In the throes of the coronavirus pandemic that has us all on edge, a little bit of good news is a welcome prescription. The City of Topeka has been selected as a finalist for the 2020 All-America City Award (AAC) by the National Civic League. Topeka is one of 22 finalist cities who represent the diversity of American communities from the largest cities to the smallest towns, from east to west and north to south.
Finalist communities share a common bond of working to enhance health and well-being through civic engagement. The award, given to 10 communities each year, celebrates and recognizes those that engage residents in innovative, inclusive and effective efforts to tackle critical challenges. This year’s finalists focused specifically on enhancing health and well-being through civic engagement.
“The City of Topeka is thrilled to have been selected along with our partner and co-applicant Topeka Housing Authority. The City of Topeka is dedicated to enhancing the health of our community through community engagement along with our many community partners involved in the application,” said City Manager Brent Trout. “This community has prided itself on its diversity throughout its history, and the City organization is proud to represent that diversity at the national competition later this year.”
The City of Topeka will compete in Denver, Colorado, June 5-7 to be recognized as one of ten All-America Cities for 2020. Each community will bring a team of residents, nonprofit leaders, business representatives, government officials and young people to participate in presentations and workshops. The 2020 spotlight for the Award is efforts focused on inclusive engagement practices that enhance health and well-being for all, and particularly for populations currently experiencing poorer health outcomes. Finalist communities’ presentations will bring their written application to life and demonstrate the positive effects of using equitable engagement strategies to address issues such as promoting mental health, addressing obesity and building stronger neighborhoods.
Finalist communities this year include the 20th largest city in America (El Paso, TX) and a city of 3,000 people (Algoma, WI).
The National Civic League’s President, Doug Linkhart explains the importance of using inclusive civic engagement:
“These finalist communities are building healthy communities through collaboration with residents, businesses and other stakeholders,” Linkhart said. “While many people are concerned about the ability of our nation to improve lives, these communities are showing that great things can happen at the local level.”
Other 2020 Finalists include:
El Paso, TX
Highland Park, IL
Mason City, IA
Miami Gardens, FL
Miami Lakes, FL
Pitt County, NC
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
–Lee Hartman | Metro Voice