The National Civic League has announced the finalists for the All-America City Awards, the annual competition for civic activists and community problem-solvers.  The 2011 awards event will be June 15-17 in Kansas City, Missouri.

“We’re very excited about this year’s participants, a very strong group of contenders with great civic projects to brag about,” said NCL President Gloria Rubio-Cortés.  “These communities have tackled everything from tsunami preparedness to environmental sustainability, education, gang violence and economic development.”

The list of 26 finalists includes large urban centers, midsized cities and smaller suburban and rural communities. Listed alphabetically by state are the 2011 finalists:

Kenai Alaska
Downey California
Dublin California
Huntington Park California
Torrance California
Yucaipa California
Lakewood Colorado
Belleville Illinois
South Bend Indiana
Marshalltown Iowa
Scott City Kansas
Dedham Massachusetts
Ann Arbor Michigan
Tupelo Mississippi
Dakota County Nebraska
Eden North Carolina
Fayetteville North Carolina
Buffalo New York
Cincinnati Ohio
Seaside Oregon
Lakeview Oregon
Philadelphia Pennsylvania
Fort Worth Texas
Taylor Landing Texas
Cottonwood Heights Utah
Beloit Wisconsin

“People can’t believe the energy and spirit of this event until they experience it,” noted Hon. Sandra Freedman, who chairs the National Civic League Board of Directors. “It’s a unique combination of local pride and community innovation, and in these very tough times for localities, these communities give us hope and new ideas about how to do more with less.”

Sprint Foundation is underwriter of this year’s All-America City Awards. Sponsors are: the Gay & Lesbian Fund For Colorado; Southwest Airlines (the official Airline of the All-America City Awards); the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, Jossey Bass (an imprint of Wiley), which is celebrating the 100th year of the National Civic Review; the Carl and Lily Pforzheimer Foundation; J.E. Dunn Construction; LSC Transportation Consultants; the City of Gladstone, Missouri; the City of Barnstable, Massachusetts, and the Hyatt Regency Crown Center in Kansas  City, Missouri.