m. to noon and 1-3 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 27. Sign-up for the workshop when you register for the Annual Conference & Exhibit.

    The League’s Annual Conference & Exhibit is the largest training in the state designed specifically for Iowa’s elected and appointed city officials. The conference also includes ample opportunity to network with peers and learn from one another.

    Registration and more information about this and all the events taking place during the Annual Conference & Exhibit is available online. #IowaLeague17

  • New Laws of Interest to Cities 2017 

    Monday, June 12, 2017

    The 2017 Iowa Legislative Session of the 87th General Assembly adjourned Sine Die on Saturday, April 22. Throughout the 15 weeks of legislative session, we saw sweeping legislative reforms passed in a number of areas: minimum wage preemption, collective bargaining, workers’ compensation, firearms, voter ID and many others. The session concluded with the League achieving one of its main legislative goals: protecting the standing appropriation for the commercial and industrial property tax backfill for Fiscal Year 2018. This report covers the legislative highlights and discusses the bills that passed that will impact cities the most.
  • IEDA Awards $2.7 Million CDBG Funds 

    Thursday, June 08, 2017

    ​​The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) recently announced $2.7 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding awards to seven communities across the state to support community water and sewer infrastructure projects. A full list of the awarded projects can be seen on the IEDA Web site.

    The CDBG program is federally funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). CDBG funds enable communities to make needed improvements to water and sewer systems, improve housing conditions for low-income homeowners, provide facilities for disabled and at-risk individuals, and make transformative improvements to their downtowns. IEDA is responsible for administering the CDBG funds in the non-metropolitan areas of the state.

  • State Recreational Trails Program Offers Funding Opportunity 

    Thursday, June 08, 2017

    ​Cities may apply for State Recreational Trails program (SRT) funding, offered through the Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT). The program is accepting project applications until July 1 for Fiscal Year 2018 funding allocations. The SRT provides funds to establish recreational trails in Iowa for the use, enjoyment and participation of the public.

    Please contact Yvonne Diller, State Recreational Trails Program Manager, at or (515) 239-1252 if you have any questions or concerns. Visit the SRT page to see applications and instructions as well as more information about the program.

  • Municipal Professionals Institute Registration Reminder 

    Tuesday, June 06, 2017

    Don’t miss the 2017 Municipal Professionals Institute, July 17-21 and 24-26. Courses are being held at the Gateway Conference Center in Ames. Rooms may be reserved at Gateway by calling 1-800-FOR-AMES (800-367-2637). To receive the discounted room rate of $116, you must book by June 25, and let them know you are with “ISU State and Local Government Programs”.

    The Iowa Municipal Professional Institute (MPI) offers a variety of courses that give municipal professionals the basic knowledge they need to accomplish their day-to-day duties. The annual courses give you personalized interaction with faculty and staff from universities, the Iowa League of Cities and other individuals involved with municipal administration while updating you on new laws, programs and technology affecting Iowa municipal government.

    You may be interested in becoming a certified clerk and/or finance officer. MPI classes count as educational credit toward certification from both the International Institute of Municipal Clerks (IIMC) and/or the two certifications offered by the Iowa Municipal Finance Officers Association (IMFOA).

  • Together We Can 

    Monday, June 05, 2017

    ​Registration and hotel room blocks are now open for the League’s Annual Conference & Exhibit. This year’s theme is “Together We Can,” and the event will be held September 27-29 in Davenport. We encourage cities to register early to receive a reduced registration rate and to get housing information!
    Check the June issue of Cityscape magazine and for more information.
    The League’s Annual Conference & Exhibit is the largest training in the state designed specifically for Iowa’s elected and appointed city officials. The conference also includes ample opportunity to network with peers and learn from one another. Join us at this event planned just for you!
    Together we can overcome the challenges facing your community. #IowaLeague16
  • Happy Small Cities Month! 

    Monday, June 05, 2017

    ​Celebrate Small Cities Month, designated by the National League of Cities (NLC) to help recognize the achievements of small cities across the country. NLC is highlighting different small city stories each day throughout June on its Facebook page and encouraging city officials to share their innovations and solutions. Join us in recognizing the importance of our small cities and the work they do to provide safe, healthy and vibrant communities!
  • Conference Registration Opens Next Week 

    Tuesday, May 30, 2017

    ​Registration for the League’s Annual Conference and Exhibit opens this Thursday, June 1!

    Plan ahead and register early since you must register for conference before booking a hotel room through the online Housing Bureau. Registered attendees will receive a link to the Housing Bureau after registering. For those who mail their payment, an email with housing information will be sent when payment is received.

    The conference, themed “Together, We Can”, is the largest training in the state designed specifically for Iowa’s elected and appointed city officials. The conference also includes ample opportunity to meet with peers and learn from one another. Check out the upcoming June issue of Cityscape magazine for the conference brochure, or check the League Web site. There you’ll find information on workshops, speakers and other conference events.

    Learn more about the Annual Conference & Exhibit, and register for the event, on the League Web site.

  • Fireworks Resources 

    Friday, May 26, 2017

    The Iowa General Assembly passed legislation, SF489, during the 2017 legislative session allowing for the sale and use of fireworks under certain conditions. Iowa previously prohibited the sale and use of most types of fireworks except those used by licensed professionals for displays and for novelty items such as toy smoke devices and sparklers. SF489 makes a number of policy changes that are outlined in a new Member Resource page titled Fireworks ​on the League's Web site. 

  • NLC Releases 2017 State of the Cities Report 

    Friday, May 26, 2017

    ​The National League of Cities (NLC) recently released its 2017 State of the Cities Report. The annual report reviews content from mayor's state of the city speeches from around the country and highlights themes from those speeches.

    This year's findings showed economic development, public safety, infrastructure, budgets and housing as top issues that cities are facing. Additional details and direct feedback from city officials is found throughout the report as well as examples of solutions cities are using.

  • Municipal Elections Guidance Webinar Now Available 

    Tuesday, May 23, 2017

    The 2017 League Webinar Series continues this month with Municipal Elections Guidance, which provides details on this year's city elections. Viewers will learn the city's role in the election process, candidate nomination requirements, process to fill council vacancies, campaign laws and more.

    The 2017 series will feature six webinars on topics important to all city officials. New this year, the webinars are free to access and watch after posted to the League Web site. Please continue to visit for additional information about the webinars and to view them as they become available throughout the year.

    City Clerk Duties and Responsibilities | Available Now!
    The Impact of Drones | Available Now!
    Municipal Elections Guidance | Available Now!
    Grant Management and Funding Sources | June 27
    Annual Financial Report Instructions | August 22
    What the Future Holds for City Governments | October 24
    Please visit the League Webinar Series page to learn more about this years webinars.