Chelsea will celebrate its second “All-America City” selection on Tuesday, Aug. 5. in conjunction with the City’s annual participation in National Night Out at Mary O’Malley Park.
The community event, which is expected to draw more than 500 people, will will take place from 5:30 p.m.-8 p.m. at Mary O’Malley Park on Admiral’s Hill.
“We’re all thrilled to again be recognized for such a prestigious award,” said City Manager Jay Ash, who has coordinated both of Chelsea’s winning entries into the National Civic League’s annual AAC competition. “Things have really been going well in Chelsea, with record development, multiple bond rating increases, a national school award and now, this, our second All-America City selection. We’re all quite proud, and we continue to be equally as motivated to set and reach even greater goals.”
The All-America City Award is the oldest and most respected community recognition program in the nation. This year marks the 65th anniversary of the award that recognizes communities whose stakeholders work together to identify and tackle community-wide challenges and achieve uncommon results.
“The competition isn’t a beauty pageant, and we know we have some rough spots that still need work,” acknowledged Ash. “The award really is about substance, how we meet and are overcoming challenges, both in terms of the process and the end result. The All-America Award is a confirmation that we’re doing all of that and more as well, if not better, than any other community in the country.”
According to NCL, only 10 cities are selected from scores who are considered for the All-America City Award. In addition to Chelsea, Somerville, Fitchburg and Dedham were selected as finalist this year, with the four Massachusetts communities competing with 19 others in a program that concluded with a week-end of presentations, workshops and exchanges in Denver, Colorado this past June. The other nine 2014 All-America Cities are: Montgomery, AL; San Pablo, CA; Brush, CO; Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Cedar Rapids, IA; Independence, OR; Brownsville, TX; Hampton, VA, and Eau Claire, WI.
“We’re proud to recognize Chelsea for its civic engagement and collaboration, inclusiveness, innovation and, especially, its impact. Chelsea really represents the best America has to offer and I know many communities will be looking at and talking to Chelsea about how it has managed to achieve so much,” said Gloria Rubio-Cortés, President of the National Civic League.
The successful Chelsea campaign focused on three particular accomplishments: obesity reduction led by the Healthy Chelsea Coalition, neighborhood engagement and impact through the work of The Neighborhood Developers, and violence reduction promoted by the expanding relationship between the Police Department and Roca. Those projects of focus and others that were recognized demonstrated the collective ability of Chelsea’s stakeholders, including representatives of government, business, community organizations, neighborhood groups and individual residents, to engage, problem solve and innovate in extraordinary fashion.
“All of those projects and a dozen other we referenced speak to the strong and respectful partnerships we have developed in Chelsea, the honest dialogue we are having about how to deal with issues, and the tremendous accomplishments those relationships and communications are producing,” said Ash. “Just like with the Boston Fed’s Working Cities Challenge initiative, Chelsea’s success in the All-America City competition really demonstrates that communities that work together can achieve so much more than those that work apart.”
Members of city, state and federal government are expected to attend the event, and representatives from the National Civic League have been invited as well. A short speaking program is anticipated at 6:30 p.m., sandwiched between games, rides, entertainment and food for all those at the celebration.
“It will be another memorable event in a community that has been celebrating quite of few of them lately,” concluded Ash.