Saturday, October 11, 2014

Latinos Saving Iowa

Thanks to an old friend, we have had Mexican food in Columbus Junction, Iowa.  It was really good food and we saw some of things this interesting article points out.  I never would have thought it could be put this way, but here it is!

"People who came to work in construction now want to open a business, and they need more information," he says in his insurance office on East Grand Avenue, a few blocks from the State Capitol. "I use my resources to invest in the community."

The community has revitalized many of the neighborhoods in the east and south parts of Des Moines through purchasing and rehabilitating homes, and launching small businesses along Southeast 14th Street, East Grand Avenue, Indianola Avenue, and Army Post Road. Many Latino newcomers moved into areas already abandoned by white residents.

They took over empty commercial shops and buildings, spared bankers who were trying to sell those buildings, and opened supermarkets, restaurants, and clothing stores where Latinos could go and speak their native tongue. It's not too different from what's happening in the rest of the state.

In many ways, Latinos saved Iowa. For years, young people left small towns to find education and employment opportunities in bigger cities. As the remaining residents of those small towns aged, tax bases deteriorated and infrastructures crumbled. Add the farm crisis of the 1980s, and the death of Small Town Iowa seemed imminent. That is, until the Latino revolution hit the state.

Latinos moved to these small towns for jobs in manufacturing or meatpacking plants. They stayed to raise families, open small businesses, and become part of the community. Now there are places like West Liberty (pop. 3,730) that are majority Latino, and other small towns like Columbus Junction, Denison, and Storm Lake that are approaching that 50-percent mark.

Have any of you readers noticed what this article points out?

It sounds like an interesting discussion to me.

Ed Winkle


  1. Hard working, bill paying, law abiding, clean living immigrants are always welcome. The Cubans in south Florida, that I know, are some of the finest people you would ever want to meet. Have Mexican friends and tenants who want nothing but to work hard and make a good life for their families. Know not the case for all but look around not all American citizens are class acts. Judge everyone by the content of their character. Society should stand up against those who are not positive contributors to our society no matter where they are from or what their race. Support those who make our society better demand others "shape up or ship out". We can not afford the deadbeats who only want to take from those of us who work.

  2. I remember seeing many an article on how the immigrants into Kalifornia had helped the economy there...blah blah blah. Now those same immigrants have completely changed the politics, financially ruined the state because of it and a large percentage of them clamor for their own independence or even becoming part of Mexico. I also cannot help but wonder if young rural American citizens were offered some of the benefits and ease of opportunity/financial assistance for small business by the government, rather than just more regulation, they might be more eager to become entrepreneurs themselves.

    It's easy to immigrate and work hard when the entire family is provided for above what you get for your hard work.

  3. I am thankful too for the hard working, tax paying, English learning immigrants.

    Otherwise, you are a burden to our society.

    Thank you both for your comments.

    Ed Winkle

  4. Well said. Unfortunately many of our youth believe they will grow to become video game programmers, professional athletes or rock stars; the American suburbs are full of 'help wanted' signs. Only the Latinos apply or want to work. Success starts at the bottom rung. The children and grandchildren of this recent influx of immigrants are the ones who will save this country.