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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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ALL-AMERICA CITY. Dubuque entered the All-America City competition in 1970 when the honor was sponsored by Look magazine and the National Municipal League. Dubuque's entry that year stressed three projects: industrial development, flood "fights" and the floodwall, and the extensive health care facilities available. Other factors included in the application were housing, government services, airport improvements, the Human Rights Commission and educational facilities. (1) The city, however, did not win.

In later years, the annual award was made by the National Civic League to recognize outstanding examples of community problem solving, civic engagement and collaboration between the public, profit and nonprofit sectors.

In 2007 Dubuque received the designation after highlighting such accomplishments as the America's River project, downtown revitalization and establishment of the Crescent Community Health Center.

In 2012 the city was again a recipient of the award. The selection was based upon a plan to help more students read at grade level by the time they finished third grade.

The city repeated as a recipient of the award again in 2013 and 2017.

In 2019 the criteria for the competition looked for examples of "inclusive community engagement practices that create healthy communities for all residents. In the application, city officials included: (2)

    1. Inclusive Dubuque's network of more than 60 partners working to advance justice and social equity;
    2. Imagine Dubuque 2017: A Call to Action which created a comprehensive planning process for the city's
       future after gathering input from 6,000 residents;
    3. Pacific Islander Health Project which involved local MARSHALLESE for education classes and other efforts
       in hopes of improving health outcomes for Pacific Islanders living in the area;
    4. BEE BRANCH Creek Restoration Project which has impacted hundreds of homeowners in previously flood-prone




1. McCormick, John. "Dubuque Enters Competition for All-America City," Telegraph Herald, July 8, 1970, p. 1

2. Our View. (Editorial) "All-America Award Shows Efforts to Help Underserved," Telegraph Herald, June 26, 2019, p. 4A