All American City
MOBILE WINS TITLE OF "ALL AMERICAN CITY"
On Saturday, June 24, 1995, Mobile was named one of the nation's "All American Cities" by the National Civic League, a Denver-Based organization that promotes grassroots efforts to improve the quality of life in communities. The announcement was made in Cleveland, Ohio, where 33 Mobile Citizens made a live presentation outlining three successful projects in Mobile.
The projects submitted in Mobile's application included: The String of Pearls which includes the downtown and Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue redevelopment projects; the Student Bill of Rights where students from all over Mobile county prepared a list of items they felt necessary to achieve a good education; and the Clean Campus project where the citizens of the Maysville community cleaned and landscaped the George Hall Elementary School and renewed their community spirit.
In the String of Pearls project, presenters described such downtown success stories as the soon to be constructed Omnimax Theatre, the new performing arts park in the Cathedral Square arts district, the $4-million Riverside Park (which will be next to the Mobile Convention Center) and the 35 new restaurant and entertainment facilities on and around Dauphin Street. In the MLK area, projects which were improvements included five new housing units and 10 others under construction, the Weed and Seed program to weed out crime and drugs and infuse the community with resources, and efforts to demolish abandoned buildings used by drug addicts and homeless people.
In describing the Student Bill of Rights project, Marsha Roberts from Leflore High School said, "Items such as the right to be safe and secure on school property, the right to be treated fairly regardless of race, creed or color, and the right to an environment conducive to learning were part of our document." The young presenters told judges that, as a result of their sensible approach to problem-solving in the schools, the Mobile County School Board has asked five students to sit on the school system's policy advisory board.
"I remember when our neighborhood was torn up by crime, drugs, litter, and neglect." said Angelo Wiggins, a resident of the Maysville community who helped present the Clean Campus Project "But the people of Maysville have taken back their area with a cleanup campaign at the George Hall Elementary School and throughout the neighborhood."
In addition to landscaping their school, 120 residents inspected the neighborhood during a door-to-door walk through and identified 310 city code violations. They also collected 275 cubic yards of trash in their mass effort to create a better living environment.
"Being named an all American City is great news for Mobile," said Mayor Mike Dow. "Our community has worked hard over the past several years to improve communications, increase participation among all people and work in teams to accomplish our goals. It's an added benefit to be recognized nationally for our efforts."