AZ League Connection

The League's Monthly Online Newsletter

Issue 211: November 2020

National Civic League Accepting Applications for 2021 All-America City Award

The National Civic League is accepting applications for the 2021 All-America City Award. The 2021 theme is “Building Equitable and Resilient Communities.” This year’s awards will recognize communities that have worked to improve equity and resilience. Equity is the fabric that allows communities to achieve broad-based economic prosperity and other goals. Resilience enables communities to face challenging times by not only preserving what makes their community great but adapting and growing stronger. Both qualities depend on inclusive civic engagement.

The need for equity and resilience has become more obvious in 2020, as communities have dealt with a global pandemic and racial bias incidents in law enforcement. Those communities with more equity and resilience have been more successful in combatting the pandemic and making the needed changes to improve the racial equity of law enforcement and other city services.

All-America City applicants for 2021 will be 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 adapted and transformed the community to be more equitable and resilient.

The National Civic League views civic engagement as more than presenting information or having people respond to questionnaires (though both are important); instead, we promote efforts that seek to listen to, and learn from, residents in ongoing conversations and leverage those insights to shape the way programs are administered, designed and executed.

“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. 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,” Rebecca Trout, All-America City Award Director, said. “The League has the privilege to bring these communities together to share their innovative programs on a national stage to help others make their communities more equitable and resilient.”

Started in 1949, the All-America City Award program has recognized 500 communities that excel in collaborating to address pressing problems in the community. Described by George H. Gallup as the “Nobel Prize for constructive citizenship,” the award celebrates exemplary grassroots community problem-solving and honors communities that have united to achieve stunning results.

In Arizona, 9 communities have won the All-America City Award. You can view the full list of winners on our website.

Communities interested in applying for the All-America City Award should submit a letter of intent to apply by December 1st, which saves applicants $100 on the application fee. Please note: a letter of intent is not required to apply. The application can be downloaded at ( and is due February 10, 2021.

The All-America City Award (AAC) is given each year by the National Civic League (NCL) to 10 communities in recognition of their outstanding civic accomplishments. The award spurs communities to use innovative approaches to create stronger connections between residents and nonprofit and government leaders. The AAC Award celebrates those efforts and becomes a platform for sharing innovation, inspiration and insight with other communities throughout the country.

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League of Arizona Cities and Towns
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Phone: 602-258-5786
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