Mayor Buol sat in on a panel discussion Sunday that included His Holiness the Dalai Lama and pop singer Lady Gaga. The focus was on kindness and compassion and how some American cities have made it their mantra.
“The city of Anaheim, California, calls itself the City of Kindness and Louisville, Kentucky, is the City of Compassion,” Mayor Buol says. “They spoke very well about what that means for their communities and the changes that it’s made in some of their neighborhoods.”
The Dalai Lama gave the conference’s keynote address on Sunday and he focused on the global significance of building kind and compassionate cities through action at the local level. “When people feel like they’re being treated fairly and kindly, it really makes a difference, especially in young people who need that reaffirmation that they’re important and that people care,” Buol says. “They really spoke very eloquently about how it has affected their communities.”
Buol was asked if the northeast Iowa community of Dubuque has any sort of motto now. “It does not but I intend to take this back to the city council and have that discussion,” Buol says. “We’ve got a couple of best practice examples and they’re proving that it really makes a difference in people’s lives, especially young people.” Nearly 300 of the nation’s mayors are attending the convention in Indianapolis.