Dubuque, Iowa and Peoria, Illinois made this year’s list of ten All-America Cities.
The list was published the day after awards were presented by the National Civic League at a ceremony on Sunday, June 16, 2013.
Some consider the All-America City designation to be the “Nobel Prize” for civic accomplishment. All-America Cities are recognized for civic engagement and problem-solving initiatives that combine efforts of public, private and non-profit sectors.
City officials apply for the designation by listing three examples of successful community change, describing the role collaboration, innovation and civic engagement played in that change.
The designation can help cities get community improvement grants, and All-America Cities use the designation to help recruit new businesses to their area.
“AAC is more than an awards program,” noted NCL Interim Chair Liz Hollander. “It gives communities a unique opportunity to celebrate their successes, but also to take a clear-eyed look at their civic capacities.”
Dubuque and Peoria are the only Iowa and Illinois cities to make the list of 20 finalists for the 2013 designation. Dubuque also won the designation in 2012.
Ten cities were named All-America Cities for 2013: Birmingham, Alabama; Downey, California; Montrose, Colorado; Peoria, Illinois; Dubuque, Iowa; Owensboro, Kentucky; Dunn, North Carolina; Garner, North Carolina; Thomasville, North Carolina and Norfolk, Virginia.