Louisville (KY) & West Palm Beach (FL) Named "Most Livable" Cities in America
U.S. Conference of Mayors Announces 2012 City Livability Award Winners at Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL, Wednesday, June 13 to Saturday, June 16
ORLANDO, Fla., June 14, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Mayor Greg Fischer of Louisville (KY) and Mayor Geraldine Muoio of West Palm Beach (FL), have been awarded first place honors in the 2012 City Livability Awards Program during The U.S. Conference of Mayors' 80th Annual Meeting in Orlando.
This is the 33rd year in which cities have competed for the award, which is sponsored by the Conference of Mayors and Waste Management, Inc., the nation's largest environmental solutions provider. The award recognizes mayoral leadership in developing and implementing programs that improve the quality of life in America's cities, focusing on the leadership, creativity, and innovation demonstrated by the mayors.
This year's winning cities were selected by former mayors from a pool of over 200 applicants.
"It gives me great pleasure to congratulate Mayors Fischer and Muoio for outstanding programs that will lead to increased community participation and job opportunities in their cities," said Conference President Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. "Their programs will serve as models for cities around the country."
Barry H. Caldwell, Waste Management's Senior Vice President for Public Affairs and Communications, presented the awards during today's annual luncheon session in Orlando. "We are honored to again partner with the USCM and sponsor the City Livability Award for the 23rd time. As the nation's leading provider of comprehensive waste management services in North America, Waste Management's sponsorship of USCM is very important to us and we care passionately about the livability of our cities," said Mr. Caldwell.
In addition to the two top awards, Outstanding Achievement Awards were given to five cities with populations of 100,000 or more—San Diego (CA), Boston (MA), Bridgeport (CT), Hartford (CT), and Orlando (FL)—and five cities with populations of less than 100,000—West Hollywood (CA), Lake Oswego (OR), Napa (CA), Schaumburg (IL), and Sumter (SC).
Honorable Mention citations for cities with populations of 100,000 or more went to Baton Rouge (LA), Jersey City (NJ), Frisco (TX), and St. Louis (MO). Citations for cities with populations of less than 100,000 went to Evanston (IL), Medford (MA), Tamarac (FL), and York (PA).
"Our City Livability Awards Program gives the Conference the opportunity to highlight mayoral leadership in making urban areas cleaner, safer, and more livable," said Tom Cochran, CEO and Executive Director of the Conference of Mayors. "We are grateful to Waste Management for its many years of support for the City Livability Awards Program, and for the opportunity to showcase the creativity and commitment of mayors and city governments across the country."
FIRST PLACE PROGRAM DESCRIPTIONS
Louisville, KY (Large City):
In November 2011, during his first year in office, Mayor Greg Fischer pledged to make Louisville a more caring city and signed a resolution committing to a multi-year Compassionate Louisville campaign. As part of this mission, Mayor Fischer's "Give A Day" week challenged the community to help Louisville set the world's record for volunteering and public service by having at least 55,000 volunteers and "acts of kindness" in motion during the week of April 15-22. The week coincided with National Volunteer Week and the launch of the Kentucky Derby Festival, which leads up to Louisville's most exciting event of the year. People of all ages engaged in volunteer actions ranging from writing letters to troops, to reading to homeless children, to donating food and clothing. Louisville's first Give a Day week of service exceeded its goal with more than 90,000 volunteers and acts of caring. Mayor Fischer is incredibly proud of this accomplishment, and says it goes to show that, "There's a role for all of us in making sure no one is left behind or goes wanting."
West Palm Beach, FL (Small City):
Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach created a year-long, grant-funded, skills and career motivating program initiative titled Career Catalyst. This was designed to help connect unemployed city residents with a variety of resources and to increase access to Palm Beach County Workforce Alliance, a non-profit that handles employment initiatives. Running from October 2010 to September 2011, the program helped nearly 1,000 people who were unemployed or in need of computer skills improvement. It also created a partnership in which the organization that helps the unemployed could provide better resources to the library and the community it serves.
For more information, visit http://usmayors.org/80thAnnualMeeting/media/agenda.pdf
The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are 1,210 such cities in the country today, and each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor. Find us at usmayors.org, on facebook.com/usmayors, or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/usmayors.
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