The date is getting closer, and soon we'll find out if Yakima has been selected as a winner of one of the All-American City Awards.
YAKIMA, WA - The date is getting closer, and soon we'll find out if Yakima has been selected as a winner of one of the All-American City Awards.
Being named an All-American City doesn't mean you're perfect by any means. To win, each community must show civic engagement, innovation and collaborative efforts to tackle pressing local issues.
Joe Mann greets friendly faces outside his downtown business. He's lived in Yakima for 53 years and said there's no other place he'd rather be.
"We have beautiful weather," said Mann, who helped spearhead the All-American City Committee for Yakima. "We have beautiful people that live here. There's a lot of places that people can't work together, but in Yakima we do work together."
That unity encouraged Mann to put Yakima's name in the running for the 2014 All-American City Awards. However, he's certainly heard skepticism during this process. In fact, Mann said people have come up to him asking why he's devoting so much time to the project since Yakima has its fair share of crime, graffiti and gang issues.
But Mann tells us, almost every city has these problems and at least Yakima is being proactive about it.
"It's showing by no means that we have the perfect community, but we identify our problems, and we pull all the groups to work together to solve these problems," said Mann.
Mann said when people are willing to work together, they can change their community for the better.
"Case in point, the medical school, that wasn't an easy thing," said Mann. "The first medical school in 60 years west of the Mississippi, and to have it here in Yakima. And to have it funded, the majority of it funded by residents of Yakima. It's amazing."
That's why Mann thinks Yakima deserves to be named the 2014 All-American City.
Mann said a group of delegates is flying out to Denver, Colorado Thursday. Then, they're giving the presentation Sunday morning, and a little later on that day, we'll find out if Yakima has been crowned an All-American City.