The City of Lakewood is sponsoring this year’s Fireworks display to celebrate Lakewood becoming an All-America City!
All-America City is sort of like winning a national championship for cities, except winning isn’t about scoring the most points or about having a perfect community.
It’s about neighbors working together, schools and businesses finding ways to help each other and communities overcoming challenges, fostering changes and finding new ways to solve problems.
The All-America City Award is a long-standing, prestigious award given by the National Civic League to 10 communities each year to recognize their ability to solve issues in their communities.
“It recognizes that our residents, government, businesses, education and nonprofit institutions are working together in a partnership of equals,” Mayor Bob Murphy said of the award.
The City also won the Diversity Award for extraordinary and innovative success in advancing diversity and inclusiveness in the community. This is the first year the Diversity Award has been awarded, and it recognizes how much a community promotes and values its diversity rather than simply how diverse its population is.
“I couldn’t be prouder of our community,” said City Manager Kathy Hodgson.
The three projects Lakewood submitted for the award include the multiyear and multipronged planning effort to renew West Colfax Avenue by providing new zoning that expands land-use opportunities and to plan for the coming West Corridor light-rail line and its stations to manage coming changes and to facilitate the best development in the right locations.
The second project is the Greening Lakewood Business Partnership to bring energy-efficient retrofits to the more than 1,500 older, existing office and commercial buildings in Lakewood.
The third is the opening of the Jefferson County branch of the Boys and Girls Club at O’Connell Middle School in Lakewood.
The Diversity Award is based on the City’s efforts to break down the “us versus them” mentality sometimes dividing government from residents as well as the creation of its Advisory Commission for an Inclusive Community, consisting of 43 Lakewood residents who advise the City Council on issues important to the public. The City’s range of services from Head Start preschools to inclusion of the disabled in recreation and other programs also played a role.
The following businesses and organizations provided generous support to the All-America City application process: the Alameda Gateway Community Association, the Alameda Corridor Business Improvement District, Jim Havey Productions, the Learning Source, the West Chamber Serving Jefferson County, the West Colfax Community Association, the Boys and Girls Club, FirstBank, the Applewood Business Association, the South Lakewood Business Association, the Lakewood-West Colfax Business Improvement District Formation, PEI Insurance, Sotiros and Sotiros and City Council member Sue King.