Hundreds turned out for a party on the historic downtown Square to
celebrate Marietta being named of the 10 best cities in America. U.S.
Congressman Phil Gingrey congratulated the community, and Governor
Perdue sent a proclamation recognizing Marietta’s achievement as a 2006
The award is the oldest and most respected community
recognition program in the country. Nearly 600 communities began the
application process, and Marietta beat other national finalists for the
award, which recognizes exemplary grassroots community problem-solving.
The Marietta Master Chorale, conducted by Jerid Morisco, started the party by singing Georgia on Mind and America the Beautiful. Volunteers served free hot dogs, cake and drinks, and children enjoyed balloon animals and face painting.
Sharon Metz, a member of the National Civic League board and juror for the national competition, congratulated Marietta on behalf of the organization that crowned the winners. She explained the importance of the award to the community and why judges chose Marietta as one of the country’s best cities.
Marietta City Manager Bill Bruton and Mayor Bill Dunaway presented each member of the team who competed in California a plaque. Members of city council also thanked the community organizations that were a part of Marietta’s application for the award.
The Mustangs played a free outdoor concert, and the crowd wrapped up the evening by doing the chicken dance and electric slide.
The All-America City award is like the ?Academy Award?? for cities and means the work the community is doing is among the best in the country. Since 1949, the All-America City award has recognized civic excellence, honoring communities of all sizes where citizens, government, businesses and volunteer organizations work together to address critical local issues.
Being selected a winner substantiates Marietta is a model for the nation with extensive planning efforts and approaches to facing difficult challenges in innovative and collaborative ways. Winners in previous years have been honored at the White House.
Marietta applied for the award and was selected a finalist. Then a delegation of community members presented the city?s programs and successes to a jury of national civic affairs experts during a three-day competition against other finalists in Anaheim, California.
Marietta presented several community projects to the judges. The first was Marietta?s efforts to reduce crime and stabilize deteriorating neighborhoods by creating M-STAR. The citywide program combines community policing and computer analysis of crime trends with accountability of city staff and public involvement. M-STAR has resulted in many successes, the most notable being a 22 percent reduction of crime.
The Marietta Revitalization Program was the second initiative submitted to judges. Its goal is to save the city from decline and create a stronger sense of community by balancing the city?s housing stock, stabilizing school enrollments, creating affordable workforce housing and revitalizing neighborhoods. The city has made substantial progress toward increasing the percentage of homeowners while reducing substandard rental units. Over $335 million has been invested in Marietta?s redevelopment.
Judges required a program to benefit children, and the city highlighted Marietta Reads. The citywide effort to foster reading and literacy has increased student test scores and book circulation, while students read one billion words.
Dozens of community organizations and programs were cited in the city?s award application, and many were part of the delegation that competed before the jury. Everyone in Marietta should be proud, because winning the award is the result of the entire community working together every day.
Allgood Neighborhood Revitalization Task Force
Atlanta Regional Commission
Boys and Girls Club
Brown Park Cemetery Restoration Project
Center for Family Resources
Chattahoochee Technical College
Citizens Government Academy
Citizens Police Academy
Civil Service Commission
Clean City Commission
Cobb Chamber of Commerce
Cobb County Comprehensive Traffic Plan Task Force
Cobb Housing, Inc.
Cobb Landmarks and Historical Society
Cobb Municipal Association
Cobb/Paulding Regional Transportation Task Force
Communities in Schools of Marietta/Cobb County
Community Leadership Development Program
Downtown Marietta Development Authority
Faith based organizations, including local mosque
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Franklin Road Community Association
Franklin Road Task Force
Georgia Department of Education
Georgia Department of Transportation
Georgia Municipal Association
Keep Marietta Beautiful
Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield
Kennesaw State University
Kiwanis Club of Marietta
Latin American Association
Loop Group neighborhood association
Marietta Business Association
Marietta City Schools
Marietta Civitan Club
Marietta Housing Authority
Marietta Initiative for Neighborhood Transformation
Marietta Mayor and City Council
Marietta Metro Rotary Club
Marietta Museum of History
Marietta Parks and Recreation Department
Marietta Planning Commission
Marietta Redevelopment Corporation
Marietta Schools Foundation
Marietta Tree Keepers
Marietta Weed and Seed committee
Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art
M-Star community policing program
Powder Springs Road Master Plan participants
Rotary Club of Marietta
Southern Polytechnic State University
Theatre in the Square
WellStar Health System