Dubuque tries making itself more inclusive to newcomers - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque tries making itself more inclusive to newcomers

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"Welcome to Dubuque! Here's what you need to know."

That's the message one fresh initiative is trying to send to newcomers and longtime residents of Dubuque, alike.

It's called Inclusive Dubuque. At a kickoff ceremony at the Port of Dubuque's Grand River Center Wednesday morning, dozens of city leaders gathered to promote its message.

The initiative hopes to make Dubuque a more welcoming and well-connected place, especially when it comes to retaining newcomers.

Jessica Rose is the facilitator of the Inclusive Dubuque steering committee. She's also the director of strategic initiatives at the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque.

"I've lived in Dubuque my whole life. I love Dubuque, and I think of Dubuque as a very welcoming community," Rose said, "but if you're coming from the outside in, you might not know where to go, you might not know who to meet, so if you don't know what some of those opportunities are, you might not think that there are any here and then leave."

That's exactly what Inclusive Dubuque is hoping to avoid, so it's pooling resources spanning from the school district to faith communities, business, law enforcement, arts and culture and more.

"Inclusive Dubuque is about having access to all those resources," Rose said. "Whether you're new to Dubuque, you've lived here your whole life: How can you have access to the resources that sometimes we all take for granted? So whether it's having a local place to worship or if it's meeting friends out in the community having things to do."

She said people can expect to see a community engagement process sometime in 2014.

For more information on Inclusive Dubuque, people can visit its website HERE.

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