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Santa Clara- All America City

Santa Clara was one of 10 applicants to receive this label in 2001

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Santa Clara, California has beaten the competition and earned the right to be labeled as one of the United States All-America Cities. This designation is bestowed only after rigorous competition with other outstanding cities in a National Civic League Competition. Vying with a number of other exceptional cities for this award, Santa Clara was one of 10 applicants to receive this label in 2001.

Earning the honor of being called an All America City is not easy because each community in the competition must turn in an application which shows that the local businesses, government organizations and nonprofit groups in the area have worked together to successfully resolve city problems. City leaders in Santa Clara are proud of the fact that they could prove this with two great examples. Santa Clara has met the challenge of providing affordable housing for the community. As proof, city officials focused on two different programs initiated in their community: the First-Time Homebuyers Program and the Intel Teacher Housing Fund, a joint venture with the Unified School District of Santa Clara. They also cited the city’s provision of housing assistance opportunities for disadvantaged populations.

Evidence of the citizens of Santa Clara’s concern for special populations can be seen in the Estancia Apartments which have a portion of the units set aside for families struggling to afford housing and residents who have a disability of some type. City leaders also cited the Sobrato Family Living Center and Santa Clara’s Redevelopment Agency as examples of their desire to make sure that all residents have a roof over their heads.

During their interview to obtain the All-America City Award, the leaders of Santa Clara backed up their claims in the application by showcasing the creative way that the town has worked with Sun Microsystems and the surrounding communities to make plans for the final large area of land remaining within the city limits. The cooperation between these entities has led to the restoration of historic buildings, the creation of a campus for Sun Microsystems, and open land for the public’s needs. The committee also outlined the work that volunteers within Santa Clara have done in revitalizing the Ulistac Natural Area to make it available for recreational purposes.

To show that Santa Clara is committed to the younger generations within its precincts, the All-America City committee highlighted the skate park designed on the Cabrillo Middle School grounds. The process of its development clearly indicates a unified effort between several organizations. To support these claims, teenagers and parents gave a video presentation showing the significance of the skate park to the development of the city’s young people because it gives them a safe place to be active and develop new skills. Santa Clara’s presentation to the All-America City judges ended with a taped choral rendition of “I Like It Here” by a group of children from Scott Lane School.

Being labeled as an All-America City puts Santa Clara in the same league as several other winning cities around the country. Fort Dodge, Iowa; Delray Beach, Florida; Ocean City, Maryland; and Brownsville, Texas are a few of the other top picks. Independence, Missouri, and Fayetteville, North Carolina have received this honor as well. These cities have all proven that community problems are not insurmountable if citizens are willing to work together with businesses and non-profit agencies to make their city better for all who live and work in the area.

Hopefully, the title of All-America City will draw even more businesses and residents into the Santa Clara area. With the right attitude and genuine concern for the quality of life in Santa Clara, even more exciting projects can become a part of the future of this thriving community.

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