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Old 10-19-2006, 07:13 AM
 
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Are Iowa City and Cedar Rapids socially liberal, or simply Democratic due to blue collar workers?

What about Iowa as a whole?

What is the business climate in Iowa City and Cedar Rapids? Iowa?

I'm looking for a place to open a used bookstore, and I'm looking for a progressive town in which to live.

I am currently in Ohio, and Iowa seems like a good alternative, when considering most liberal states are on the coasts and are rather expensive living-wise.
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Old 10-19-2006, 08:00 PM
Red
 
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Compared to the small towns in Iowa, Iowa City is more liberal, not just democrat. I would not say that it has the proportion of socially liberal people as some of the nations large cities, but it's more noticable than much of the midwest.

One story a friend of mine told me about 8 years ago about the Iowa City "liberals": at a city meeting of some sort (I believe it was a city counsel meeting but it was a long time ago so I don't remember for sure) one of the citizens stood up and suggested that Iowa City should ban all firearm ownership, starting with the police department. You don't have to be a conservative to disagree with disarming the police force but this person had about 1/2 of the audience on their feet applauding the idea. I'm not a republicrat or a democan, I'm in the middle (like 65-70% of the country even though we are constantly told of the imaginary huge divide between the "red" and "blue" states. I guess Iowa City is just like everywhere else, the vocal minority gets the attention and pandered to by the politicians while the real majority opinion seems to matter less. Anyway, enough of my social rant.

I love a good bookstore, and owning a few businesses in Iowa I would say it is about average as far as business climate. The right store in the right location would probably have a fair chance of success in Iowa City, and it's definitely a more business friendly climate than most of the coastal states on either side of the country. With all of the college students, part time workers should be relatively easy to find. Good luck with whatever you decide!

--Red
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Old 11-11-2006, 08:22 PM
 
11 posts, read 46,059 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimdc58
Are Iowa City and Cedar Rapids socially liberal, or simply Democratic due to blue collar workers?
What about Iowa as a whole?
What is the business climate in Iowa City and Cedar Rapids? Iowa?
I grew up in Iowa City and have to say with the University there I think it tends to be very liberal...over the years it has become more commercialized, but still liberal. The mall that opened up there about 6-7 years ago really killed the downtown ped mall...but you still get a little of the atmosphere. If I were going to put in a book store, I would do it in Iowa City, and put is somewhere in the ped mall or downtown area because of the students and thats where the small specialty shops tend to be. I also would chance to say the Iowa City area is also a more educated area than Cedar Rapids.
Cedar Rapids, while it does have small college, tends to have a lot more blue collar workers (quaker oats, purena, etc factory) and there isn't a good localized area, so you basically have to drive everywhere to get around.
Overall, I think Iowa tends to be more Republican, you know, the good ol' midwest family values...just my two cents...hope this helps and good luck!

Last edited by Marka; 11-13-2006 at 02:48 AM.. Reason: repaired code
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Old 12-03-2006, 03:00 PM
 
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Default Iowa City and Cedar Rapids

I'll go along with the other two posts. Iowa City has long been known as the "Athens of Iowa" which means a lot of intellectuals here. We have a very large number of people with college degrees behind their names. Many are underemployed because they like the community so well they forgo finding a job suitable to their educational ability which likely would be found in a major city. Someone once said that Iowa City is second only to Berkely, CA in terms of the pecentage of population with college degrees. So it definitely is an educated community. There are a number of independent bookstores already in downtown Iowa City. Haunted Bookshop, Iowa Book LLC, Murphy-Brookfield Books, Praire Lights Books. Specialty books include Adult Marketplace, Beat the Bookstore, Health Science Store, Lemstone Christian Stores, Mustardseed Catholic Books, Pleasure Palace. Chain outfits include Barnes & Noble Booksellers and Waldenbooks. Used Books include Bill's Bookmart, Northside Books Used and Rare, and The Book Shop.

So obviously there is a high demand for reading in Iowa City. Except for the used bookstores, the others are all long term establishments. That will give you some idea as to how well the market is doing.

The rest of Iowa? It's changing. Used to be that Iowa City is a cosmopolitan community with a variety of cultures from all the students that come from all over the world to attend the university here. When you leave Iowa City, you go back to good old Iowa Republican politics.

Nowadays it's a bit different. Back in the 1980's many, many Iowa farmers went backrupt. The overall farmer population nationwide dropped quite rapidly as big operators took over. With fewer and fewer farmers in contol of the Iowa Statehouse, the large city democrats began to have greater clout.
So the conservative era has moderated over the years. Iowa sent more Democrats to Congress this last election than it has in a very long time. They're not too liberal of course. But it does give the moderates a greater voice.

So, would you be more successful in Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, Ames, or Waterloo, or Des Moines? I would say you could start in Iowa City and eventually branch out to the other communities to see what the reception would be in the other locations.
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Old 12-10-2006, 02:55 AM
 
15 posts, read 51,190 times
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Default Go to Iowa City

Iowa City is definitely the more liberal city, hands down. You will also find more progressive thinking people there as well.


As far as my thoughts on Iowa as a whole? Let's just say that I'm a very positive speaking person, but having only lived here for just six months, my experience here has given me reason to relocate out of the state. There are too many things to put into detail, but it only took the first two months of living here (we live in Cedar Rapids) to realize that Iowa is not the place for my family and me. There are a few good qualities about living in Iowa, but not enough to have a desire to make a home here. I'm sorry if that sounds discouraging, but as always, be sure to do some research. We did, however, enjoy the time we spent in Des Moines, as well as the Quad Cities areas.

I wish I could tell you a lot about the business climate, other than it seems to be very good. You should do very well with a bookstore in Iowa City.

I hope this helps, and good luck with your decision.
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Old 12-31-2006, 09:02 AM
 
4 posts, read 18,555 times
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Default Is iowa socially Liberal?

I grew up in Cedar Rapids Iowa its a blue collar town although Rockwell has hired alot of white collar Engineers, technicians etc. their recruitment in the South for these types of professionals brought in good quality people some left, and some stayed. As a Iowa Native I would say that if you are looking for socially Liberal it would be Iowa City, Ames, any place that is considered a college town.
My home town Cedar Rapids, Iowa has Coe, Mount Mercy, Kirkwood and a diverse community that probably stayed there because it's affordable.

As far as the Minority be the ones being heard Well duh duh they are the Minority population who speak up to be heard the Majority should do the same instead of whining (not all but some). As Americans we have the right to persue happiness.
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Old 06-26-2008, 01:59 PM
 
16 posts, read 68,648 times
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Default What are the beautiful buildings in Cedar Rapids? And what city in another state does Cedar Rapids remind you of?

Describe Cedar Rapids, please, as if you were someone about to make a movie, and you wanted to convey quickly just what sort of town it was. And I do mean after the floodwaters have subsided when it is not Noah and His Ark...
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Old 06-26-2008, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Boise, Idaho by way of Iowa City, Iowa
310 posts, read 1,192,541 times
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good luck staying afloat in Iowa City with a bookstore, there are literally 12 of them in the downtown area alone.
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Old 06-26-2008, 04:03 PM
 
Location: Chicago
3,340 posts, read 8,959,887 times
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This post was made almost 2 years ago, maybe he owns one of them
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Old 06-26-2008, 08:29 PM
 
2,410 posts, read 5,061,652 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wearynomad View Post
Iowa City is definitely the more liberal city, hands down. You will also find more progressive thinking people there as well.


As far as my thoughts on Iowa as a whole? Let's just say that I'm a very positive speaking person, but having only lived here for just six months, my experience here has given me reason to relocate out of the state. There are too many things to put into detail, but it only took the first two months of living here (we live in Cedar Rapids) to realize that Iowa is not the place for my family and me. There are a few good qualities about living in Iowa, but not enough to have a desire to make a home here. I'm sorry if that sounds discouraging, but as always, be sure to do some research. We did, however, enjoy the time we spent in Des Moines, as well as the Quad Cities areas.

I wish I could tell you a lot about the business climate, other than it seems to be very good. You should do very well with a bookstore in Iowa City.

I hope this helps, and good luck with your decision.
Can you mention a few of things in general that are causing you to look elsewhere to live? It would be helpful to hear from someone who made the decision to relocate and then found out it wasn't what they wanted or expected. Any info is helpful. PM me if you prefer.
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