All-America City Award
All-America City Award - 2006
The National Civic League crowned the city of Marietta one of the 10 best communities in the nation as a 2006 All-America City, the oldest and most respected community recognition award in the country. Nearly 600 communities began the application process, and Marietta beat other national finalists for the award, which recognizes exemplary grassroots community problem-solving. Winners in previous years have been honored at the White House.
Finalists participated in a final round of the All-America City competition in Anaheim, Calif., June 9- 11. Each delegation presented three innovative community programs to a jury of national civic affairs experts. The finalists' presentations addressed a wide range of social and community issues, including youth, education, poverty, affordable housing and race relations.
The "Academy Award" for cities
Since 1949, the All-America City Award has recognized civic excellence, honoring communities of all sizes in which citizens, government, businesses and volunteer organizations work together to address critical local issues. Being selected a winner substantiates Marietta is a model for the nation with extensive planning efforts and approaches to facing difficult challenges in innovative and collaborative ways.
"The city is honored to win the All-America City award because only four other Georgia communities have won in the award's 57-year history," Marietta Mayor Bill Dunaway said. "It means the work we're doing is among the best in the country, and it's great that others recognize it, too."
Community is the reason Marietta won
Dozens of community programs and organizations were cited in the city's award application, and many were part of the Marietta delegation that competed before the jury.
"Everyone in Marietta should be proud, because winning the award is the result of the entire community working together every day," Marietta City Manager Bill Bruton said. "We appreciate the community's work for the great progress we've made the last three years."
The National Civic League awarded Marietta because the city showed it is successfully resolving issues with active citizen involvement, volunteer and business resources, efficient government, community vision and collaboration.
Reduced crime 22 percent
In its application, Marietta demonstrated how three unique projects were solving challenges through community partnerships. The first was Marietta's efforts to reduce crime and stabilize deteriorating neighborhoods by creating M-STAR. The citywide program combines community policing and computer analysis of crime trends with accountability of city staff and public involvement. M-STAR has resulted in many successes, the most notable being a reduction of crime.
Invested $335 million in redevelopment
The Marietta Revitalization Program was the second initiative submitted to judges. Its goal is to save the city from decline and create a stronger sense of community by balancing the city's housing stock, stabilizing school enrollments, creating affordable workforce housing and revitalizing neighborhoods. The city has made substantial progress toward increasing the percentage of homeowners while reducing substandard rental units.
Read one billion words
As part of its application, Marietta was required to show how it met criteria of the National Civic League's Civic Index, a twelve-point self-evaluation tool that measures a community's overall abilities to solve problems, including planning efforts and partnerships with community organizations such as the Loop Group.
Judges required a third program to benefit children, and the city explained how Marietta Reads, a citywide effort to foster reading and literacy, has increased student test scores and book circulation.
Community will benefit from award
This is the first time Marietta has been selected a finalist and a winner, and the city should experience economic and community benefits as one of only 10 winners in this year's national competition.
"Winning the All-America City award should help Marietta attract and retain businesses, which generate jobs and a stronger tax base," Bruton said. "This is the premier national award for communities, and winners have seen an increase in tourism, grants and better bond ratings."