Since 1949, the National Civic League has recognized and celebrated the best in American civic innovation with the prestigious
All-America City Award. This year, Mission showed how a determined community can tackle tough issues and create real change.
Denver – June 24, 2019 – Mission, Texas was recognized today as one of 10 All-America City award winners. The National Civic League presented this honor to recognize Mission’s work in inclusive civic engagement to address critical issues and create stronger connections among residents, businesses and government leaders.
“We are happy to designate Mission as an All-America City. They showed us today that they do a great job of engaging the whole city in creating a healthier community.”
-Doug Linkhart, President, National Civic League
All applicants submitted their community-wide work on creating healthy communities through inclusive civic engagement and three projects for consideration, and the field was narrowed to 20. This weekend, finalist communities presented their projects and their communities to a jury. The entire presentation focused on three project examples showing how this community leverages civic engagement, collaboration, inclusiveness and innovation to successfully address local issues.
“I am overflowing with civic pride for our entire community. Our City of Mission delegation poured their heart and soul into this competition and made history – bringing home the first ever All-America City title for our great city,” said Mayor Dr. Armando O’Caña. “We dedicate this award to our fallen hero, Cpl. Joey “Speedy” Espericueta – who was in our thoughts and prayers throughout this competition.”
Mission brings its diverse populace together by offering: a free tennis program to low-income residents and the visually impaired; economic empowerment projects that offer training, grants and internships; and a food and service center for people living in poverty.
A town at the southern tip of Texas, Mission has a little over 83,000 residents, 88% of which are Latino. The town prioritizes civic engagement, partly through the establishment of an All-Inclusive Committee, which oversees city efforts regarding inclusivity in decision-making. Some of the ways in which residents get involved in community affairs include an annual Wellness Ride cycling event, stocking the city’s food pantry, and Mission Pawsible, a foster care program that helps rescue animals and host them for adoption.
“Winning the All-America City award shines a national spotlight on the incredible work and progress taking place in Mission. We are honored and proud to bring this title home to our city, especially during this difficult time” City Manager Randy Perez said. “It takes a community, and we brought this home in honor of Cpl. Espericueta.”