For Immediate Release
2008 All-America City Award Winners Announced!
Denver, Colorado—The National Civic League announced the winners of the prestigious All-America City award during a June 6 celebration at the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel. The ten winners in 2008 (in alphabetical order by state) are:
New Haven, Connecticut
Kissimmee-Osceola County, Florida
St. Louis Region (Missouri-Illinois)
Lenoir, North Carolina
Reidsville, North Carolina
In its 59th year, the awards program recognizes neighborhoods, villages, towns, cities, counties and metro regions for outstanding civic accomplishments. To win, communities have to demonstrate their ability to address serious challenges with innovative, grassroots strategies that promote civic engagement and cooperation between the public, private and nonprofit sectors.
“These communities really give us hope,” said National Civic League President Gloria Rubio-Cortés, “because they show others what can happen when people roll up their sleeves and work together.”
The All-America City Award is an honor achieved by more than 500 communities across the country. Some have won the award multiple times. This year’s winners addressed such pressing and topical issues as healthcare for the uninsured, housing for seniors, immigration, education and economic development.
Founded in 1894, the National Civic League (NCL) is America's original advocate for good government and community democracy. Originally known as the National Municipal League, it is a non-profit, non-partisan, membership organization dedicated to strengthening citizen democracy. NCL fosters innovative community building, political reform, effective governance and collaborative problem-solving efforts through technical assistance, training, publishing, research and its awards programs.
This year's AAC Awards were sponsored in part by Jones Day, Prudential, Wachovia Corporation, ICMA Retirement Corporation, RBC Capital Markets, MWH, Southwest Airlines (The Official Airline of the AAC Awards), Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel and Marina (The Sole Official Headquarters Hotel of the AAC Awards), and Marriott International.
Hundreds of civic leaders and community activists from across the country met in Tampa for the three-day awards competition from June 4-6. To win, each community had to make a presentation to a jury of civic experts from the public, private and nonprofit sectors listing three outstanding examples of collaborative, community problem solving.
The benefits of the award include heightened national attention, civic pride, and a proven economic impact. The rigorous application process serves as a valuable civic self-assessment and can make communities stronger.
For more information contact Mike McGrath at the National Civic League at 303 571-4343 (or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org).
Listed below are select examples of some of the award winning community projects:
Lacking higher education institutions in the city, local officials and community leaders approached several out of state colleges and universities to see if they would be willing to locate in Goodyear. Answering “yes” to this request for proposals were Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire and University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas.
Community leaders addressed the shortage of low income housing for seniors by offering congregate care apartments on a local college campus. Services provided at the “Avalon” apartments at Cerritos College include three daily meals and snacks, weekly housekeeping, an extensive activities program, 24-hour responsive staff and an in-room emergency response system.
Facing major military base closures, Aurora created a redevelopment authority to find a new use for the former Fitzsimons Army Medical Center. The University of Colorado Health Sciences Center was looking for a site in which to relocate. The convergence of these two events resulted in the redevelopment of Fitzsimons as a world-class hub of health care and research, anchored by a major research university and an affiliated bioscience and biotechnology research park.
New Haven, Connecticut
Not willing to wait for the federal government to address immigration reform, the city of New Haven began issuing the Elm City Resident Card in the summer of 2007. The card can be used in local libraries and serves as a debit card for city parking meters, stores and the public beach. Use of the cards has increased interaction between immigrants and other city dwellers and local police, decreasing crime and social isolation.
Kissimmee/ Osceola County, Florida
The Mobile Medical Express is a 205 square foot bus that travels to under-served areas and provides primary and chronic healthcare to uninsured and underinsured patients… free-of-charge. The bus is equipped with a waiting area, nurse station, caseworker room, and an exam room. A nurse practitioner, licensed practical nurse, case manager, chronic care assistant manager and driver operate the vehicle full time. Physicians volunteer and play a vital role in supporting the specialty care needs as well as the primary care needs of Kissimmee, Osceola County’s uninsured and under-insured.
Gladstone Neighborhood Revitalization is more than a mere “program.” It is a process designed to involve citizens, non-profits and businesses in organizing a neighborhood into an association complete with neighborhood leaders. The process includes providing citizen-driven, need based training for the citizens in conflict resolution, leadership, meeting management, property maintenance codes, and available neighborhood resources for assistance.
St. Louis, Missouri/Illinois Region
The St. Louis River Ring is a unique 600-mile web of 45 greenway biking trails that will encircle the St. Louis region along the natural flow of the area’s rivers and streams. Conceived in the 1990s, the project didn’t gain real traction until 2003 when a citizen-created entity, the Great Rivers Greenway District, began implementing an ambitious, grassroots-driven regional plan. Excitement at the neighborhood level grew, spurring dozens of creative regional, state, and national partnerships that are making the River Ring a reality. Because it touches the jurisdictions of over 100 regional municipalities, plus state and national jurisdictions, it is a case study in successful collaboration.
Lenoir, North Carolina
The Caldwell Health Access Program (CHAP) is a partnership between the Helping Hands Clinic, Caldwell County Health Department, Caldwell Memorial Hospital, as well as private physician offices and retail pharmacies. CHAP was created as a cooperative, countywide system of health care for the uninsured.
Reidsville, North Carolina
The Free Clinic of Rockingham County is a nonprofit organization that opened to server a target population of working, uninsured individuals to Reidsville citizens. The clinic strives to meet the basic medical, dental, and pharmacy needs of the working poor. The clinic serves as the primary healthcare provider for the patient population, provides dental services, a medication assistance program, chronic disease monitoring, and GYN services.
Akron, Ohio is the only place in the United States where every public school building is being constructed as a “Community Learning Center.” In the late 1990’s, the state of Ohio began an enormous rebuilding project of all public schools in the state, beginning with the urban districts. Akron’s Mayor Plusquellic saw an additional opportunity for community-based groups like the Urban League, the YMCA, and others to join the project as community partners and save capital dollars for new buildings they wanted to build on their own.