Phoenix wins All-American City honor; Cronkite student plays role
When the city of Phoenix won an All-American City honor recently, Cronkite School student Tania Mendes received at least part of the credit.
Mendes, a sophomore broadcast major in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, played the part of a newscaster for Phoenix’s presentation to the judges during the All-American City competition June 17-19 in Tampa, Fla. A delegation from each of 29 competing cities made presentations and touted accomplishments such as job creation, downtown revitalization, crime reduction, community-based problem solving, grassroots civic engagement and cooperation between public, private and nonprofit sectors.
ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus, which opened for classes in the fall of 2006, was an important part of Phoenix’s presentation. The campus was made possible by a $223 million bond issue approved by city of Phoenix voters that paved the way for campus construction.
“We congratulate our partner, the city of Phoenix, on being named an All-American City,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow. “Great cities and great universities need each other. ASU’s new Downtown Phoenix Campus helped spark the renaissance of downtown Phoenix and the city’s renaissance helped make our campus an extraordinary success in a few short years. This synergy will only expand in the future as our downtown campus continues to grow and the city continues to thrive.”
A committee of approximately 60 people worked on the All-American City presentation and award application. In addition to the ASU Downtown Phoenix Campus, local officials highlighted the Phoenix Biomedical Campus, parks and land preservation and library spaces for teens.
But it is the ASU campus that is the “cornerstone of our new downtown,” said Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon.
“Our collaborative, progressive projects have improved education and the economy downtown, saved thousands of acres of open space, renovated and built neighborhood parks and provided unique spaces just for teens at all of our libraries,” Gordon said. “Working with the community means that everyone in Phoenix has a chance to help shape the future of our All-America City.”
Mendes said that students particularly appreciate the Valley’s new light rail service, the new Civic Space park and internships at local media outlets.
“The downtown atmosphere is unlike any other,” she said. “With the awesome addition of the Metro light-rail throughout Phoenix, the city has become a more productive, efficient and environmentally friendly city, cutting down on car use significantly.”
Ten cities were awarded the All-American honor. In addition to Phoenix, winners were: Inglewood, Calif.; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Richmond, Ind.; Wichita, Kan.; Somerville, Mass.; Albany, N.Y.; Kinston, N.C.; Statesville, N.C.; and Caroline County, Va.
Phoenix previously won the All-America City title in 1950, 1958, 1980 and 1989.