In late June I was a member of a presentation team that made the bid for the city of Lakewood at the National Civic League’s All American City Award conference. The National Civic League http://www.nationalcivicleague.org/, has been inspiring excellence in cities nationally since 1893.
From the National Civic League’s website: Since 1949, the National Civic League has recognized and celebrated the best in American civic innovation with the prestigious All-America City Award. The Award, bestowed yearly on 10 communities (more than 500 in all), shines a spotlight on trail-blazing efforts to bring all aspects of the community together to tackle the most pressing local issues. Teams of residents; nonprofit, business, and government leaders; and young people from communities across the country come together for 3 days. At AAC these teams connect and share insights with peers, learn from national thought-leaders, and present the story of their work to a jury of nationally recognized civic leaders. It is a transformational experience – one that equips, inspires and supports leaders and communities to achieve more than they ever believed possible.
Lakewood’s All American City presentation story featured three neighborhoods that were transformed as schools, churches, non-profits, city government, local businesses and neighborhood association leaders worked together to serve children. In Lakewood’s presentation at the conference we describe how a bridge was built to make a way for the “have not’s” to cross over and enjoy the benefits of the “have’s” in our community. It is a big deal when everyone comes together to make something like this happen!
The award inspires civic pride, makes business moves attractive, inspires collaboration and partnership across organizational boundaries and links together the most important cultural transformation forces known in America today.
To watch the Lakewood 10 minute presentation: http://www.lakewood.org/AAC/
An article about the meaning of the award is also available on the city newsletter: http://www.lakewood.org/uploadedFiles/Departments/City_Managers_Office/Communications/Looking_at_Lakewood/Issues/2016/Documents/LAL2016-07.pdf