The fifth week of HuffPost’s Listen To America road trip took us to Des Moines, Iowa.
Iowa plays an important role in the United States’ political process: It’s where the first caucuses of the presidential primary cycle take place, and many candidates set up campaign offices in the capital city of Des Moines.
But despite that very American tradition, Des Moines gets its name from a French phrase. It’s named after the Des Moines River ― which had the French colonial name of Rivière des Moines, or “River of the Monks.”
After the HuffPost bus cruised past the glittering gold dome of the Iowa state Capitol building and staff members admired the art in Pappajohn Sculpture Park, we set up shop to talk to locals in the parking lot of Urban Dreams, a company that provides human service programs to people in the area.
We also held a panel in Drake University’s Sussman Theater to discuss inequality in the city ― including how it pertains to income, wealth, health, housing, education and the environment. The event flipped the script of a traditional panel: The panelists were Des Moines community members, and the audience was made up of the city’s leaders and elected officials. You can watch the whole thing here.
Check out the photos below for more on our stop in Iowa: