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City of Des Moines

The City of Des Moines organization serves the largest city in the state of Iowa. As a municipal government, it employs 1,877 people, including approximately 130 temporary employees. The City of Des Moines is composed of 15 departments providing a range of services for Des Moines residents such as public safety, parks and recreation, housing and beyond. The City of Des Moines’ commitment to policy development and advocacy is evident from the work of their Equitable Services Team.

Policy Development and Advocacy

In 2018, the City of Des Moines established an Equitable Services Team (EST) with representatives from each City department. The team works toward prioritizing equity throughout the entire municipal government organization. EST was charged with sharing best practices from similar organizations and proposing innovative ideas to ensure equity in municipal service delivery. The team collaborated with members from all of the City's departments to form a citywide Equity Action Plan. This strategy was created based on the recommendations to build on nationally demonstrated practices: normalizing the conversation, operationalizing actions and organizing to ensure accountability. In each of the following areas of practice, EST identified steps to take and proposed what can be done in the future to better institutionalize equity in policies, programs and practices.

In addition, the EST plays a pivotal role in implementing the City's new equity initiatives. The equity efforts include five approaches: 1) Prioritize equity across departments, 2) Join the Government Alliance on Race and Equity and offer training and learning opportunities across departments, 3) Identify policies, practices, and areas for change as well as areas for further study and evaluation, 4) Develop an action plan and draft an equity resolution and framework for adoption, and 5) Organize workgroups to focus on designing and implementing research and action pieces of our ongoing efforts.

Contact - Manisha Paudel

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