Stronger partnerships are welcomed and needed

In serving our community, it is the communication of our needs and our commitment to the teamwork required to spur on change that moves us beyond complacency and gets the job done.

Downstream from over half a decade of natural disasters and a global pandemic, leaders from all walks of life and professional backgrounds have joined together to pick up and forge a better future for Marshalltown through careful planning. Now is the time to gather around a collective vision through stronger community, county, and statewide partnerships for widespread prosperity to be possible.

The opportunities are plenty when we join forces with a commitment to improve our infrastructure, incentivize businesses to strengthen our local economy, and increase the housing development necessary to welcome the next generation of Central Iowa leaders.

In Marshalltown, our Main Street is being rebuilt to provide residents with increased local options for shopping, dining, recreation and quality housing. The police department and YSS have captured outside funds to innovate the way they meet the needs of a changing population, and help people access greater social support services. Area nonprofits have partnered well in consideration of city planning to increase the utilization of neighborhoods such as the 13th Street District, and this hard work should be both celebrated and replicated in the years to come.

Our community college and local industries have come together for the adoption of a school to quality career pipeline to ensure that the younger people in our community who wish to find success here all have wonderful opportunities to do so. Access to quality healthcare for an aging population just keeps getting better thanks to private giving and strong volunteerism coming alongside provider commitments that will serve our needs for the generation to come. These are all real-time examples of what teamwork accomplishes in the wake of collective belief. This is not possible because of one group, electorate, or point of view — it takes us all, and we have much more to look forward to.

Our greatest threat continues to be divisiveness, and at its worst, cynical attitudes focused on constraint and in some cases retreat. While we do not all agree on what comes next for our development, being a part of a healthy community means that we all have a role in ensuring we remain a safe, welcoming, and thriving place to call home.

Our city council recently returned to the table with the elected supervisors of Marshall County, and it was a welcomed step to highlight the need for better communication, strengthened partnership, and identify areas for increased support. More conversations will be vital moving forward in the months and years to come.

I am so thankful to be a small part of the positive changes taking place in Central Iowa, to call Marshalltown my home, and am proud of the resilience we have all continued to demonstrate against forces outside of our control. I commit myself to furthering partnerships with both our elected officials as well as our many faithfully committed boots on the ground community leaders. We should all look forward to growing our community in the ways that have always made us strong — one foot in front of the other, all pulling together.


Dex Walker represents the Third Ward

on the Marshalltown city council.


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