Columbia Heights bests Woodbury for All America City designation

That’s gotta hurt, eh, Woodbury?

The city was shut out of the top 10 for the honor of All-America City for 2016, after becoming a finalist by finishing in the top 20.

The designation as an All-America City is shared annually by 10 cities nationwide. For 2016, Columbia Heights is the lone Minnesota designee.

The criteria for winning an All-America City Award include impact, inclusiveness, public engagement and the use of collaborative problem-solving strategies linking the private, public and nonprofit sectors, according to the National Civil League, which sponsors the competition.

Here are this year’s winners:

Hayward, California
Lakewood, Colorado
New Britain, Connecticut
Fall River, Massachusetts
Columbia Heights, Minnesota
Asheboro, North Carolina
Hartsville, South Carolina
San Antonio, Texas
Norfolk, Virginia
Brown Deer, Wisconsin

“These All-America cities are doing amazing work to engage their communities in helping to assure the well-being of young people,” Doug Linkhart, President of the National Civic League, said in a press release. “We’re constantly impressed by their innovation and dedication in bringing together groups and individuals together to address critical issues such as the health and educational success. While there are certainly many other successful community engagement efforts to improve opportunities for young people, All-America City winners clearly rise to the top.”

These are the finalists who didn’t win:

Avondale, Arizona
Woodbury, Minnesota
Marana, Arizona
Las Vegas, Nevada
Indio, California
Salisbury, North Carolina
Whittier, California
Charleston County, South Carolina
Missouri City, Texas
Council Bluffs, Iowa

The Star Tribune says Columbia Heights’ strength was “a strong city-school collaboration has helped lower youth crime and improve police-community relations. Officers and city staffers work with schoolchildren as part of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, and a new city library is under construction.”

Woodbury built an accessible playground at the ginormous Bielenberg Sports Complex and held an event to pack food for Feed My Starving Children.

Both cities sent delegations to Denver to make their pitches.