Tallahassee Gets All-America City Status – Again
By LaDarius Calhoun
Tallahassee gained the All-America City designation for the second time. Mayor Andrew Gillum believes that the designation is a sign that the city is doing a lot of the right things.
Gillum called the distinction presented by the National Civic League “good validation for the community.”
He also added: “It shows that we are on the right path, doing the right things. We aren’t a perfect community, but if we work together we will reach our goal.”
Gillum was part of a 75-member delegation that traveled last month to Denver, where the city made its bid for being named one of the best in the nation. It was the second time Tallahassee gained All-America status; the first was in 1999.
The National Civic League has recognized cities and their developments since 1949 and more than 600 cities have been awarded the status. The All-America City Awards recognizes communities that engage in innovative, inclusive and effective efforts to tackle critical challenges, according to the NCL.
The winning circle along with Tallahassee included three California cities — Carson, Salinas, and Stockton. Other winning cities were Somerville, Mass.; Tupelo, Miss.; Geneva, N.Y.; Marshall, Texas; along with Spokane and Yakima in Washington state.
More than 100 neighborhoods, villages, towns, cities, counties, tribes and metro regions applied to the NCL’s contest this year. Representatives from Tallahassee made their case by representing how the city has engaged the community and solved critical community issues.
In addition to Gillum, the city was represented by, Ramon Alexander, founder of Distinguished Young Gentlemen of America, Inc., and city manager Anita Favors-Thompson.
One of the contest requirements was to submit three projects that demonstrate collaboration and community engagement. Tallahassee’s projects were Cascades Park development, the Neighborhood REACH program and Distinguished Young Gentlemen.
“It was such a great opportunity to collaborate and engage with people of the community outside of a city commission meeting,” Thompson said of Tallahassee’s presentation. “The sense of pride that our delegation demonstrated was so palpable that we even had the cities we were competing against rooting for us.”