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The National Civic League’s 2015
All-America City Awards
• Who is NCL and what is AAC?
• Why apply? The benefits of AAC
• What people are saying about AAC
• Keeping costs low!
• Completing the Application
• Keys to Success
• Additional Support Materials
• Questions
National Civic League
The National Civic League (NCL) is a national, nonprofit,
nonpartisan organization whose mission is to strengthen
democracy by increasing the capacity of our nation’s people
to fully participate in and build healthy and prosperous
communities across America.
• Government and Governance
• Civic Engagement
• Civic Recognition Awards
The 2015 All-America City Award
Recognizing Community Achievement for
66 Years (1949 – 2015)
Spotlight on engaging and supporting vulnerable
boys and young men
Does Your Community
Have What it Takes?
The All-America City Award recognizes
exemplary grassroots community problemsolving and is given to communities that
cooperatively tackle challenges and achieve
A community that teaches the rest of us how to
face difficult situations and to meet those
challenges in innovative and collaborative ways
can become an All-America City.
Why Apply?
The Benefits of Being an
All-America City
Individuals and
businesses looking to
relocate seek out
AAC Winners and
Finalists, recognizing
that they are good
places in which to
live and work.
Cynthia Steinhauser, Assistant City Manager
of Dubuque, Iowa, a 2007, 2012 & 2013
All-America City, says that the AllAmerica City Award “helped us land a
BIG project in the midst of major
economic recession in 2009/2010. IBM
located their first data center in 10-15
years in downtown Dubuque and
created 1300 new jobs with an annual
payroll of 58 million! We feel truly
Economic Benefits
*New Business
*New Residents
Examples: Dubuque, Iowa & Carrollton, Missouri
Community Pride
• The Award
reinvigorates a
community's sense of
civic pride. People
are proud to live in an
All-America City and
they work hard to live
up to the name.
Community Collaboration
The application process
itself presents a unique
opportunity for
communities to identify
their assets, challenges,
and foster new
community partnerships
that last for years beyond
the AAC event.
Brownsville, TX 2014 AAC
Additional Benefits
• National opportunity to
tell your community’s
• You become part of a
national exchange
network to share best
practices before, during,
and after the AAC event
in Denver in June.
What People Are Saying About AAC
“All-America City was truly the most rewarding thing I
have ever done in my professional life. I honestly believe, I
feel it in my heart, that I left a different person from the
person that arrived…carrying a fire back to my
community…to bring people together civilly, civically,
humbly.” Miguel S. Seco, Governmental Affairs Manager,
City of North Miami
What People Are Saying About AAC
“We were told that this would be life changing - and it IS! I
have a renewed sense of urgency as I return to my work in
addressing challenges in our community … that involves the
community, includes diversity, etc. etc. I understand why
individuals and communities come back to the competition
again and again.”
“This was an experience of a life time. I would highly
recommend this to any city in America. What a way to learn
how to serve, celebrate those who do serve, and want to own
a piece of their community.”
2013 participants
Keeping Costs Low!
• Application fee: $200 (Save $100 on your application fee
when you submit a Letter of Intent to Apply by November
2014- date coming soon)
• Registration fees at AAC competition: $100 per person
в€’ includes everything: jury presentations, workshops and 3
в€’ average delegation size: 26
в€’ 4 free registrations per community
• Travel costs: transportation, hotel, meals, etc. (Note: AAC
2015 will be held in Denver, CO – a great family vacation
Applying for the
All-America City Award
• September 2014-February 2015: Monthly conference
• November 25, 2014: Submit Letter of Intent to Apply
(Save $100 on your application fee when you submit a Letter
of Intent to Apply by November 25, 2014)
• March 10, 2015: Submit Application
• April 2015: Finalists Announced. Finalist community
delegations will be invited to Denver to present.
• June 2015: Peer-Learning Workshops & Awards
Presentation/Competition in Denver, Colorado
AAC Criteria
• Civic Engagement and Collaboration: participation of
the public, private and nonprofit sectors and key
constituencies to the maximum extent possible and
cooperation across jurisdictional boundaries
• Diversity/Inclusiveness: recognition and involvement of
diverse segments and perspectives (ethnic, racial, socioeconomic, age, etc.) in community decision-making
AAC Criteria Continued…
• Innovation: creative use and leveraging of
community resources
• Impact: significant and specific community
achievements, projects that address the
community’s most important needs, and clear
demonstration of project results and impacts
(dollars raised or lives impacted)
AAC Criteria Continued…
• Three projects which have improved the
community significantly within the last five
years, and have potential to continue improving
the quality of life
• At least one project should present an initiative
to engage and support vulnerable boys and
young men
The Selection Process
• Application submitted by March 10, 2015:
(electronic and one printed copy)
• Twenty finalists announced in April 2015:
invited to Denver to present to national jury.
• Ten winners chosen based on application and
presentation at the conclusion of June 2015 PeerLearning Workshops & Awards
Presentation/Competition in Denver, Colorado
The Application
The Major Components
of the Application
• Community & contact information
• Your community’s story and challenges
• Three locally-driven projects
Community Information
• Community Name - what do you wish to
be called?
• Community Application Designation neighborhood, town, tribe, city, county, or
Community Information - cont.
• Contact Information - who is your
primary contact for on-going
• Community Statistics - the facts that help
describe your community
• State Map – showing the location of your
community (simple, 8.5”x11”)
Part I: Tell your community’s story
• This section is an
opportunity for your
community to
demonstrate how you
have engaged in the
process of becoming a
strong, healthy and
vibrant community!
Tell us your story, continued…
• How does your community address its challenges?
• How does your community plan for the future? What is
your community’s vision?
• How are the neighborhoods, government, businesses, and
nonprofits organizations engaged in these efforts? Show
us how the different sectors of your population are
working together to make your community great!
• How does your community recognize and celebrate its
diversity and demonstrate inclusiveness?
Part II: Community-Driven Projects
• Describe three recent community-driven projects
that have significantly improved the community in
the last five years
• Projects should address your community’s unique
• At least one project should address the 2015 theme
“engaging and supporting vulnerable boys and
young men”
в€’ approaches that help provide the opportunity for
boys and young men to create a path to success
by addressing key issues such as education, health,
access to housing, jobs, racial healing,
empowerment, income inequality, and
achievement, among others
в€’ See here for more information on the theme
Helpful Hints re: Projects
• Provide a measurable result and demonstrate
improvement in the lives of those affected
• Diversity - inclusive, citizen-driven initiatives will
prevail over projects implemented by a single
• Do not try to include too many projects!
AAC Keys to Success
• Remember the criteria
• Don’t forget the power of a good story
• Start fundraising now!
• Use the resources available to you
Application and Resources
• Full application is available by visiting our web
site at or by emailing [email protected]
• NCL Staff - (303) 571-4343
• AAC Blog:
• NCL’s Civic Index
• Connect with an AAC mentor
More Questions?
Call Sarah Lipscomb at NCL
(303) 571-4343
or [email protected]
We look forward to receiving your
application via email
at [email protected] and at our address:
National Civic League
6000 East Evans Ave
Suite 3-012
Denver, CO 80222
Good luck!
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