A 54-member delegation—representing business, government, community groups, and private citizens—went to Atlanta to persuade a panel of judges that Santa Clara deserved the recognition for its achievements. Santa Clara was one of 30 cities qualifying as finalists.
"It was a thrilling experience for all of us who were in Atlanta, but winning this award should make every single person in Santa Clara feel proud of our community," said then Mayor Judy Nadler. "There are thousands of cities in the United States, but Santa Clara is one of only 10 to be called an All America City in the new millennium. It's a tremendous honor."
In addition to Mayor Nadler, City Council Members in the delegation included Pat Kolstad, Patricia Mahan, John McLemore, and Aldyth Parle. Elected Police Chief Steve Lodge and City Clerk Judy Boccignone also represented the City in Atlanta. All America City DelegationTo be named an All-America City, a community must demonstrate successful resolution of community issues through collaborative effort of local business, government and nonprofit organizations. In its application, Santa Clara identified as its two major current challenges the need for more affordable housing and the decision on how to reuse the large parcel of state surplus land, the former site of Agnews Hospital.
Santa Clara representatives told judges about several community programs focused on housing, such as the Intel Teacher Housing Fund partnership with the Santa Clara Unified School District, and the First-Time Homebuyers Program which is a cooperative program of the City and Cal Fed Lending. Also presented were housing assistance programs for special populations such as the Estancia apartment complex which sets aside units for low incomes households and the disabled, and the Sobrato Family Living Center operated by the Emergency Housing Consortium. The City's Redevelopment Agency provides funding in support of most of these programs, and for many other housing assistance programs as well.
Other community members in the delegation talked about the innovative way in which the City, the community and Sun Microsystems came together to develop the best use of the last remaining large parcel of land in the City. They pointed out how the corporate headquarters campus of this major international company also contains carefully restored historic buildings and open space available for public use. They also outlined the benefits of the nearby Ulistac Natural Area, and the work of volunteers in restoring this open space park for public use and enjoyment.
Each community applying for the All-America City designation must also demonstrate a commitment to youth, and Santa Clara pointed to the highly-successful skatepark located on the Cabrillo Middle School campus as an example of a project that improved the lives of local children and teens. Members of the City's Youth Commission explained how the young people of the community encouraged the City and the Santa Clara Unified School District to find a way to develop a skatepark. A few skillful skateboarders were on hand and on a video showing judges how their skills have improved. Parents of skaters told how pleased they were to have a safe, challenging place for their children to skate after school and on weekends. Scooby Doo And Yogi Bear With Santa Clara Resident
"Santa Clara blends the best of a modern, urban metropolis with the comfortable charm of small town, USA," the application said. "This unique combination of America past and present is evident throughout the community, from the way government serves its residents to the grassroots activities that draw thousands of citizens into active participation in community life."
Delegates from Santa Clara wore T-shirts and hats emblazoned with the theme: Santa Clara High Tech, Human Touch, HT2. The grand finale to the City's presentation -- a videotape of children from Scott Lane School singing the patriotic song "I Like It Here" - received wild applause from the audience.
In addition to Santa Clara, other All-America City winners for 2001 include: Delray Beach, Florida; South Miami, Florida; Fort Dodge, Iowa; Howard County, Maryland; Ocean City, Maryland; Independence, Missouri; Bozeman, Montana; Fayetteville, North Carolina; and Brownsville, Texas.
Santa Clara and the other nine communities selected for a 2001 All-America City award "send a vital message of hope to the rest of the country," said Christopher Gates, President of the National Civic League. "They prove that challenges that seem insurmountable can be met with a little ingenuity and a lot of collaboration.
Santa Clara's application was submitted jointly with Sun Microsystems, the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce and Convention-Visitor's Bureau, Santa Clara Unified School District, Intel, and Santa Clara University.
View the City of Santa Clara's 2001 All-America City Award Application (PDF).