2019 All-America City Award Winners
Create Healthy Communities
Since 1949, the National Civic League has recognized and celebrated the best in American civic innovation with the prestigious All-America City Award. This year, 10 communities showed how a determined local government can tackle tough issues and create real change.
Denver – June 23, 2019 – Earlier today, the National Civic League announced the winners of the 2019 All-America City Award (AAC). Each of the winning communities demonstrated civic engagement practices that are inspirational, inclusive and promising in their ability to unite members of the community to collectively and collaboratively help solve our country’s most pressing and complex issues. This year's winners focused specifically on creating healthy communities through inclusive civic engagement.

The AAC finalists each provided a community presentation to the awards jury panel on June 22 and 23, which then selected the winners. Community presentations included skits, music, spoken word, dancing and heartfelt stories to bring their projects and communities to life. Projects highlighted by the communities range from addressing health disparities through community driven organizations, to meaningfully engaging residents in finding solutions to issues such as nutrition and obesity, substance abuse, environmental sustainability, and disease prevention.

The winning communities are:

Battle Creek, Michigan —addresses community needs by developing programs such as: Operation Fit to combat childhood obesity; CIT program to train officers on mental health; and the School Behavioral Health Collaborative, which supports the social and emotional well-being of children.

Cornelius, Oregon —responded to changing demographics by bringing residents together to: enhance economic development through a comprehensive downtown redevelopment plan; construct a new library and learning center; and reform its police department.

Dubuque, Iowa —strives to be a resilient, equitable community of choice. It does so through several health initiatives designed to give health care to all; the Bee Branch Watershed Flood Mitigation Project; and Dubuque Eats Well—a series of healthy food initiatives.

Gothenburg, Nebraska —places the needs of the community first, which has resulted in: a new YMCA recreational facility; food access initiatives for low-income residents, children and seniors; and the Gothenburg Early Childhood Learning Coalition.

Lancaster, Texas —uses civic engagement and robust communications to address community health concerns through: the development of new and improvement of existing parks; a community health challenge with runs, walks and health fairs; and a robust workplace wellness program.

Mission, Texas —brings its diverse populace together by offering: a free tennis program to low-income residents and the visually impaired; economic empowerment projects that offer training, grants and internships; and a food and service center for people living in poverty.

Rancho Cordova, California —helps residents Eat.Stay.Love. through: Soil Born Farms—turns urban residents into farmers and teaches good nutrition; a mentorship and community service program for at-risk youth; and Mather Veterans Village—a housing community for homeless veterans.

Rock Hill, South Carolina —gets the entire community involved through: Impact York County—a coalition that collaborates to maximize the effectiveness of county-wide health interventions; Miracle Park—a park designed for people with special needs; and Knowledge Park—a downtown revitalization action plan.

West Hollywood, California —embraces the marginalized. The Russian speaking population is engaged through an advisory board & cultural events; One City One Pride Festival offers cultural & social activities celebrating the LGBTQ community; & the homeless population is provided housing, health care & economic empowerment services.

Wichita, Kansas —is dedicated to improving residents’ lives. The police department made reforms in response to criticism; The Food Policy Committee increases access to healthy foods and encourages healthy eating; and League 42 introduces inner-city youth to baseball and mentorships.

“Congratulations to all winning communities and finalists!” said Doug Linkhart, president of National Civic League. “Each winner leveraged civic engagement, inclusiveness and innovation to successfully address challenges facing their communities. These communities serve as examples to others facing similar issues and provide hope that collaboration among community leaders, elected officials and concerned residents will help communities of all sizes tackle complex issues.”

You can learn more about all of the cities and their projects at the National Civic League website . ( ) Photos of all programs and presentations can be found at: .

We are thrilled to announce the All-America City Awards 2020 theme - Enhancing Health and Well-Being Through Civic Engagement. The application is now available at the National Civic League website .

The National Civic League advances inclusive civic engagement through our community assistance programs, including tools, trainings and facilitation services, our award and recognition programs, and nationally recognized research and publications. We promote efforts that seek to listen to, and to learn from residents in ongoing conversations and leverage those insights to help reshape communities so they will thrive. 

The All-America City Award is made possible through the support of Southwest Airlines, the official airline sponsor, Kaiser Permanente, national health partner, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, CGI Communications, Delta Dental, Colorado Health Foundation, Well Being Trust, ICMA-RC, U.S. Census Bureau, Comcast and Greenberg Traurig.