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C I T Y

O F

C E D A R

R A P I D S

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M A R C H

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INCLUSIVE COMMUNITY Building spaces and expanding opportunities for everyone


MARCH 2019

FROM THE FROM THE CITY MANAGER • SPECIAL SECTION •

CITY MANAGER

2

D

3

NEWS YOU NEED TO KNOW •

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iversity and inclusion have become a focus in many communities and organizations in the past few years — a welcome and positive movement. Employers and

community leaders are recognizing the benefits of providing a place where different abilities, backgrounds and viewpoints are encouraged. Diversity and inclusion isn’t just a trend or a catch phrase for the City of Cedar Rapids. We work hard each and every day to create an organization and community that is welcoming and accessible to everyone. The definition of diversity goes well beyond race, gender and

CONNECT

ethnicity. A truly diverse community cultivates productivity and innovation by bringing people from many different

WITH CEDAR RAPIDS City of Cedar Rapids Iowa Government

Cedar Rapids App

@CityofCRIowa

Text / Email Alerts

CityofCR

City Source Email Newsletter

backgrounds and experiences together, while still retaining their individual identities. The City of Cedar Rapids will continue to build an accessible city where all people can live, work and thrive. We know a diverse and inclusive community fuels growth, facilitates innovation, and attracts more diversity. This is key to economic and workforce growth — and to being a great place to live and work.

www.CityofCR.com/Subscribe

Jeffrey Pomeranz Cedar Rapids City Manager

Interested in Advertising With Us? Contact the Our CR Communications Coordinator at 319-286-5742.

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YOU BELONG HERE. Through diversity and inclusion, we create

a community that is vibrant and flourishes. The creativity that comes from engaging with people from different backgrounds and experiences benefits everyone. This issue focuses on the ways the City of Cedar Rapids embraces the differences in all our residents and works to build a community where everyone feels they belong.

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W W W. C E D A R - R A P I D S . O R G

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INCLUSIVE COMMUNITY

ACCESSIBLE SERVICES

CITY TACKLES AGGRESSIVE ADA UPGRADES If you’ve walked anywhere in Cedar Rapids recently, you may have noticed the reconstruction of sidewalk ramps taking place at intersections. Repairs have ramped up in recent years due to a unique program.

I

n 2015, the City of Cedar Rapids was asked to participate in the Department of Justice’s “Project Civic Access,” which included a settlement agreement under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Project Civic Access reviews cities across the country to ensure compliance with ADA

standards, in an effort to make all public facilities accessible to all citizens. Cities are chosen to participate based on their size and demographics, not as the result of a complaint. The settlement agreement requires the City of Cedar Rapids to be in compliance with Title II of the ADA in various capacities including city-owned facilities and sites, curb ramps, programs, policies and procedures. With one in nine people in Cedar Rapids having a disability, the City of Cedar Rapids is dedicated to creating a community that is accessible and inclusive for all of our citizens. It is a priority of the City to remove barriers so that people of all abilities can access City facilities and parks with ease, feel welcomed and included to participate in programs and services, and travel freely and safely at intersections throughout the city.

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INFRASTRUCTURE FOR ALL

ADA ACHIEVEMENTS TO DATE:

The Public Works Department has been aggressively

FACILITIES & SITES

tackling thousands of curb ramps that do not meet ADA

}

standards. Many intersections have ramps that are out of compliance or lack any curb cut at all, making it difficult for someone in a wheelchair or someone

}

pushing a stroller. Curb ramps must be built to very specific design standards. If a ramps fails initial inspection, it must be

}

removed and reconstructed by the contractor.

} }

1,950 out of the 3,800 total curb ramps

identified as needing to be repaired or installed to meet ADA compliance standards have been installed or reconstructed.

634

667

(95%)

out of the items identified in the original Department of Justice audit have been made compliant.

Items at 24 Parks & Recreation sites have been

made compliant including:

• Ushers Ferry • Old MacDonald’s Farm • Tait Cummins Sports Complex

CURB RAMPS }

79 City-owned facilities and sites that require

remediation have been designed.

• Various neighborhood parks

CITY FACILITIES THAT ARE NOW FULLY ACCESSIBLE INCLUDE: • Veterans Memorial Stadium

86% accuracy rate on initial installment

• Ice Arena

of ramps.

• Interior of City Hall

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different criteria to measure a single curb ramp against.

• City Services Center • Police Station and Shooting Range • Water Pollution Control Administration Building • Parking ramps including 4th Avenue, Ground Transportation Center, Convention Center, Southside, Mays Island

ACCESSIBLE PEDESTRIAN SIGNALS Prior to the Department of Justice’s “Project Civic Access,” Cedar Rapids was already taking measures to create more accessible walking environments that support persons with visual impairment. Several intersections have been equipped with Accessible Pedestrian Signals — specifically designed to aid those with visual impairment. The special signals come equipped with locator tones and speech walk messages to give an individual audible cues that let them know when the signal has changed and it’s safe to cross the street.

Features of the signals include:

} Speakers } Locator tone } Textured push-button directional arrow } Street name written in Braille } Automatic volume adjustment

Where to find them: The City is updating to Accessible Pedestrian Signals whenever signal replacement is required or new signals are added as part of construction. You can currently find Accessible Pedestrian Signals at several intersections, with more installations set to come online in the next few months:

• Skywalks

LOOKING AHEAD:

ACCESSIBILITY COMPLIANCE PROJECTS IN 2019 } } } } } } }

US Cellular Center Paramount Theatre Parks Water Administration Building Exterior of City Hall Curb ramps Ground Transportation Center & NW Bus Garage

• 1st Ave East at 10th St • 2nd Ave SE at 10th St SE • 3rd Ave SE at 10th St SE • 4th Ave SE at 10th St SE • 6th St SW at 3rd Ave SW • 8th Ave SW at 6th St SW • 8th Ave SE at 7th St SE • 10th St SE at 5th Ave SE • 16th Ave SW at 18th St SW • Blairs Ferry Rd NE at Target entrance • C Ave NE at Brentwood Dr NE

W W W. C E D A R - R A P I D S . O R G

• C Ave NE at Rockwell Collins entrance • Collins Rd NE at C Ave NE • Council St NE and 51st St NE • Kirkwood Blvd SW at 66th St SW • Edgewood Rd SW at Edgewood Pkwy SW • Edgewood Rd NW at E Ave NW • Edgewood Rd NW at F Ave NW • Edgewood Rd NW at O Ave NW • Edgewood Rd NW at Ellis Blvd NW • Wiley Blvd SW at 31st St SW

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INCLUSIVE COMMUNITY

ADA ACHIEVEMENTS TO DATE:

POLICIES AND SERVICES

IMPROVING PARK ACCESSIBILITY O

EMPLOYEE TRAINING 1,000 City staff each received four hours of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) training annually for the past three years for a total of

12,000 training hours.

City staff have been educated on the following ADA topics: • History of the ADA • Title II ADA requirements • Program modifications • Effective communication • Service animals • Invisible disabilities with an emphasis on mental illness and de-escalation techniques

+21

%

ver two years ago, on his second week of work, Jeff Koffron, Facilities Maintenance Supervisor, was touring Ushers Ferry Historic Village in preparation of changes that were required as part of the Department of Justice’s “Project Civic Access.” School children were on tour that day. They walked from building to building learning how people lived at the turn of the 20th century. One boy, however, was parked in a wheelchair in front of a historic home with a steep incline and stairs. As his classmates came out of the house, they tried to explain what they saw to the boy so he would be included. That experience had a profound impact on Koffron and is a story he relays every time someone asks why the City is investing resources in making facilities accessible.

WEBSITE AUDIT City website's annual accessibility compliance audit has improved 21 percent over the original audit.

POLICIES & PROCEDURES The City has numerous ADA-related policies and procedures that advance accessibility practices within the city.

“These changes are the right thing to do and have often been overlooked by municipalities,” Koffron said. “I am proud that we are going above and beyond what is required. We are setting the bar for what our expectations are for others throughout Cedar Rapids,” he continued.

• Notice under the ADA • Grievance Procedure • Effective communication including a contract with a local interpreter • 911/TTY and law enforcement policies • Procedures for requesting and receiving input regarding the accessibility of sidewalks & curb ramps • Website compliance policies and online feedback forms • Facility compliance policies • Other Power Driven Mobility Device (OPDMD) policy

ADA ADVISORY COMMITTEE Since 2012, the ADA Advisory Committee has been a resource to both the City of Cedar Rapids and Linn County on matters related to Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Members receive regular updates on ADA compliance efforts being made by the City and County, monitor ADA complaints, and make recommendations regarding ADA issues.

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The City hasn’t approached these projects as items to do on a check list. Each park facility is carefully reviewed so the improvements will positively impact all patrons. While the boardwalk at Ushers Ferry had to be removed to create a better surface for those with mobility disabilities, the new surface was stamped and stained to look like a boardwalk and retain the feel of the village. A fully accessible ramp was even built to accommodate hay rack rides. The improvements extend beyond Ushers Ferry to parks, pools, playgrounds, Old MacDonald’s Farm in Bever Park, and sports complexes. “We are seeing significantly more grandparents at our youth games at Tait Cummins Sports Complex who previously couldn’t get to the diamonds to watch their grandkids play,” said Mike O’Neill, Athletics Supervisor. “These changes have made a huge impact. Even families that rely on strollers have benefited.”

I am proud that we are going above and beyond what is required. We are setting the bar for what our expectations are for others throughout Cedar Rapids.”

There is still more to do. Over the next two summers, watch for additional improvements to be made including concrete walking trails at Cherry Hill and Noelridge Parks, a new accessible restroom near the Variety Star playground that features an adult changing station, Bender Pool deck, parking and locker room makeovers, and accessible parking, restrooms, and sidewalks at Cedar Rapids parks.

IMPROVEMENTS AT PARK FACILITIES HAVE INCLUDED: } Accessible routes to buildings and park features } Ramps added to buildings and the gazebo at Ushers Ferry } Fully accessible restrooms } ADA signage } Accessible parking } Accessible high/low drinking fountains } Accessible showers and benches at pools } Safety surface added to playgrounds } Pool decks reconstructed to proper slopes } Counter heights changed at concession stands and serving counters } Walking bridge, sidewalks and courtyard reconstructed at Old MacDonald's Farm

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INCLUSIVE COMMUNITY

A PLACE FOR ALL CEDAR RAPIDS HOUSING OPPORTUNITIES

F

inding a place to call “home” is one of the biggest factors in feeling like your community is inclusive and has a place for you.

In Cedar Rapids, we strive to offer quality, affordable housing for all citizens, in a variety of options and at a variety of price points. Since every family and every household need is different, we work hard to evaluate current housing stock and anticipate future housing needs. Every year, the City commissions a Comprehensive Housing Needs Analysis. This helps provide a blueprint of what’s currently available, and what people might be looking for in the future. For example, there are approximately 57,000 households in Cedar Rapids, but not everyone can maintain a large yard or navigate stairs into a home. The analysis looks at housing options in a variety of categories: single-family, multi-family, and rental; as well as housing tailored more specifically for senior living (assisted living or independent living centers). Data has told us that the current market has a huge demand for single-family, market rate rentals, and senior living. But we also want to make certain we have quality housing in a variety of price points, to ensure everyone has options. For that reason, the City has also recently reactivated the Affordable Housing Commission. Members of the Commission help identify the nature and scope of housing needs of low and moderate-income residents. They also recommend to the City Council effective strategies on collaborating to meet those needs. Overall, the housing stock in Cedar Rapids is very balanced with the needs of the community. Growth in population and households is expected to continue to remain healthy during the remainder of the decade and during the 2020s. By 2020, Cedar Rapids is projected to have almost 140,000 people and approximately 58,000 households. Moving forward, we remain committed to offering quality, affordable housing options for all our citizens.

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TIME TO STEP UP YOUR

MONDAY

GAME?

NEW HOMES IN CEDAR RAPIDS RESIDENTIAL NEW CONSTRUCTION 2010 - 2018

SINGLE-FAMILY:

2,137 TOWNHOME:

264

TOTAL HOUSING UNITS:

4,725 CONDO:

461

MULTIFAMILY:

1,863

Find your next opportunity on

CorridorCareers.com

NEW FUNDING PROGRAM: NEIGHBORHOOD FINANCE CORP A new program exists to provide purchase, refinance, and home improvement loans to property owners. The Neighborhood Finance Corporation program is locationbased, not income-based. If you live in the lending area, you could qualify to have up to $10,000 of your total home improvement loan forgiven. The program launched last fall and aims to spur revitalization in our neighborhoods. Learn more: www.CityofCR.com/NFC. W W W. C E D A R - R A P I D S . O R G

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INCLUSIVE COMMUNITY

YOUNG WOMEN'S F I R E A C A D E M Y Nationwide only about 3.5 percent of firefighters are women. Even though the Cedar Rapids Fire Department has about double the national average for female firefighters, the Department hopes to inspire young women to consider a career as a firefighter.

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T

he women of the Cedar Rapids Fire Department decided that they wanted to give young women an opportunity to experience what it would be like to be a firefighter. It started from a list that each of them felt would be beneficial when they were considering a career — the leadership skills, the career development paths, and the physical qualifications that are necessary to become professional firefighters.

To illustrate, each Academy participant completes a modified physical agility test similar to what firefighter applicants would be required to complete. Many participants were reluctant, even fearful, that they would not be able to pass, especially having to wear a weighted 40-pound vest to simulate firefighting turnout gear and having to drag a 180-pound mannequin. Yet, every participant successfully completed the challenge.

The result was the Fully Involved Young Women’s Fire Academy. The week-long academy was designed to introduce young women between ages 15 and 20 to the fire service, and to empower, inspire and support strong women leaders. The Academy highlights many aspects of the job, including fire rescue, CPR, vehicle extrication, fire hose handling, and a version of the physical agility test that firefighters are required to pass.

Already one graduate of the Academy has landed a part-time job with the Ankeny Fire Department, while five others have started Emergency Medical Technician training.

The first Academy was completed in 2017 and was so positively received that it has become an annual opportunity. Fire Captain Cheme Fairlie said that the Academy has surpassed all the expectations of the organizers. “Not only has it shown young women their career options, it has increased their confidence. Confidence in not only their ability to do this job, but the realization that these young women can exceed any perceived limitations that they had prior to participating in the Academy.”

The Academy is not only good for the young women who participate, but it is also good for the community. According to Fairlie, “The more wide range of experiences, background, and history our firefighters bring to their profession, the better we are able to respond and adapt to citizen's needs.” Firefighter/Paramedic Julie Popelka is excited about being able to share information and get other women to join in the career that she loves. Popelka said, “We are not just telling young women that you can do this job. The Academy is allowing them the experience to prove they can do it.”

Young women are encouraged to apply for the next Fully Involved Young Women’s Fire Academy. Additional information is available on the City’s website at www.Cedar-Rapids.org/Fire. W W W. C E D A R - R A P I D S . O R G

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INCLUSIVE COMMUNITY

CITY OF CEDAR RAPIDS WINS THE

GATEWAYS FOR GROWTH CHALLENGE

Award to help City leaders develop concrete strategies to integrate immigrants, foster economic growth, and promote inclusion for all residents.

T

he City of Cedar Rapids was recently

for all individuals enhances Cedar Rapids' cultural

selected to receive a Gateways for Growth

fabric and potential for economic growth.”

award from New American Economy (NAE)

“The facts prove it—cities that embrace

and Welcoming America. The Gateways for

immigration as a growth strategy reap the

Growth Challenge is a competitive opportunity for

benefits,” said John Feinblatt, President of New

local communities to receive tailored research,

American Economy. “The Gateways for Growth

direct technical assistance, and matching grants

Challenge spurs more local leaders to step up

to develop concrete strategies to integrate

and make immigration a centerpiece of their

immigrants, foster economic growth, and

economic agenda.”

promote inclusion for all residents. Gateways for Growth (G4G) also serves as a network in which

With NAE’s assistance and guidance, Cedar

local communities can learn from each other and

Rapids will launch community planning

share best practices.

committees to develop concrete ideas and plans that can be implemented in the city. The

“We are looking forward to using this grant

groups will work to identify ways to encourage

opportunity to help create a more vibrant and

small business development, support current

prosperous community where everyone feels

employer workforce needs, and actively welcome

welcomed and can fully participate,” said Jasmine

newcomers to the community.

Almoayyed, Cedar Rapids Economic Development Manager. “Fostering a welcoming environment

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CEDAR RAPIDS CELEBRATES WELCOMING WEEK TO MAKE OUR COMMUNITY STRONGER

W

elcoming Week is a national annual celebration designed to acknowledge the role communities play to foster a welcoming community. Cedar Rapids celebrated our first local Welcoming Week in September 2018 to acknowledge the many important contributions immigrants and refugees bring to our community, and to celebrate all diversity in our city. Many local organizations hosted fun and educational events to celebrate Welcoming Week last year. Anyone interested in hosting an event for Welcoming Week 2019 is encouraged to participate. Look for more information on the City’s website in the coming months. Through Welcoming Week activities, we can make our City more welcoming to

newcomers and to everyone who calls our community home. All Cedar Rapids residents are a vital part of our community—bringing fresh perspectives and new ideas, starting businesses, and contributing to the vibrant diversity that we all value. Our community’s participation in Welcoming Week shows that in Cedar Rapids, citizens of all backgrounds can come together to create a stronger, more prosperous community. Welcoming Week is one of many initiatives Cedar Rapids supports in order to create and promote an inclusive community. During Welcoming Week, and all year long, new and longtime residents can build bridges to make their communities stronger.

DIVERSITY INCREASES The population in Linn County is becoming increasingly diverse. From 2010 to 2019, population grew by seven percent. However, some ethnic groups saw increases of 38 to 61 percent. The following demographic data was compiled from multiple sources including annual population estimates and population projections from the US Census Bureau, and birth and mortality rates from the US Health Department. 2010 POPULATION

2019 POPULATION

CHANGE

% CHANGE

White, Non-Hispanic

189,061

193,916

4,855

3

Black, Non-Hispanic

8,242

13,252

5,010

61

White, Hispanic

4,715

6,606

1,891

40

Asian, Non-Hispanic

3,837

5,949

2,112

55

American Indian or Alaskan Native, Non-Hispanic

494

411

-83

-17

All other*

5,311

7,345

2,034

38

Total

211,660

227,479

15,819

7

*Includes two or more races, Hispanic; two or more races, Non-Hispanic; Black, Hispanic; Asian, Hispanic; Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, Non-Hispanic; American Indian or Alaskan Native, Hispanic; Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, Hispanic. Source: EMSI 2018.4.

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INCLUSIVE COMMUNITY

Young people are some of our most valuable assets, and the future of our community.” - MAYOR BRAD HART

MAYOR’S YOUTH COUNCIL ENGAGES HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN CITY GOVERNMENT

I

n order to more actively engage

community. It is vitally important that

She thought it would be a good

Cedar Rapids youth in city

they gain the knowledge, skills and

opportunity to ask questions and learn

government and gain valuable

abilities to be the next generation of

first-hand.

insight into their needs, Mayor Brad

local leaders,” said Mayor Hart. “The

Hart established the Cedar Rapids

Youth Council is a great way of doing

Mayor’s Youth Council in partnership

just that because we promote regular

with area school districts beginning

and active civic engagement among

this 2018-2019 school year.

youth.”

The Mayor’s Youth Council provides

The Cedar Rapids Mayor’s Youth

students with an opportunity to share

Council is made up of 11 students

their opinions and ideas; learn about

from high schools throughout the city.

the role of councils, boards, and

The group meets regularly during the

commissions; and make a difference

school year, with students learning

in the community. Youth involvement

about different departments and

in community activities and decisions

projects within the City, and sharing

not only provides a unique perspective

their insights and ideas in these areas.

to City leaders, but also helps increase overall community vitality and

14

Carolyn Mueller, a Senior at

engagement.

Washington High School, says she was

“Young people are some of our most

Council so she could learn about how

valuable assets, and the future of our

city government is organized and run.

interested in joining the Mayor’s Youth

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“It is important for high school students to learn about and participate in city government because it is knowledge we will need to know when we're adults and voting in


YOUTH COUNCIL MEMBERS: Infinity Watkins, Jefferson High School, grade 12 Martina Avelar, Kennedy High School, grade 12 Ethan Martin, Kennedy High School, grade 12 Anna Scott, Linn-Mar High School, grade 10 Bradlee Miller, Metro High School, grade 11 Logan Kalous, Prairie High School, grade 10 Emma Joens, Prairie High School, grade 9 Carolyn Mueller, Washington High School, grade 12 Darshaun Smith, Washington High School, grade 12 Joanne Lee, Xavier High School, grade 10 Jack Lux, Xavier High School, grade 10

MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN YOUR COMMUNITY

T

he City of Cedar Rapids strives to receive diverse input from citizens to guide decisions. Representation from individuals with varied backgrounds and

experiences is critical in creating a community that serves all citizens. One of the best ways to have a voice in the future of Cedar Rapids is to serve on one of the many City boards, commissions, or advisory committees. Women, minorities and qualified persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. Applications are due by April 30,

our own city elections,” said Carolyn, noting that many

2019. For more information, contact the City Clerk’s Office

seniors are already old enough to vote.

at 319-286-5060, or email city-clerk@cedar-rapids.org.

Carolyn also appreciates the opportunity for

Below are a few of the City’s boards and commissions.

students to practice their ‘employability skills’ such as communication, eye-contact, and presenting in front of a group; all things they are able to practice as part of their participation in Youth Council. Along with regular meetings, tours and discussion, Youth Council members will work on a final project— creating a proposal for a teen hangout spot in Cedar Rapids. The teens will present these ideas to Mayor Hart and other City leaders in May.

cedar-rapids.org then clicking on Local Government » City Boards & Commissions. Download and submit your application today. } ADA Advisory Committee } City Band Commission } City Planning Commission } Civil Rights Commission } Civil Service Commission

"This is an impressive group of students, and we have fun together," added Hart. "They have so much energy and lots of creative ideas."

} Historic Preservation Commission } Library Board of Trustees } Long Term Planning Commission } Parks, Waterways & Recreation Commission

The Mayor’s Youth Council is one of many programs the City of Cedar Rapids has established to support and engage with youth in our community. For more information, visit cedar-rapids.org/cr_youth.

Find a complete list and learn how to apply by visiting

} Stormwater Commission } Veterans Memorial Commission } Visual Arts Commission } Wellbeing Advisory Committee

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INCLUSIVE COMMUNITY

MUNICIPAL EQUALITY INDEX SCORECARD

T

he City of Cedar Rapids

laws, Municipality as an Employer,

City Manager Jeff Pomeranz said,

received a perfect score on

Municipal Services, Law Enforcement,

“Discrimination on the basis of sexual

the 2018 Municipal Equality

and Leadership on LGBTQ Equality.

orientation and gender identity

Index Scorecard, which is a testament

The scorecard reaffirms that Cedar

in areas of employment, housing,

to everyone’s efforts to make our

Rapids is providing services to our

and public accommodations is not

community both inclusive and

community in both a thoughtful and

acceptable in our community. The

welcoming. The average score in

respectful way.

City received all points possible

Iowa was 86 out of 100 points, which is above the national average of 58. Cedar Rapids, with its perfect score, is clearly above both the state’s and nation's average for lesbian, gay,

in every area of the scorecard

Mayor Brad Hart said, “Receiving a

including non-discrimination laws,

perfect score from the Human Rights

employment, municipal services,

Campaign Foundation is a testament

law enforcement, and leadership.

to the concerted, ongoing efforts

The scorecard reaffirms that Cedar

by the City of Cedar Rapids to be an

bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) equality.

inclusive and welcoming community.

The scorecard is published by the

commitment to treating citizens

Human Rights Campaign Foundation

equally and supporting fair-minded

and provides scores in the following

businesses.”

Rapids is providing services to our community in both a thoughtful and

I am extremely proud of our City’s

respectful way.” Cedar Rapids earned a perfect score in 2016 and 2017 as well.

categories: Non-discrimination

LEADERSHIP ON LGBTQ EQUALITY:

This category measures the city leadership’s commitment to fully include the LGBTQ community and to advocate for full equality. Cedar Rapids earned 8 out of 8 points.

NON-DISCRIMINATION LAWS:

This category evaluates whether discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is prohibited by the city, county, or state in areas of employment, housing, and public accommodations. Cedar Rapids earned 30 out of 30 points.

CITY SERVICES:

This section assesses the efforts of the City to ensure LGBTQ constituents are included in city services and programs. Cedar Rapids received 12 out of 12 points.

LAW ENFORCEMENT:

Fair enforcement of the law includes responsible reporting of hate crimes and engaging with the LGBTQ community in a thoughtful and respectful way. The appointment of a Police Department LGBTQ Liaison and proper reporting of hate crimes statistics to the Federal Bureau of Investigation resulted in Cedar Rapids receiving 22 out of 22 points.

16

CEDAR RAPIDS TOTAL SCORE:

100

MUNICIPALITY AS EMPLOYER:

By offering equivalent benefits and protections to LGBTQ employees, awarding contracts to fair-minded businesses, and taking steps to ensure an inclusive workplace, municipalities commit themselves to treating LGBTQ employees equally. Cedar Rapids earned 28 out of 28 points.

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CREATING DIVERSITY IN THE WORKFORCE City Implements Ban the Box Initiative

Consult a Prosthodontist Chris Haganman, DDS, MS, is a Diplomate of the American Board of Prosthodontists. A prosthodontist is a dentist with additional education in the restoration and replacement of missing teeth as well as a variety of other cosmetic procedures. Dr. Haganman is the only Board-certified prosthodontist in Cedar Rapids and practices at

The Dental Center

Diversity in Hiring The City of Cedar Rapids actively seeks to hire a workforce that

Mt. Vernon Road

reflects the diversity of our community, including race, gender,

& 38th Street SE.

background and thought. We believe diversity in the workplace maximizes productivity and sparks creativity in order to provide

Dr. Haganman is an expert at diagnosis, treatment

the best programs and services to address the needs of our

planning, and restorative procedures. He can

residents.

restore your oral function and improve the appearance of your smile through:

Ban the Box In order to provide more opportunities for citizens and ensure fair and unbiased hiring practices, the City of Cedar Rapids recently implemented a program called “Ban the Box.” The “box” is a spot on many employment applications that asks whether the applicant has been convicted of a crime or other questions regarding criminal history. The Ban the Box campaign challenges

• Restoring broken, worn, or decayed teeth with crowns, veneers, or tooth-colored fillings • Placing implant-supported crowns and prostheses for missing teeth

employers to choose the best candidates based on job skills and

• Replacing missing teeth with bridges

qualifications, not past convictions.

• Fabricating dentures, partial dentures, and fixed

The City of Cedar Rapids has chosen to remove these questions

partial dentures (bridges)

from our job applications. This will allow hiring managers to first get an opportunity to learn about the candidate’s experience and skills as they relate to the position to be filled. Applicants will still be subject to a background check prior to beginning employment. “We feel that it is best to assess each individual based on their skills and related professional experience, rather than immediately eliminating candidates without a full picture of the situation,” said Teresa Feldmann, Cedar Rapids Human Resource Director. “Delaying records-related inquiries until after a conditional job offer gives individuals a fair chance in the hiring process.”

The Dental Center

815 38th Street SE Cedar Rapids 319-365-0534

www.crdentalcenter.com This coupon entitles you to a free consultation with Dr. Haganman

The Dental Center

For more information about Cedar Rapids employment and to view open positions, visit our website at cedar-rapids.org.

815 38th Street SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52403 Call 319-365-0534 or E-mail “Contact me for free consult” to Info@crdentalcenter.com

Be sure to mention this offer when scheduling.

W W W. C E D A R - R A P I D S . O R G

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INCLUSIVE COMMUNITY

CRISIS INTERVENTION “He is a totally different person.

The Law Enforcement Liaison works with police officers and responds to calls for service involving

He is stable, has more insight into his illness,

individuals with a mental health crisis. The Law

and is committed to staying on track because

Enforcement Liaison, who works out of the Cedar

he knows what it is like to feel good and be able

Rapids Police Station, has the primary role of

to function,� said Nicole Watters, a Foundation

assisting officers who have identified individuals

2 Mobile Crisis Outreach and Law Enforcement Liaison, in response to how a previously homeless

who may need some type of assistance because

man is doing after police intervention.

of mental illness or co-occurring disorders. One

In September 2017, the Cedar Rapids Police

is to direct individuals that need assistance to

Department was awarded the Justice and Mental

available resources. When individuals have

Health Collaboration Program Grant to facilitate

access and utilize the necessary resources,

collaboration between the criminal justice,

there is a decrease in calls for service and there

mental health, and substance abuse treatment

is less likelihood of incarceration. By working

systems. The Police Department partnered with

with individuals who have suicidal ideation,

Foundation 2 to employ a Law Enforcement

depression, family issues, substance abuse, or

Liaison with the goal of connecting those

housing issues, the impact on police resources is

experiencing mental health issues to appropriate

reduced.

of the primary responsibilities of the Liaison

resources rather than incarceration.

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MARCH 2019


The Liaison position began in February 2018. Over 200 individuals were provided resources or received a service referral by the Law Enforcement Liaison last year.

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significant number of police calls for service. Citizens had reported that the man was exhibiting manic behavior.

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When police officers found the homeless man, his feet were bloody from walking several miles each day. The man had no understanding of how his mental illness was affecting him. After nearly 60 calls for service, including criminal activity ranging from trespassing to setting fires in public parks, police officers and the Law Enforcement

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Liaison helped file a mental health committal.

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into an appropriate medical facility, received medical assistance with his mental health issues, and received assistance with Social Security and housing services. Watters said, “It was absolutely amazing to be part of the efforts and collaboration of the officers and hospital staff to make such a difference in this man’s life as many

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INCLUSIVE COMMUNITY

IMPROVING LITERACY, ACCESS, AND INCLUSION

I

n 2018, the Cedar Rapids Public

do not have access to the internet

members. Additionally, the Library

Library completed a lengthy

at home. The Library can and

will use an Equity Lens assessment to

and thorough strategic planning

should act as the great equalizer,

evaluate our policies and procedures,

process to identify priorities for

making it possible for all residents

ensuring they are fair and equitable.

the next three years. This process

to access technology, services, and

included holding public listening

information. By removing barriers

posts, interviewing members of

to access and taking measures to

the community and the Board of

ensure our products and services

Trustees, using market segmentation

are easy to use, we are providing

to learn about our community, and

all citizens with a vital resource to

phone interviews with both library

improve their lives.

we use. By providing people with

Our demographic research also

other and interact in a safe and

The result of this process was three

showed our community as an

comfortable environment, the Library

areas of strategic focus: literacy,

increasingly diverse area, both

is opening doors to a more open and

access, and inclusion. Literacy has

economically and ethnically. The

welcoming community.

long been a priority for the Library,

Library is uniquely positioned to

and finding new and effective ways

support and respond to this rapidly

to increase literacy rates especially

changing landscape and promote

amongst our youngest community

understanding, acceptance, inclusion,

members will be a focus for the

and diversity through both internal

Library moving forward.

and external practices.

Access is another priority of the

A focus on internal training will help

Library. Our research showed that

our staff better understand and meet

28 percent of Cedar Rapids residents

the needs of our diverse community

users and non-users.

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The Library is also focusing on how to build common ground and encourage community inclusivity, whether that is through programs, the services we offer, or the language opportunities to engage with each

MARCH 2019


MANY WAYS TO

CONNECT C

edar Rapids residents come from many walks of life. Some have lived in the area for a long time and are familiar with City processes. Others may be new to town, speak another language, or experience challenges communicating or even attending public meetings. There are residents who feel very comfortable contacting City departments and others who are new to navigating the system. Staff do their best to provide a high level of individualized service to every resident—no matter their level of familiarity with the government. Our goal is to meet each resident’s unique needs every day. Beyond its importance to good governance, it is a legal requirement for public meetings to be accessible to all our residents. We ensure anyone who requires an auxiliary aid or service for effective communication, or a modification of policies or procedures to participate in a City program, service, or activity, has a mechanism by which they can request assistance. The City website also scores high accessibility marks for users with special screen reading devices, and those who access our page from mobile devices. In 2018, we started streaming City Council meetings live on Facebook, and recently implemented closed captioning services in the live video feed. Council meetings are also available and indexed on the City website. Citizens who cannot attend a meeting are welcome to submit

A wide array of opportunities are available to interact with City departments and learn what's happening behind the scenes of your government.

feedback and objections pertaining to public hearing items to the City Clerk’s Office, or direct any questions relating to other items on the agenda to the City Manager’s Office. We understand how important it is to reach our diverse population. We deliver time-sensitive email and text message alerts, like road closures and water main breaks, through www.crnewsnow.com. Residents can sign up for email newsletters on a variety of topics, like City news, Paving for Progress projects, Parks and Recreation, and more. Find a complete list of digital subscriptions at www.cityofcr.com/subscribe. On social media, Cedar Rapids boasts the most likes and follows among the largest city governments in Iowa. We use social media to share important news and great stories. Just this past month, we have used social media to share the touching story of two offduty firefighters who shoveled snow from a driveway to clear a path for a mother and new baby, alert residents of changes in the garbage and recycling schedule during January’s polar vortex, and shared public service announcements as part of our participation in the National Flood Insurance Program.

resident input. We have learned we cannot always expect residents to find us. That is why we are continually assessing our outreach methods with an eye on meeting the public in places they are already engaged. We do our best to send project letters to residents and businesses in affected neighborhoods. We attend and host stakeholder meetings and share newsletter digests at monthly neighborhood meetings. We offer public input opportunities at familiar gathering spaces, like the NewBo City Market and neighborhood schools. Is there a pothole or streetlight in your neighborhood that needs addressed? The CleanUpCR feature on our custom-designed mobile app will help you report issues. It allows you to access information about your location or address and quickly connect with city contacts. Look for the free “City of Cedar Rapids” app on your mobile device’s application store. The City of Cedar Rapids recognizes the ability to learn and grow from one another gives us strength. We hope you agree there has never been a better time to connect with the City of Five Seasons®.

Beyond getting important messages out, the City of Cedar Rapids values

W W W. C E D A R - R A P I D S . O R G

21


NEWS YOU NEED TO KNOW

runoff upstream of the City’s source-water well fields. The Middle Cedar Partnership Project is informing our future approach to nutrient and flood reduction. The project has also helped us understand ways to address new regulations in the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. Find an update on the project’s progress at www.CityofCR.com/MCPP. Opportunities to work together toward a sustainable water future can make the overall efforts stronger. Your Utilities Department is committed to always find the best way to serve you with safe and reliable services today and far into the future.

CLEAN WATER FOR THE NEXT GENERATION

T

he Cedar Rapids Water division knows that water is our world’s most precious resource and essential to everything we do as a City — and as individuals. Our residents rely on safe, clean, great-tasting drinking water. Our industry depends upon the reliability of our water supply. Our economy runs on water. The agriculture that fuels a large part of the Cedar Rapids economy runs on water.

we strive to operate the most efficient water production and distribution, and wastewater treatment processes, external costs such as electricity, chemicals, infrastructure maintenance, and construction continue to rise. We are constantly evaluating operational efficiency and pursuing grants and other funding options to reduce the cost of infrastructure, but these sources of funding are very limited.

The City affirms the One Water Approach, recognizing the interdependent nature of resilient water utilities, thriving cities, competitive business and industry, sustainable agriculture systems, social and economic inclusion, and healthy waterways.

Work is underway on a number of Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) projects that will bring necessary updates to the original 1929 J Avenue Water Treatment Plant and resilience and additional capacity to the NW Water Treatment Plant. CIP projects will also replace aging solids handling facilities and add nutrient reduction to the Water Pollution Control Facility, and allow us to continue replacing aging water mains and sewer lines throughout the city.

We recognize that if we tackle problems based on the complete life cycle of water and larger infrastructure systems—rather than limiting ourselves to our own piece of the equation—we can identify and advance more effective and lasting solutions.

INVESTING TO ENSURE OUR WATER SUPPLY’S FUTURE The Cedar Rapids Utilities Department is committed to controlling the cost of our services. Residents of Cedar Rapids enjoy rates that are competitive with cities across the state and nation. While

22

As Cedar Rapids continues to grow, we know it is important to ensure our facilities can meet full production demands when necessary in the future. In 2015, the City of Cedar Rapids and 15 partners, primarily from commodity or conservation groups, were awarded a five-year grant to begin implementing various conservation practices proven to reduce impacts from farm-field

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MARCH 2019

CITY MANAGER'S 1-BAG CHALLENGE Cedar Rapids City Manager Jeff Pomeranz has challenged every resident to collect at least one bag of litter each year in an effort to clean up the city. Last June, we set a new record for litter collection in Cedar Rapids. Volunteers showed up in droves to clean City streets and take the City Manager’s 1-Bag Challenge. A total of 2,341 bags of litter were collected between July 2017 and June 2018 by resident volunteers, the City’s Solid Waste & Recycling Division, and contracted workers. The previous record was set in 2014 — the challenge’s third year — at 2,030 bags. We did the math. To date the challenge has inspired volunteers to fill nearly 10,000 bags — removing a whopping 125 tons of trash from City streets. Pomeranz says he’s more than pleased with the results. “To see our City come together like this is always exciting,” Pomeranz said. “Whether its sandbags or trash bags, our residents always rise to the call.”

THERE’S STILL TIME TO TAKE THE CHALLENGE!

The City Manager’s 1-Bag Challenge is a great way you can show how much you care about Cedar Rapids. One bag is all it takes to make a difference in your neighborhood. Find out where you can pick up your free kit and join the City Manager’s 1-Bag Challenge at www.CleanUpCR.com.


PAVING FOR PROGRESS 5-YEAR REPORT The City of Cedar Rapids is committed to reporting back to the public the projects, results, and improvements of the Paving for Progress program. We recently published a 5-Year Report that lists all of the projects that have been funded or partially funded through the local option sales tax between 2014 - 2018.

DOWNLOAD THE FULL REPORT ONLINE:

BRINGING THE

best OF

MENT live ENTEARTRARIN APIDS TO CED

www.CityofCR.com/ PavingforProgress

RECEIVE UP TO $2,000

TO HELP IMPROVE YOUR LAWN & LANDSCAPING

Spring

LOOSE LEAF

Vacuum Collection APRIL 1 - 26

LEARN MORE AND APPLY ONLINE AT:

www.CityofCR.com/stormwater

Residents can expect collection of leaves on their regular garbage day unless the trucks are slowed by weather or volume.

www.CityofCR.com/leaf

Cedar Rapids residents interested in implementing Stormwater Best Management Practices on their properties can receive reimbursement up to 50% of project costs, up to $2,000!

W W W. C E D A R - R A P I D S . O R G

23


CITY SERVICES DIRECTORY CITY SERVICE

LOCATION

Animals

900 76th Avenue Drive SW

Assessor

City Services Center, 500 15 Avenue SW

319-286-5888

CRAssessor@Cedar-Rapids.org

Bid Opportunities

City Hall, 101 1st Street SE

319-286-5021

Bid-Purchasing@Cedar-Rapids.org

Building and Housing Codes

City Services Center, 500 15th Avenue SW

319-286-5831

Building@Cedar-Rapids.org

Buses

Ground Transportation Center, 450 1st Street SE

319-286-5573

CRTransit@Cedar-Rapids.org

Fire Safety Inspections

713 1st Avenue SE

319-286-5166

CRFire@Cedar-Rapids.org

Garbage, Recycling and Yard Waste Collection

City Services Center, 500 15 Avenue SW

319-286-5897

SolidWaste&Recycling@Cedar-Rapids.org

Housing Assistance Programs

City Hall, 101 1st Street SE

319-286-5872

HSG-Admin@Cedar-Rapids.org

th

th

PHONE

EMAIL ADDRESS

319-286-5993

AnimalControlMgmt@Cedar-Rapids.org

Land Development

st

City Hall, 101 1 Street SE

319-286-5822

DevelopmentServices@Cedar-Rapids.org

Park Rentals

Northwest Recreation Center, 1340 11th Street NW

319-286-5566

Recreation@Cedar-Rapids.org

Potholes and Street Maintenance

City Services Center, 500 15th Avenue SW

319-286-5826

Street@Cedar-Rapids.org

Recreation Programs

Northwest Recreation Center, 1340 11th Street NW

319-286-5566

Recreation@Cedar-Rapids.org

Sewer Backup or Problems

City Services Center, 500 15th Avenue SW

319-286-5815

Sewer@Cedar-Rapids.org

Traffic Signals, Signs and Markings

City Services Center, 500 15th Avenue SW

319-286-5176

Traffic@Cedar-Rapids.org

Utility Billing

City Hall, 101 1st Street SE

319-286-5900

WaterMail@Cedar-Rapids.org

For more information about the City of Cedar Rapids and its services, call 319-286-5080 or visit www.cedar-rapids.org.

CITY COUNCIL

To leave a message for a City Council member, call 319-286-5051. Find your district at www.linncountyelections.org.

MAYOR

DISTRICT 1

DISTRICT 2

b.hart@cedar-rapids.org

m.hoeger@cedar-rapids.org

s.overland@cedar-rapids.org

Martin Hoeger

Brad Hart

DISTRICT 3

Dale Todd

dalet@cedar-rapids.org

DISTRICT 4

DISTRICT 5

scott.olson@cedar-rapids.org

a.vanorny@cedar-rapids.org

Scott Olson

Ashley Vanorny

AT LARGE

AT LARGE

AT LARGE

t.olson@cedar-rapids.org

ann.poe@cedar-rapids.org

s.weinacht@cedar-rapids.org

Tyler Olson

24

Scott Overland

Ann Poe

OUR CR

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MARCH 2019

Susie Weinacht


PERMANENT FLOOD PROTECTION INVESTING IN A STRONG FUTURE

FLOOD CONTROL SYSTEM MASTER PLAN:

Permanent flood protection is critical for the entire community’s safety, economic security, and quality of life.

• Designed to convey the same water volume as the flood of 2008 • Approximately seven miles long • Protects both sides of the river

Together, we can keep residents and property

• Combination of permanent floodwalls, removable walls, levees and gates

out of harm’s way, protect our economic

• Incorporates aesthetic elements that reflect culture and history of the community

investments, and reduce the financial strain of constantly building temporary protection. Learn more about segments that have already been completed, and what’s coming up next:

www.CityofCR.com/FloodControl

Profile for City of Cedar Rapids

Our CR - March 2019  

This issue of Our CR focuses on the ways the City of Cedar Rapids embraces the differences in all our residents and works to build a communi...

Our CR - March 2019  

This issue of Our CR focuses on the ways the City of Cedar Rapids embraces the differences in all our residents and works to build a communi...