Driving Around Downtown Iowa City

14 Most Liberal Cities in Iowa in 2023

Most Liberal Cities in Iowa

The state of Iowa is known as a political bellwether and has a range of cities that offer different levels of political leaning. Though the state bears its reputation for having roots in agriculture and Midwestern values, it also has a number of cities that lean liberal. Whether you are a home-owner or renting, if you’re looking for a liberal community in Iowa, this article will guide you.

We’ll dive into the 14 most liberal cities in Iowa with their aspects on voting history, social policies and community activism. So, let’s start our countdown to the 14th most liberal city in Iowa and move towards number one.

There’s also a similar article on the most blue cities in Idaho.

14. Clinton

Eagle Point Park Clinton

Clinton, situated on the Mississippi River, has been undergoing a transformation of its conservative policies through the years and more recently. The city hosts a fast-increasing younger population that has influenced politics at the local level and social policy.

For instance, Clinton developed programs for environmental conservation such as community-based recycling efforts. If you are looking to invest in a city that is undergoing political changeover, then this might just be your place to consider.

13. Muscatine

The other city on the Mississippi River, Muscatine, has progressive activism in its history. The city has been ahead of times when it comes to dealing with social welfare like affordable housing and public transportation.

For example, Muscatine enacts policies that encourage low-income housing units; thus, renters find it easy to get budget-friendly options. This concern for social welfare makes Muscatine an attractive prospect for people who are into progressive values.

12. Marshalltown

Marshalltown Iowa

The presence of community colleges in Marshalltown has contributed to the liberalization of the area. It was one of the pioneers in LGBTQ+ rights and still has many organisations dealing with social justice causes.

A city like no other, it boasts places such as Community centers that offer help and support to those within the LGBTQ+ community. If you are searching for a location with a strong sense of social responsibility, this is your best option.

11. Newton

Newton lies in Jasper County, and it has experienced a great transformation of its demographics where it now becomes increasingly multicultural and liberal. The city has actively been involved in promoting diversity and inclusion by diverse events as well as community education programs. 

For instance, the city holds cultural festivals to celebrate diversities of the residents. If you would like a serene place but with great diversity values then Newton should be your next home.

10. Ottumwa

Ottumwa is a city that is very dedicated to social welfare programs, including food banks and shelters for its underprivileged residents. Students from low-income families can benefit from the well-funded public school systems and their free meal programs within the city.

This focus carried by the city towards social welfare makes it an attractive option for those who need community support and public services. Ottumwa is one of the most blue cities in Iowa.

9. Burlington

Burlington downtown

Burlington is a liberal stronghold along the Mississippi River, particularly in the realms of education and local government. The city boasts an excellent public school system and encourages involvement of the community in governance.

To this end, residents regularly meet at a town hall to discuss issues affecting the constituency. This openness in governance appeals to homeowners seeking for an interaction with their leaders as well as educational excellence.

8. Dubuque

Dubuque is another Mississippi River city and a fairly liberal place, especially regarding issues like environmental and community well-being. There are lots of community gardens in the city, and policies have been implemented to encourage public transit usage as well.

You can see multiple bus routes and bike lanes, which help reduce car usage. If you’re a homeowner who cares about the environment, Dubuque will present an attractive option, and is definitely one of the most liberal cities in Iowa.

7. Davenport

Davenport Iowa

Davenport is along the Mississippi River in the Quad Cities and is very progressive-minded with great attention paid to renewable energy and sustainability. The city maintains a number of Electric Vehicle charging stations, and its building code encourages the use of renewable energy.

For instance, residents can get tax incentives for setting up solar panels on their residences. If you are an environmentalist and technophile looking for cities to visit, Davenport should be near the top of your list of the most liberal cities in Iowa.

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6. Cedar Falls

The city of Cedar Falls, with the University of Northern Iowa as its home, is quite liberal in its policies especially concerning health care and social services. There are a lot of clinics within this community that offer low cost or even free medical services. This is attractive for those who value accessibility to their medical care. A great example would be the community health centre in Cedar Falls which offers all types of dental work as well as mental health support.

If you want to see exactly how valuable accessibility can be to a homeowner’s healthcare options, look no further than Cedar Falls. 

5. Coralville

Coralville Iowa

Coralville is near Iowa City and thus has a mixed population that consists of many academics and activists. This leads the political situation to be liberal regarding social justice and equality. For those who want to live in a place where community activism thrives, there is plenty of space for involvement in Coralville.

One example is that there are plenty of non-profit organisations in Coralville dealing with every issue, like homelessness or LGBTQ+ rights. If you are a homeowner looking for a city with a robust sense of community activism, Coralville is a great option.

4. Ames

Ames, where Iowa State University is located, already has a venerable reputation for being liberal. Environmental sustainability is nothing new to this progressive city. It even harbors several bike paths and green spaces within the park system.

The public transportation system includes buses meant to lessen the carbon footprint of the city as a whole. Homeowners looking for both progressive and sustainable communities need look no further than what Ames has to offer.

3. West Des Moines

West Des Moines Iowa

West Des Moines is a place that has recently come to the forefront for its liberal-leaning attitudes. It participates in community engagement with many neighborhood associations and events. There is an event called “First Friday” where local businesses as well as artists showcase their work.

If you are a homeowner looking for the best of both worlds: sense of community as well as progressive values, then look into West Des Moines.

2. Des Moines

Des Moines is lauded for its vibrant arts scene and progressive politics. The city was the pioneer with regard to environmental sustainability – many initiatives have been taken by the city so as to reduce its carbon footprint, including an extensive bike lane network and encouragement for using electric vehicles.

If you are looking for that one place in Iowa that epitomizes liberal values, then Des Moines almost takes the cake.

1. Iowa City – Most Liberal City in Iowa!Iowa City downtown

Iowa City is definitely the most liberal city in the state because diversity and social justice are part and parcel of the community fabric. This city is also home to the University of Iowa, a place where people get involved in politics.

Iowa City has always been in the forefront of championing the rights of LGBTQ+ and was among the first cities in the state to pass comprehensive non-discrimination ordinances. Prospective buyers or renters in Iowa looking for the most progressive community in the state need not look further but fall in love with this city.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re a homeowner or just a renter, Iowa presents a range of cities that align with liberal values. From bustling urban centers such as Des Moines to smaller communities like West Des Moines, there’s a place for everybody who values progressive ideals.

Each city on this list offers its own set of advantages, making it easier for you to find a community that aligns with your personal and political preferences. For more information regarding the most liberal cities in Utah check our article here.

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