Livermore was named a 2021 All-America City last week at the National Civic League’s All-America City Awards Ceremony.
The theme for this year’s competition was "Building Equitable and Resilient Communities."
Livermore competed against 19 other finalist cities with a live, 10-minute virtual presentation, followed by a question-and-answer session, that centered on the city’s community-driven projects addressing youth mental health; anti-vaping policy and education; equity, inclusion, and social justice; and affordable housing and homelessness.
Nine other cities were also honored by the National Civic League, including Bellevue, Washington, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, El Paso, Texas, Evanston, Illinois, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Kansas City, Missouri, Miramar, Florida, Morrisville, North Carolina, and Wheat Ridge, Colorado.
Livermore was represented by a contingent of students, community members, and staff from the city, the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District (LVJUSD), Las Positas College, and the Livermore Area Recreation and Park District (LARPD). Livermore Chamber of Commerce CEO Dawn Argula narrated the presentation.
“We have an active and engaged community, full of citizens of all ages who care deeply about their city and their neighbors, and who step up to create a welcoming and inclusive community,” noted Livermore Mayor Bob Woerner.
In particular, LVJUSD Superintendent Kelly Bowers commended Granada High students Owen Fidler and Will Taggart and Livermore High students Emma Goulart and Kassandra Torres for their early involvement in projects related to youth mental health and anti-tobacco and anti-vaping education.
“Our young people are oftentimes the ones who surface the needs related to mental health and social issues, bringing their creative ideas and energy to the conversation,” Bowers said. “Solutions then come from the networking and collaboration of our city partnerships and beyond. Our partners have always been supportive of including youth in the conversation.”
Two other students -- Miraya Choudhury from Granada High and Manav Patel from Las Positas College -- joined community member Misty Rose in representing the city’s Equity and Inclusion Group during the presentation. The working group has been meeting with the Livermore Police Department to share and discuss ways to improve conditions in the city.
Las Positas College interim Dean Erick Bell also discussed the college’s new Law Enforcement certificate focused on crisis intervention, bias awareness, mental health issues, and situational decision-making.
The city’s presentation concluded with a look at efforts to address food insecurity, homelessness, and affordable housing in the community.
New to this year’s All-America City Awards program was a virtual Cultural Entertainment Showcase that provided the public an opportunity to vote for their favorite submissions. Out of 23 videos from the finalist communities, Livermore Shakespeare Festival’s “Kids Teach Shakespeare” program received top honors.