Columbia was not named All American City, but South Carolina was definitely represented at the conference.  Congratulations to Kershaw County and Mount Pleasant on being named one of 10 All American Cities!!

Update:  from National Civic League Website

Announcing This Years’ Winners! These 10 communities all get the honor of being named an All-America City.

2018 Winners

Each of the following winning communities demonstrated civic engagement practices that are inspirational, inclusive and promising in their ability to unite members of the community to collectively and collaboratively help solve our country’s most pressing and complex issues.

Springdale, AR – Chosen for creating the Committee for Civic Engagement and Inclusion and initiating work on city-wide initiatives to incorporate people of color and new Americans into civic life, resulting in a revitalized downtown, active youth council and free food pantries for residents in need. Project details.

Stockton, CA – Stockton’s efforts to build a culture of engagement have resulted in community-based programs and systems that are healing decades of trauma for individuals and communities, empowering students who have been historically marginalized and providing new pathways to higher education. Project details.

Longmont, CO – Through recognizing the diversity of its population, and bringing more community members to the table, Longmont has been able to identify and address community needs creatively and cooperatively from mental health to disaster relief. Project details.

Decatur, GA – Continuing its commitment to civic engagement, Decatur is actively seeking to build an equitable and inclusive experience for its residents and visitors, focusing on racially-just community policing and building diverse and affordable housing. Project details.

Las Vegas, NV – Las Vegas provides residents, stakeholders, staff and elected officials with a collective vision and plans for a future of income equality and economic mobility, building programs and services that remove barriers and address challenges faced by their most vulnerable youth. Project details.

Charlotte, NC – Following reports showing economic inequity in the city, and a police shooting in late 2016, the City of Charlotte engaged thousands of residents in one-on-one conversations and community meetings. This has resulted in partnerships that have built a more skilled workforce, reduced teen crime and invested in infrastructure in neighborhoods in need. Project details.

Kershaw County, SC – Kershaw County embraces the changing faces of its rapidly growing community, balancing its rural past and suburban future, with its business owners, residents and elected officials reflecting that diversity and building programs to ensure equity in healthcare, education and economic growth. Project details.

Mount Pleasant, SC – Mount Pleasant is employing a balance of outreach from city departments and officials and engagement with community members through partnerships, dialogue and forums, resulting in youth participation in the Reading Patrol Program and streamlined navigation through the planning process. Project details.

El Paso, TX – El Paso built upon the City’s 2015Strategic Plan to conduct a year-long community outreach process that reached more than 70,000 people and has led to an Advanced Leadership Training program for graduates of The Neighborhood Leadership Academy, partnerships to increase training and adult education, and creative implementation of the Rental Assistance Demonstration Program to serve more than 4,000 families. Project details.

San Antonio, TX – The Office of Equity, in partnership with the nonprofit, SA2020, applied data from an Equity Impact Assessment to seven high-impact City initiatives, seeing positive results in higher involvement from Latino residents, an increased number of residents enrolled in health insurance programs, reduced incidents of teen pregnancy and progress in adult education initiatives. Project details.



The City of Columbia has been named one of 20 finalists nationwide for the 2018 All-America City Awards. The finalists will compete June 22-24 in Denver to be recognized among the 10 annual All-America City winners.

The All-America City Awards is the flagship program of the National Civic League. Its spotlight this year was “Promoting Equity through Inclusive Civic Engagement.”

“These finalist communities are building local capacity to solve problems and improve their quality of life,” said National Civic League President Doug Linkhart in announcing the finalists. “The National Civic League is honored to recognize these communities, and views their efforts as critical in addressing the challenge to communities issued by the 1968 Kerner Commission ‘To make good the promises of American democracy to all citizens — urban and rural, white, black, Spanish surname, American Indians, and every minority group.’ ”

“In our 2036 vision for Columbia, we set out to create a world-class city that not only harbors resilient municipal infrastructure but also harbors a strong community of human infrastructure,” said Mayor Steve Benjamin. “Being designated as a 2018 All-America City is an exciting achievement that exhibits our commitment to civic engagement and an inclusive city.”

The All-America City Awards were established in 1949. Columbia was a winner in 1951 and 1964. Other South Carolina communities named as finalists this year include Kershaw County and Mount Pleasant. No other state has as many finalists as South Carolina.

“All-America City Finalist status speaks volumes about the charming, cosmopolitan, entrepreneurial and community focus of our beautiful city,” said City Manager Teresa Wilson. “Columbia epitomizes the character and spirit that any American holds dear for the community in which he or she lives. We are honored to be recognized!”