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Longmont Named All-America City 2018

The City of Longmont was awarded the prestigious All-America City Award from the National Civic League (NCL) on June 24, 2018. The award recognizes Longmont for identifying its most challenging issues and working collaboratively with the community to create innovative and effective problem-solving strategies.

Longmont is one of only ten cities nationwide to receive this prestigious award. This is the second time Longmont has received this designation, previously winning the award in 2006.

“This award affirms Longmont’s commitment to building a vibrant community,” Longmont Mayor Brian Bagley said. “We acknowledge and embrace the societal challenges in our City and work collaboratively with community members to make positive change.”

The city of Longmont is named after nearby mountain Longs Peak.

Longmont was judged on three specific projects showing how the community leverages civic engagement, collaboration, inclusiveness and innovation to successfully address local issues: Supporting Action for Mental Health (SAM), Connecting a Community and An Engaged Community Deals with Disaster.

The first project, SAM, is the collaborative effort of local community groups and organizations, faith communities, residents and local government to raise awareness and address mental health issues in Longmont.

The second project featured Longmont Power & Communications NextLight services. NextLight is the Longmont community-owned broadband services that provides internet services to businesses and residents citywide. Most home users receive their internet without a contract or data cap at the cost of $49.95/month. In 2018, PC Magazine has named NextLight the fastest ISP in the nation. NextLight promised to make the community more attractive to businesses, while also providing an invaluable resource for the school district. The school district is nationally recognized for excellence in technology and engagement. Going forward, the City and schools will continue to work together on technology through the Learning Technology Plan. This plan has given students the opportunity to work on projects such as app development, robotics, and design thinking.

NextLight is Longmont’s broadband service providing internet to businesses and residents citywide.

The third city project focused on community engagement during a disaster. In 2013, the City of Longmont experienced “flooding of biblical proportions” when the average annual rainfall amount fell in just four days. The flooding proved to be both a test and an opportunity. During cleanup, Longmont realized there was an opportunity to rebuild a more sustainable community by developing more economically diverse housing, increasing social capital for vulnerable populations and modifying infrastructure. Also during cleanup, Longmont worked together with other affected communities in the area to pool resources. This effort was the formation of the Boulder County Collaborative which led to the development of more affordable housing and the building of a culture of resilience.

“Like many local communities across the nation, Longmont is showing that important and innovative work to address critical issues still takes place at the local level,” NCL president Doug Linkhart said. “The local level stands in contrast to the federal level, which has seen many years of conflict and slow progress on many of the nation’s toughest challenges.”

The All-America City (AAC) Award program is the nation’s oldest community recognition effort. Founded in 1949 by then National Civic League (NCL) board chair George Gallup Sr., the AAC Award recognizes communities of all sizes – including neighborhoods, towns, cities, counties and regions – who have made major progress in meeting their most important needs.

In addition to Longmont, nine other cities received the All-America designation in 2018:

  • Mount Pleasant, SC
  • Decatur, GA
  • Kershaw County, SC
  • El Paso, TX
  • Springdale, AR
  • Stockton, CA
  • Charlotte, NC
  • San Antonio, TX
  • Las Vegas, NV

The All-America Cities competition was held June 24, 2018 in Denver with 18 cities competing from across the country. Longmont sent a delegation of 51 staff and community members to make the official presentation and to answer questions. In addition to the official presentation, Longmont senior dancers “Bailes de mi Tierra” participated in the cultural showcase for the All-America Cities conference.

Downtown Longmont is picturesque and offers shopping, dining and more. Photo: Sherri O’Hara

The award is named “All-America” to showcase problem solving and solutions in communities rather than “All-American,” which might simply demonstrate patriotism and appearance.

“We are honored to have been selected for this award, and congratulate our fellow competitors,” said Harold Dominguez, Longmont City Manager. “Being part of this outstanding lineup of cities is an inspiration to keep doing the work we are doing within our community, and to continue to build on our inclusive, collaborative culture.”

The National Civic League is headquartered in Denver.