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O'Connell Announces All America City Team

O'Connell Announces All America City Team

The eleven members of Allentown’s All-America City team are busy with preparations for their June 21 trip to Denver for the competition finals.

Mayor Ray O’Connell announced the members of the team at a late morning news conference in City Council Chambers. They are: City Council President Roger MacLean, City Councilperson and Allentown Promise Neighborhood Community Manager Cynthia Mota, Allentown Police Chief Tony Alsleben, Allentown Health Bureau Director Vicky Kistler, Mayor’s Special Assistant Ismael Arcelay, City Recreation and Special Events Coordinator Christy Alvord, Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center Founder and Executive Director Adrian Shanker, City Center Allentown Vice President, Director of Project Design and Corporate Branding Jane Heft, Allentown School District Director of Equity Dr. Lucretia Brown, Lehigh-Carbon Community College Vice President Academic Services and Student Development Dr. Thomas W. Meyer and Owner of LBJ Media and Nominee for the All-America City Youth award Luis Bardales, Jr.

The City was notified in late March that it is a finalist in the 2018 All-America City Awards, which is a program of the National Civic League (NCL). Allentown has not achieved All-America status since 1975.

Each of the 20 finalist municipalities is invited to bring a team of residents, nonprofit leaders, business representatives and government officials to the 109th National Civic League Conference on Local Governance in Denver to participate in presentations and workshops. Allentown’s team will be participating in a creative presentation before the All-America City jury, followed by a Q&A.

Allentown’s application highlights the City’s inclusive engagement and equitable opportunities for all community members, demonstrating many collaborative partnerships within the City.

O’Connell said, “We have assembled a very passionate group of diverse community members who will truly showcase Allentown’s equitable opportunities, recent successes, and potential for the future.”

O’Connell also paid tribute to the local businesses and organizations that are sponsoring the effort. “Corporate sponsorships from City Center, Alvin H. Butz Inc., Jaindl Enterprises, PPL and Downtown Allentown Community Development Corporation are funding our team’s travel, accommodations, and registration for the national competition. Thank you all, not only for your past and ongoing investment in the revitalization of our city, but for your confidence and commitment to Allentown’s future.”

There is an opportunity for members of the community to get involved in promoting the City’s participation in the finals as part of a social media contest sponsored by the NCL.

The City’s dynamic team members met and brainstormed the start of a social media campaign, with dry erase whiteboards that can be taken to different community groups to start posting photos on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms showing their support.

According to Allentown team member Vicky Kistler, “These posters allow each group to write in their organization’s name, or any special message they want to send about Allentown. The hashtag, per the contest guidelines, is #AAC2018. We’re excited to engage a variety of businesses, non-profit groups, and neighbors to join us in this campaign. Interested groups and organizations can contact the city at


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