All-America City


The All-America City Award is the country’s original and most prestigious community recognition award. Since 1949 the Award has honored communities of all sizes where community members, government, businesses and nonprofit organizations work together to address critical local issues. More than 500 communities have earned this distinguished title and many, like Albany, have earned it more than once.

All-America City is a community that works collaboratively to overcome local challenges.  Communities that earn the All-America City title realize numerous benefits, including: 

  • Local, state, and national recognition
  • Greater civic pride and greater civic collaboration
  • Economic stimulus

The National Civic League (NCL) is America's original advocate for community democracy. Founded in 1894 when educators, journalists, business leaders, and policy makers (including Theodore Roosevelt, Louis Brandeis, Marshall Field, and Frederick Law Olmsted) met to discuss the future of American cities. NCL is a non-profit, non-partisan, membership organization dedicated to strengthening citizen democracy by transforming democratic institutions.

2009 Award Winner: City earns title with history, youth programming and Capitalize Albany.

Albany has again captured the title of All-America City. A strong application highlighting our economic achievements, youth programs, and Halfmoon Project placed Albany in the finalist running. In June a delegation journeyed to Florida to make a presentation to the National Civic League in hopes of being named one of ten finalists.

Albany’s application was made even stronger with this being the City’s Quadricentennial year. Commemorating its 400th anniversary, Albany was well positioned to tell our community’s story. Albany’s particularly rich history and culture, proven civic engagement and youth programming embodied the goals of this award.

Albany is extremely honored to be recognized nationally for our successful programs and more importantly for the collaborative effort that is used to achieve these results. Without these partnerships, we would not be as successful in overcoming the challenges we face. This designation is a testament to the many efforts that take place throughout the community, improving the quality of life for all our residents. The year-long celebration and promotion of this title will surely bring the community closer and further evoke civic engagement throughout the City.

Youth Programs: Children find a citywide network of opportunities in their neighborhoods.

A City wide youth system that provides a menu of viable youth programs in the community.

Through the Department of Youth and Workforce Services, The Department of Recreation and the Department of Special Events, there are numerous opportunities for youth to be safe, healthy and well educated. These programs include:

  • Kids Improvement District (K.I.D.) initiative
  • Gang Prevention Program
  • Albany YouthBuild
  • Summer Youth Employment
  • Truancy Abatement Program
  • The Mayor’s Literacy Campaign

Capitalize Albany: Regional leaders collaborate to create an economic vision for the City.

In 1996, the Capitalize Albany strategy set out a bold vision for downtown and neighborhood revitalization. Since then, hundreds of State, Local, and community leaders, ordinary citizens, businesses and not for profits have partnered to bring about this vision. As a result of their collaboration, more than six billion dollars has been invested in projects across the City. Albany has been transformed by these new initiatives and partnerships and attracting more business development continues to be a priority.