Edinburg wins prestigious All-America City award for fourth time

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DENVER, Colorado – Edinburg, the fastest growing city in the Rio Grande Valley, has won the prestigious All-America City title for the fourth time. No other city in the Rio Grande Valley has won the award four times before.

The All-America City Award, organized by the National Civic League, recognizes communities that leverage civic engagement, collaboration, inclusiveness and innovation to successfully address local issues. Ten cities are so honored each year.

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

“Winning our fourth All-America City Award is a remarkable honor that reflects the hard work, dedication, and unity of our residents,” Edinburg Mayor Ramiro Garza Jr. said. “This award is a celebration of Edinburg’s commitment to fostering a vibrant, inclusive, and resilient community. I’m so proud of the delegation that worked so hard to bring this win home to Edinburg.”

Since 1949 more than 500 communities have won the award, which is organized by the National Civic League. Some cities have won as many as seven times.

In the Valley, Brownsville has won the award twice before, Harlingen, Weslaco, Pharr, Hidalgo, McAllen, and Mission once before. 

This year’s award ceremony was held in Denver, Colorado, between June 7 and 9. Edinburg had a diverse team that traveled to Denver for the event. The team included high school students, community leaders, members of the Capable Kids Foundation and elected officials.

“The All-America City Award, recognized as the nation’s most prestigious civic honor, acknowledges communities that engage residents in innovative, inclusive, and effective efforts to tackle critical challenges and improve the quality of life for all,” said a City of Edinburg press release. The press release said Edinburg’s victory is “a testament to its commitment to civic engagement, inclusivity, and local innovation.”

Edinburg had a diverse team in Denver, Colorado, for the National Civic League’s 2024 All-America City Awards. (Photo credit: City of Edinburg)

Mayor Garza said he believed Edinburg secured the victory by sharing compelling personal stories. He said these narratives highlighted the city’s commitment to addressing challenges and enhancing community engagement and inclusivity through innovative initiatives. 

Garza pointed out that Edinburg’s 2040 Committees actively involved citizens in shaping the future, while the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council fostered civic engagement among younger residents, encouraging their participation in local governance. He said the city also promoted inclusivity through events like the Miracle Mile and the newly established inclusive water park, Pirate’s Cove. 

Celebrating diversity was another priority, Garza explained, saying this was showcased by vibrant events such as Culture Fest. These efforts collectively aimed to create a more engaged, inclusive, and diverse community, Garza said.

“Our city’s ability to bring together individuals from all walks of life to work towards common goals is truly inspiring. This award reaffirms our belief in the power of community-driven action and the importance of strong civic infrastructure.”

Garza added predicted Edinburg’s recognition as a four-time winner would serve as an inspiration to other communities striving to strengthen democracy and improve the lives of their residents.

According to the National Civic League, its All-America City Award celebrates communities that exemplify the best in local innovation, civic engagement, and cross-sector collaboration. Edinburg’s recognition as a four-time winner serves as an inspiration to other communities striving to strengthen democracy and improve the lives of their residents.

“The All-America City Award shines a spotlight on the incredible work taking place in communities across the country,” the National Civil League stated. “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.”

“The 2024 All-America City Award recognized 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 came 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.”

After careful deliberation, a jury of civic engagement experts selected ten winning communities.

The National Civic League said there are three benefits to winning the award:

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.

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