League of California Cities

Could your city be the next All-America City? Apply now for the 2021 National Civic League Award!

Since 1949, communities from across the country have competed for the prestigious All-America City Award, presented by the National Civic League. By celebrating the best in local innovation, civic engagement, and cross-sector collaboration, the All-America City Awards recognize cities’ ability to tackle tough issues and create real change.

In June 2021, the National Civic League will recognize 10 communities as All-America Cities for building equitable and resilient communities in the midst of a global pandemic
and for hightened awareness of systemic racial inequities.
Applications are open now and are due Feb. 10, 2021. In their submittal, cities are asked to discuss the strength of their civic capital — the formal and informal relationships, networks, and capacities they use to make decisions and solve problems — and to provide examples of community-driven projects that have transformed their community to be more equitable and resilient. 

“The All-America City Awards offer an opportunity for community stakeholders to come together to share and celebrate the programs and projects that make their homes great places to live,” said All-America City Award Director Rebecca Trout. “Applicants consistently note that the process leaves them feeling a sense of pride in their community and motivation to tackle the tough issues that persist.” 

This civic award is an excellent opportunity for California cities to shine a light on their inclusive civic engagement used to address critical local issues and create stronger connections among residents, businesses, nonprofit, and government leaders. Projects adhering to the 2021 theme include (but are not limited to) those that:
  • Promote racial healing and equity
  • Expand the role of residents in disaster preparedness and recovery
  • Enhance equity in the community’s COVID-19 response
  • Reform law enforcement to improve equity
  • Create more civic capacity through leadership or communication programs
  • Improve mental health and trauma systems
  • Further educational equity
  • Create affordable and safe housing
  • Reduce poverty
  • Increase job readiness and employment
  • Focus on restorative justice
  • Engage the community in environmental sustainability
Over the past 71 years, more than 500 communities have been named an All-America City by the National Civic League, including 53 cities in California. Rancho Cucamonga, the only city in California to be honored with a 2020 All- America City Award, was recognized for promoting inclusive civic engagement to address health and well-being in the community. Through the city’s ongoing efforts, it has created stronger connections among residents, businesses, nonprofits, and government leaders that have improved quality of life. 

There is great work happening in cities throughout California and we encourage Cal Cities members to tell the story of how they built equitable and resilient communities so they can be recognized for their outstanding civic accomplishments. 

This story was featured in the Cal Cities Advocate newsletter on Dec. 2, 2020
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