The Project Better Together Vision (Draft)

In Johnson County, we work together to foster an inclusive, equitable, and sustainable community with strong connections. Our county is recognized as a place where education, housing, employment, transportation, arts and culture, and social services are valued and readily available to all residents. Everyone across the county supports and embraces the diversity of their neighbors’ backgrounds, beliefs, values, and traditions without judgement or bias.

We are working to get the Vision translated into several languages. You can find them below:


Education and Childcare
  • The leaders of Johnson County ensure funding for education is a priority with the State Government and there is a culture of lifelong learning and growth throughout Johnson County.
  • Johnson County leads the nation in access to affordable, high-quality child care and early education. Our young people are well-cared for and ready for a life of joy and learning.
  • Johnson County schools are well funded and provide equitable, safe, and individualized learning environments. Our schools are widely recognized as models for teaching to the whole child. Students are seen and heard for who they are and allowed to explore their passions; challenged to understand difficult topics; and through experiences, mentorship and guidance learn to be strong, healthy humans who understand and value differences and seek to improve themselves and their communities. Students have access to the right technologies, resources and opportunities to excel in their personal and civic lives with real world experiences to help them in their chosen career and educational paths.
  • Our schools seek, develop, and retain excellent BIPOC and immigrant educators and administrators.
  • Before and after school programming and activities are varied, robust, affordable and accessible to all.
  • Our primary and secondary schools partner with the University of Iowa and other educational organizations to pioneer better methods for assessment and evaluation that focus on improved learning and individualized growth.
  • The University of Iowa and Kirkwood Community College collaborate to make higher education affordable and accessible to all students and are the priority choice for local students. The institutions offer rich programming with strong community and business connections to build experience and networking. Offerings are flexible and modularized to create a balanced continuum of learning throughout the career and life of the learner. There is a targeted investment in programs fostering discovery and best preparing students to thrive in a fast-changing future.
  • Johnson County is a model for equity and equality in terms of housing and basic needs. All residents in Johnson County are provided opportunities to be self-sufficient, safe, and healthy. The county is a place where justice is valued and a wide variety of innovative solutions to create real, long-term change are utilized. The public and private sectors have aligned to provide a network of support that is not duplicative and is constantly evolving and improving.
  • This is a place where everyone is empowered to improve their lives to live independently; a place where wealth is built and reinvested in sustainable ways. New policies around zoning, reinvestment and inclusive neighborhoods are the model used countywide.
  • Johnson County has a consolidated and coordinated public transportation system that is affordable and sustainable. Innovative mixes of trails, parking options and continued investment in highly utilized roads and bridges allow people of all incomes, ages and abilities to move easily throughout the county. Transportation runs on the cleanest energy possible.
Communication and Readiness
  • The community supports meaningful engagement in local government. Through new technologies and in-person opportunities, the public weighs in on issues in real time and participates in open, transparent dialogue with elected officials. Residents have access to high-speed, wireless Internet community-wide to help ensure connectedness. Our county uses a community-based approach to emergency preparedness in order to be a safe and resilient space for all residents.

Economy and Workforce
  • Johnson County has a strong, equitable local economy and workforce. Each person has opportunities to identify their interests and assets, and freely and openly can receive support to  develop those assets without judgement or bias.
  • Our employers and incumbent workers lead the nation in investing in growth and upskilling. Adult learners have access to a robust assortment of training programs through non-profits, Kirkwood Community College, online resources, and existing technologies such as the city cable channels. Language and cultural competency, financial literacy, health and well-being, parenting and civics programming are widely available along with vocation specific trainings.
  • We have a spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship with the best programs to develop, fund and grow businesses. Johnson County is a national leader in the number of new businesses started and sustained and many of those are by BIPOC and immigrants.
  • Residents take pride in supporting local business and strive to keep our resources circulating here.
  • Our population and economy grow sustainably. Our business community is a catalyst for promoting and strengthening diversity, equity and inclusion at all levels, allowing us to attract and retain talent from across the nation and globe while we generate higher wages and wealth creation used to reinvest in our communities.
Social and Mental Health
  • Johnson County and its residents are the model for healthy living, and the area is recognized as one of the new “Blue Zones.” There is an abundance of activities to enhance physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. Our health care providers are recognized nationally for their innovative ways for preventing and treating illness and injury and there is an overall pride in how our residents choose health in abundance.
Arts and Culture
  • Johnson County is renowned nationally as a hub for the creative arts and through the creation and sharing of artistic expression, truly earning its moniker: “The Greatest Small City for the Arts.” Residents are regularly exposed to a wide variety of high quality, accessible public art, cultural, and recreational programming.

Join the Team

Do you have an idea that can improve how we do things as a community? Are you willing to pitch in and make that idea come to life? If so, we want you on our team! Fill out your name, email, and let us know how you’d like to get involved. We’ll be in touch soon.

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