The All-America City Award recognizes communities that leverage civic engagement, collaboration, inclusiveness and innovation to successfully address local issues.

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The 2024 Award

The 2024 All-America City Award theme is “Strengthening Democracy through Local Action and Innovation.” 

The 2024 All-America City Award will recognize communities that are finding innovative ways to equitably engage community members in activities that strengthen local democracy, like making it easier to vote, engage in community affairs, and serve in leadership roles. After an extensive written application process, 20 finalists will come to Denver, CO from June 7-9 to share the story of their community to a jury of civic engagement experts by way of a ten minute live presentation.

Areas of Focus Within the 2024 Theme

Finalists are focusing on projects adhering to this year’s theme, which include, but are not limited to, those that:

  • Removing barriers to participation in civic life
  • Improving public meetings through innovative practices
  • Undertaking reforms that give people a meaningful say in public decision-making
  • Increasing voter engagement, participation, and education
  • Reforming elections to be transparent, fair, and inclusive
  • Authentically engaging marginalized and/or historically disadvantaged populations
  • Bridging divides across political, social, and economic differences
  • Advancing equity & inclusion
  • Using civic technology
  • Promoting youth civic education and engagement
  • Providing opportunities for civic leadership and participation
  • Creating a stronger sense of belonging and community
  • Promoting deliberative forms of public decision-making

About this Year’s Event

The 75th annual All-America City Award Event will be held in Denver, CO from June 7-9, 2024. Communities named as finalists will assemble teams of residents, nonprofits, businesses, government leaders, young people, etc. to present their efforts around the year’s theme. During the event, these teams will connect and share insights with peers, learn from national thought-leaders, and present the story of their work to a jury of nationally recognized civic leaders. Speeches, ceremonies, and finalist presentations will be live-streamed to our Facebook page.

Visit the event page for additional information.

Award History

The National Civic League’s All-America City Award has celebrated the best in American civic innovation since 1949. The Award, bestowed yearly on 10 communities (more than 500 in all), recognizes the work of communities in using inclusive civic engagement to address critical issues and create stronger connections among residents, businesses and nonprofit and government leaders. Cities, counties, tribes and community organizations of all types are invited to apply for the annual designation.

The All-America City Award shines a spotlight on the incredible work taking place in communities across the country. By celebrating the best in local innovation, civic engagement and cross-sector collaboration, the All-America City Award remind us of the potential within every community to tackle tough issues and create real change.

Benefits of winning

  • Economic Stimulus
    All-America City finalists and winners find it easier to attract and retain businesses that generate jobs and a stronger tax base. They also attract and retain residents who want a healthy community.  Finalists and winners also have seen an increase in tourism and grants.

  • Pride and Collaboration
    The award has reinvigorated communities with a new sense of pride, accomplishment and teamwork. People often say they learned more about the great work taking place in their community because of the application process than they ever imagined.

  • National Recognition
    Winning the All-America City Award raises the profile of local efforts and puts communities on a national stage. Winners join an elite network of communities that can proudly call themselves an All-America City. And once a community wins, it’s always an All-America City. We hear regularly about communities that still celebrate and take pride in winning even after 40 years or more.

The Program

The All-America City Award offers the opportunity for both recognition and reflection. When communities apply for recognition, they bring together a diverse cross-sector team to review their strengths, discuss their progress, examine their challenges and tell the story of their community. Communities gain a better understanding of civic excellence during the yearlong process of seeking to become an All-America City.

Every city that participates, whether as an applicant, finalist or winner, walks away with a stronger sense of their community assets, their challenges and ways to move forward together. To support this learning, communities are encouraged to attend our monthly Promising Practices Webinar series to learn from previous winners and other communities about their innovative projects and about the application process. Communities applying for the All-America City Award then are encouraged to access our resources to best understand how to continue their civic engagement efforts and share their successes in a meaningful way.


The All-America City Award brings together communities from across the country and provides an opportunity for innovative leaders and passionate residents to connect with and learn from their peers. The Award shines a light on communities that are working to tackle tough issues and lifts these places up for national recognition.

Winning ‘helped us land a BIG project in the midst of major economic recession. IBM located their first data center in 10-15 years in downtown Dubuque and created 1,300 new jobs with an annual payroll of $58 million! This is a testament to what the All-America City Award stands for in terms of a community’s can-do spirit’ Cynthia Steinhauser, former Assistant City Manager Dubuque, IA.

The Award validates our community’s quality of life and is used proudly in all of our economic development and corporate recruitment efforts. Shane Homan, Tupelo Chamber of Commerce

Anyone who’s witnessed the annual All-America City competition has seen the evidence of what communities can do to come together, solve their problems and set a strategy for their future. Curtis Johnson, Executive Editor of Citiscope


Contact [email protected] for more information

About the Event

Teams of residents, including young people, nonprofit, business and government leader from communities across the country meet to represent their communities and share ideas. Throughout the event, these teams connect and share insights with peers, learn from national thought leaders and present the story of their work to a jury of nationally recognized civic leaders. This transformational experience equips, inspires and supports leaders and communities to achieve more than they ever believed possible.

How to Apply
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