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Iowa Is Not Heaven, But We Do Have A Few Powerful Things Going For Us

This episode origionally aired on  9-27-19

Sometimes it feels like Iowa is the country’s best kept secret. Iowans tend to be pretty happy with the quality of life, and yet there are still only 3.1 million of us.

On this edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe explores the economic and social reasons that people decide on to move to Iowa. Liesl Eathington, an assistant scientist and Iowa Community Indicators Program Coordinator at Iowa State University, joins Charity for part four of our “Iowa Week: Is This Home?” series.

The Iowa Economic Development Authority has been spilling our secret all over the place, and they’re also conducting research to figure out the best way to convince people to visit or move to Iowa. You’ll hear more on this topic with our guest Jacque Matsen, a Marketing and Communications Director at the Iowa Economic Development Authority.

We’ll also hear from Carlos Honore, the founder of the Fifth Ward Saints, a youth football league that combines athletics with advocacy. Honore talks about the circumstances that led his family to move to Iowa City, from Baton Rouge, LA, when he was in the 5th grade.  

Honore said he’s dealt with a lot of challenges growing up, but thanks to his family’s move to Iowa City he discovered a passion for sports that gave him focus, role models and community. He became a star athlete at Iowa City’s West High in the mid-90s. Now Honore trying to give Iowa City boys the same kind of opportunity he had through the Iowa City chapter of the Fifth Ward Saints.

In the second half of the show, we hear from people who were drawn to Iowa because of economic or social factors. Gail Brashurs-Krug is an attorney who lives in Iowa City, she is a mother of six and moved her family here eleven years ago from Baltimore. Quality of life was at the top of the list of reasons when she and her now ex-husband chose Iowa City.

And boomerang Iowans – Iowans who leave for a while and then move back to the state. That’s what Liz Keehner has done. Keehner grew up in Sheldon, IA, moved away and now lives in Des Moines. She joins the show to speak about how leaving Iowa is a good way to realize how high the quality of life is in our state.

Guest Include: 

Liesl Eathington, Assistant Scientist and Iowa Community Indicators Program Coordinator at Iowa State University

Jacque Matsen, Marketing and Communications Director, Iowa Economic Development Authority 

Gail Brashers-Krug, Attorney 

Liz Keehner, Program Manager at VentureNet Iowa  

Carlos Honore, Founder of Fifth Ward Saints 

Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Dennis Reese was the mid-day host for Iowa Public Radio
Matthew was a producer for IPR's River to River and Talk of Iowa