Longtime Mayor of Dubuque named All-America Leader

Congratulations Former Mayor Roy Buol of Dubuque, Iowa, one of two 2022 All-America Leaders!

Launched in 2022, the All-America Leader Award was created to celebrate the work of civically engaged community members. The award recognizes individuals who have successfully spearheaded civic engagement efforts in their community. The award supports the idea that anyone can be a difference maker in their community, whether it be an engaged resident, a business or faith leader, or an elected official.

During his 10 years on the Dubuque City Council and 16 years as mayor, Roy Buol spearheaded Dubuque’s transformation from a city struggling to recover from economic devastation in the 1980s, to a thriving, progressive community known for its innovative and collaborative approach to sustainability, resiliency, and equity. As one of his first initiatives, Roy added to the city’s human rights ordinance protection for sexual orientation. During his tenure, the city made progress towards its equity goals by requiring intercultural competency training for staff and partners; hired one of the first Community Engagement Coordinators in the United States; and was a leader in launching Inclusive Dubuque, a network of over 60 organizations committed to creating an informed and equitable community where all people are respected, valued, and engaged.

Public/private partnerships became the hallmark of Roy’s approach to problem-solving, and nowhere was that more apparent than in his leadership of sustainability and resiliency efforts. In 2005, he ran on a platform of “engaging citizens as partners” and what he heard from citizens was a consistent theme surrounding water quality, green space, public transit, cultural vitality, accessibility, and downtown revitalization. The Council-adopted Sustainable Dubuque initiative was created under the leadership of a 30-member, diverse task force appointed by the mayor, and engaged all residents, businesses, schools and non-profits in creating a community that balanced environmental integrity, economic prosperity, and social/cultural vibrancy.

Buol inspired others to get involved by leading by example, serving on non-profit boards to engage the entire community in addressing local challenges, and making time for every Dubuque resident at community events.

Mayor Buol’s inclusive and pioneering leadership is perhaps best epitomized by Dubuque’s recognition as an All-America City an unprecedented five time in twelve years, each coming during his tenure which spanned from 2006 to 2021.

Buol had this to say about his time serving the City of Dubuque, “Serving as mayor and city council member for the city that gave so much to me and my family was a tremendous privilege. I am thankful for the experience to bring together citizens and partner organizations, here and beyond, to define a sustainable path forward and turn meaningful ideas into reality. It is a true honor to be an inaugural recipient of the AAC Leader Award.”

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