Since 1949, the National Civic League has celebrated the best in American civic innovation with the prestigious All-America City Award.
This year, Livermore was one of 10 communities nationwide — and the only one in California — to receive the National Civic League prestigious All-America City Award. Held virtually in June, this year’s awards recognized communities working to improve equity and resilience. The winners were chosen because they effectively used inclusive civic engagement to address critical issues and create stronger connections among residents, businesses, nonprofits, and government leaders.
As part of the competition, a delegation of students, community members, and staff from the city, the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District, Las Positas College, and the Livermore Area Recreation and Park District highlighted how the city has been creating awareness of, and identifying solutions to, mental health concerns, racial tension, and homelessness for over a decade.
The city’s virtual presentation focused on community-driven projects that address issues facing all Americans — youth mental health, vaping, equity, social justice, affordable housing, and homelessness. Narrated by Livermore Chamber of Commerce CEO Dawn Argula, the presentation demonstrated that the city’s collaboration and innovation have resulted in positive changes and growth for members of the Livermore community.
“We have an active and engaged community, full of citizens of all ages who care deeply about their city and their neighbors, and who step up to create a welcoming and inclusive community,” expressed Mayor Bob Woerner. “I would like to thank the National Civic League for recognizing the incredible work being done in our city.”
The All-America City judges were impressed by the passionate commitment of Livermore youth, most notably Owen Fidler, Will Taggart, Emma Goulart, and Kassandra Torres, who shared their involvement in projects related to youth mental health and anti-tobacco and anti-vaping education.
“Our young people are oftentimes the ones who surface the needs related to mental health and social issues, bringing their creative ideas and energy to the conversation,” said Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District Superintendent Kelly Bowers. “The solutions then come from the networking and collaboration of our city partnerships and beyond. Our partners have always been supportive of including youth in the conversation.”
Las Positas College interim Dean Erick Bell discussed the college’s new Law Enforcement certificate’s focus on crisis intervention, bias awareness, mental health issues, and situational decision making. “Las Positas College is committed to continuing to further our mission to provide an inclusive, equity-focused environment by addressing inequities and increasing opportunities for success for all of our students,” said College President Dyrell Foster. “Our new curriculum focused on 21st Century Policing has benefitted from an outstanding collaborative effort with the Livermore City Council and Police Department.”
The city’s comprehensive and collaborative approach to addressing homelessness, affordable housing, and food insecurity also set Livermore apart. The city is working to ensure that residents have an affordable place to live through four affordable housing projects, including Goodness Village, a tiny homes community that welcomed its first residents in June 2021.
Another unique program to Livermore is Pictures4People, a nonprofit art movement, dedicated to “painting a brighter future, one painting at a time.” Paintings of Livermore residents experiencing homelessness are sold at local auctions with all proceeds going to local organizations helping community members in need.
The ongoing collaboration between the city and its community partners and agencies was key to Livermore’s success. Congratulations to the city of Livermore for being named an All-America City and working hard to build an equitable and resilient community.