Westminster was named one of 10 winners of the 1996 All-America City & Community Award by the National Civic League for dealing successfully with racial and ethnic discord, crime, neighborhood blight and joblessness.
“We’ve been able to address these problems and we’re proud of the award,” said Westminster Mayor Charles V. Smith, who attended the awards ceremony Saturday in Texas.
“We have a contingent of 64 people with us to accept the award and it’s a good ethnic and racial cross-section of our city.”
Westminster, population 83,287, was the only city in the West to win the award, presented by the National Civic League.
The other winners were: Quincy, Fla.; Hays, Kan.; Greater New Orleans; Holland, Mich.; Fosston, Minn.; Hartsville, S.C.; McAllen, Texas; Roanoke, Va.; and Greater Buffalo, N.Y.
“These 10 communities have one thing in common, a belief in the power of grass-roots problem solving,” said John W. Gardner, chairman of the National Civic League. “Their successes give hope and inspiration to other communities facing similar challenges across America.”
The judges cited Westminster’s ability to help its large low-income population of Vietnamese, Latino and white children and senior citizens with a program called Project SHUE (Safety, Health, Understanding & Education) offered at a neighborhood senior citizen center.
The Police Department’s gang enforcement team was also praised for helping limit crime.