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For Immediate Release  • June 13, 2006 |  Staff Contact: City Manager's Office • (303) 651-8601
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Longmont Wins "All-America City" Award

Longmont is an All-America City.

The City of Longmont, Colorado was awarded the national designation of “All-America City ” by the National Civic League at its annual award presentation in Anaheim, California on Sunday evening, June 11, 2006. Longmont is one of only ten cities nationwide to receive this prestigious award.

 

The award recognizes Longmont for identifying its most challenging issues and working collaboratively with the community to create innovative and effective strategies for problem-solving. The AAC designation also encourages other cities from around the country to use Longmont as a role model in dealing with similar issues.

“It is an extraordinary honor to have been named an All-America City,” Longmont Mayor Julia Pirnack said. “I commend each member of the community who has participated in bettering our community. The NCL recognition honors the efforts of all of us – community members and their civil servants.”

The All-America City (AAC) Award program is the nation's oldest community recognition effort. Founded in 1949 by then National Civic League (NCL) board chair George Gallup Sr., the AAC Award recognizes communities of all size – including neighborhoods, towns, cities, counties and regions – who have made major progress in meeting their most important needs.

“These All-America Cities symbolize the best of our nation – the ability of citizens, government, businesses and nonprofit organizations to come together, effectively address their issues and produce tangible results,” said Christopher T. Gates, president of the National Civic League. “The accomplishments of these 10 All-America Cities serve as an inspiration to communities across the United States that are facing similar issues.

The All-America Cities competition was held June 9-11, 2006 in Anaheim with 34 cities competing from across the country. Longmont sent a delegation of 37 staff and community members to make the official presentation and to answer questions. The jury from the All-America Cities competition judged Longmont on three specific initiatives:

•  The Longmont Housing Opportunities Team (LHOT), which is working to end homelessness;

•  The Strategic Multicultural Plan, which is designed to guide the community over a five-year period in becoming a more multicultural, inclusive community; and

•  The Gang Response and Intervention Program (GRIP), which is a program designed to provide education, early intervention and alternatives to gang membership in our community's youth.

“While our residents and neighboring cities recognize these innovative programs, now Longmont is being recognized on a national level,” Mayor Pirnack said.

The award is named “All-America” to showcase problem solving and solutions in communities rather than “All-American,” which might simply demonstrate patriotism and appearance.

According to NCL, the All-America City Award application is purposely arduous to ensure only the most deserving of communities apply and are selected. Each year, only a small percentage (roughly 5%) of those that begin the application process decide in the end that they have substance to meet the AAC criteria and have the drive to be named an All-America City.

This year, nearly 600 communities downloaded the 2006 All-America Award application. Over seventy communities then participated in online briefings for potential applicants. Fifty communities committed to submitting an application for 2006 and then 36 communities actually completed the application process.

"The applications we received this year were as strong as we've seen in some time, and we felt it was important that all those who were deserving be sent to the next level for review by the AAC Jury," said Tom Flynn, chair of the AAC Screening Committee. While the AAC Screening Committee has named 30 communities as finalists in recent years, the Screening Committee has always had the option to name fewer or more finalists at their discretion.

This year's Finalist communities were from across the country from Washington state to Florida and southern California to Maine. The total population represented by the Finalists communities is 3,598,775 with Braselton, Georgia being the smallest community with a population of 1,206 and Columbus, Ohio being the largest with a population of 728,432.

 

The National Civic League is headquartered in Denver.