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Rochester to compete in civics award

Rochester has been nominated for the National Civic League’s All-America City Award. The city is one of 20 nominees.

The award shines a light on the work taking place in communities nationwide. Nominated communities have demonstrated a commitment to leveraging civic engagement, collaboration, inclusivity and innovation to successfully address local issues.

This year’s theme is enhancing health and wellbeing through civic engagement. The Rochester delegation is led by the city of Rochester, which submitted three projects to win the nomination:
• The High Blood Pressure Collaborative, led by Common Ground Health
• Project HOPE and El Camino Neighborhood Revitalization, led by the Ibero-American Action League and supported by Greater Rochester Health Foundation
• The Community Task Force on School Climate, led by Rochester Area Community Foundation with Teen Empowerment, the Alliance for Quality Education, Metro Justice/Citizen Action of New York and others.

Since 1949, the National Civic League has recognized the best in American civic innovation with the All-America City Award. The annual award celebrates the work of 10 communities that have used inclusive civic engagement to address critical issues and create stronger connections among residents, businesses and nonprofit and government leaders.

“The city of Rochester is proud to be a caring community that works together with our partner organizations to improve the quality of life for all of our residents,” Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren said in a statement. “We are extremely pleased that the National Civic League has recognized our city as a finalist for the 2020 All-America City Award. We hope our presentation will reflect our values as a community and, in turn, solidify Rochester as one of the recipients of this year’s award.”

Typically an in-person event, this year nominated communities will present their stories in the form of a virtual presentation or performance during the National Civic League’s annual conference held in August. The Rochester delegation is scheduled to present on Aug. 17.

“As a community, we can all be proud of the path that our region has taken to improving health,” said Common Ground Health CEO Wade Norwood. “Advancing in this national competition is a recognition of how we’ve knocked down the walls that separated the doctor’s office from the community. I look forward to sharing how business, government, schools, clinicians and families have and continue to come together to move towards health equity.”

In applying and throughout the process, communities reflect on their strengths, weaknesses, challenges and the progress they have made. During the conference, teams of residents, nonprofit organizations, businesses and young leaders from communities nationwide will come together virtually to collaborate and share insights.

“Rochester has a rich history of justice and social change,” said Jasmine Gripper, executive director of the Alliance for Quality Education. “Parents, students and community members have come together to create community schools, rewrite the code of conduct and now have police-free schools. Rochester is shining a light on the possibilities of community collaboration.”

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