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We Need Your Help to #KeepIowaFirst

Keep Iowa First Campaign

May 26, 2022

In mid-May, I joined nearly 190 business, civic and community leaders for a trip to our nation’s capital for DMDC 2022. It was great to be able to take this trip after three years and advocate as one region with one voice.

Civility + Collaboration

The trip was a reminder of the important role civility plays in our community. We heard from elected officials in both major parties. We presented an issue-based Federal Advocacy Agenda developed by The Partnership’s nonpartisan Government Policy Council, made up of Investors and Members of the organization.

Attendees had the opportunity to meet face-to-face and have important conversations about politics, business or just to get to know each other. It was a setting ripe for finding common ground to focus on what unites us.

This spirit of collaboration is one of the elements that makes our community and state unique.

The Future of the Iowa Caucuses

Perhaps the best example of where our commitment to civility and collaboration was on display was when we unveiled the #KeepIowaFirst campaign to encourage the Iowa Caucuses to remain first in the nation. The Republican National Committee has already made the decision to make Iowa first in the nation, and the Democratic National Committee is still considering its first caucus or primary location.

Whether you are a Democrat or Republican, Hawkeye or Cyclone, or anywhere in between, nearly all Iowans can agree that the Iowa Caucuses should be first.

During the rollout of the #KeepIowaFirst campaign, The Partnership put together a top 10 list of reasons why Iowa should be first. I encourage you to read the full list at DSMpartnership.com/blog.

You can probably guess some of the reasons: Here in Iowa, we care about the issues, we ask intelligent questions, we get to know the candidates and we get out to participate in the process. Candidates have the opportunity to speak with urban, suburban and rural voters who all live and work in close proximity to each other. Advertising dollars go further here. v Also consider this: Iowa supported the first Black president, the first woman to win a major party nomination and a member of the LGBTQ+ community. Here in the Greater Des Moines (DSM) region that includes our State Capitol, our population has grown by 18.6% since 2010. In the decade between 2010 and 2020, our foreign-born population grew by nearly 50% and our minority population grew more than 93%.

And we know how to throw a party. The Iowa Caucus Consortium, led by Catch Des Moines, The Partnership and several other partners, welcomed more than 2,000 media members at the Media Filing Center in 2020 and welcomed hundreds to a Raucous Before the Caucus event a few days before the Caucuses.

Perhaps most importantly, two parties are better than one. It is better for our political system to have both parties participating in Iowa at the same time.

As a business or community leader reading this, your voice matters. Whatever you are thinking about this minute… pause. Post on your favorite social media platform why you think #KeepIowaFirst is important.

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization that serves Greater Des Moines (DSM), Iowa. Together with 24 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce, more than 6,500 Regional Business Members and more than 365 Investors, The Partnership drives economic growth with one voice, one mission and as one region. Through innovation, strategic planning and global collaboration, The Partnership grows opportunity, helps create jobs and promotes DSM as the best place to build a business, a career and a future. Learn more at DSMpartnership.com.

Rowena Crosbie

Rowena Crosbie is president of Tero International and 2022 board chair for the Greater Des Moines Partnership. She has a commitment to help people challenge the way they think and inspire audiences as a top-rated speaker and trainer. Rowena is also co-author of "Your Invisible Toolbox."