Skip Navigation

  1. City Departments
  2. City Services
  3. Our City
    1. Accommodations
    2. Architecture
    3. Arts and Culture
    4. All America City
    5. Buffalo My City
    6. Buffalo Niagara Convention Center
    7. Visit Buffalo Niagara
    8. Buffalo Sports & Outdoor Recreation
    9. Education
    10. Buffalo Ambassadors
    11. 13 more items...
  4. Online Payments
  5. My Profile
    1. New User Registration
    2. Existing User Login
    3. Schedule Payment Instructions
  6. Meetings

Home > Our City > All America City

All America City

Buffalo: An All America City

Greater Buffalo, which encompasses the City of Buffalo and all of Erie County, NY (population 954,000) was first selected as an All America City and Community in 1996, at the National Civic League's All-America City Awards competition held in Fort Worth, Texas. The Buffalo and Niagara Region (Erie and Niagara counties) was honored in 2002.

  • Ten communities receive the All-America City designation annually. The designation is for a lifetime. The national program was initiated in 1949.
  • Greater Buffalo reached finalist status in 1994, 1995, 1996 and in 2001 and 2002. Annually, 30 communities are chosen as finalists. Niagara County was a finalist in 1997.
  • For the past ten years the Buffalo Niagara All-America City committee has emulated the national competition both in spirit and structure by honoring ten local citizen driven community projects through the Civic Empowerment Awards Program. Civic Empowerment Award applications are available by calling (716) 851-4052, or faxing a request to (716) 851-4309 or email to Local corporate sponsors have included Adam's Mark Hotel and Business First. Keynote speakers included Christopher T. Gates(NCL President) and Dr. Mary Pittman(Chair National Honorary Communities Coalition).
  • A sample of previous Civic Empowerment Award winners include: Baker Victory Services - Dorothy Miller Teen Mother and Child Residence; Children's Hospital West Side Women's and Children's Health Center; Forever Elmwood; Herman Badillo Bilingual Academy #76; Kids Escaping Drugs Campaign; King Urban Life Center; Massachusetts Avenue Project; Skating Association for the Blind and Handicapped; Vision for Tomorrow; Western New York Veteran's Housing Coalition; Kids Voting; A Taste of Buffalo; Challenger Little League; Project Joy; A Festival of Lights; and the Healthy Community Alliance. The Civic Empowerment Awards program was recognized by the Alliance for National Renewal's "100" things you could do to improve your community program. The City of Toledo, Ohio has initiated its own Civic Empowerment Awards program model.
  • Corporate sponsors for the "Civic Empowerment Awards" are encouraged. Please Call (716) 851-4052 for details.
  • The All-America City logo is available for use by community organizations. Call (716) 851-4052 for details.
  • The AAC Committee has established these goals for The Year 2004-2005 in support of its mission of increasing social capital in Buffalo Niagara Region:
    • Work with community leaders to strengthen Buffalo's national public image.
    • Promote local civic pride through Civic Empowerment Awards Program
    • Promote the practice of "civic journalism" by the local media.
    • Prompt citizen involvement in their communities to build social capital and enhance community Democracy.
    • Develop resources to measure social capital and promote inter-sector civic capacity building activities in the region
  • Be an active participant in the NCL's All-America City Alumni Program (Phil Haberstro is the previous national chair for the NCL's AAC Alumni Program)
  • The All-America City Award is a program of the National Civic League, which promotes the active involvement of citizens in the governance of their communities. Based in Denver, Colorado, the National Civic League will celebrated its 110th anniversary in 2004. The All-America City Award program was founded in 1949 and is the oldest and most prestigious community recognition award. The National Civic League Website address:; phone: 1-303-571-4343.
  • The Buffalo-Niagara All-America City Committee Honorary Co. Chair are John S. Giardino and Samuel P. Granieri. The Committee is in its 12th year of operation and is housed in the non-profit Wellness Institute of Greater Buffalo and WNY Inc. (Phone - (716) 851-4052 Fax - (716) 851-4309 E-mail
  • All-America City Award applicants are initially judged on an 11-page application, which profiles their community and three community improvement projects that reflect a spirit of cooperation, collaboration, creativity, and results in solving essential community challenges. If an applicant becomes one of 30 finalists, they are further rated on their verbal presentation to a jury of civic experts at the National final competition.
  • Greater Buffalo's winning 1996 application profiled the following projects:
    • Kids Escaping Drugs Campaign (Contact - JoAnne Hudecki 716-884-9534)
    • Skating Association for the Blind & Handicapped (Contact - Sheila O'Brien- 716-362-9600,
    • Forever Elmwood (Contact - Karl Frizlen 716-885-6214,
  • Buffalo Niagara winning 2002 profiles these programs

New members/organizations and sponsors are always welcome to the Buffalo-Niagara All-America City committee. For more information on the Buffalo-Niagara  All-America City Committee, our experiences in the NCL's All-America City Competition or the Civic Empowerment Awards program please contact Mr. Phil Haberstro at (716) 851-4052; fax (716) 851-4309; e-mail or visit the City of Buffalo Website. The Buffalo-Niagara All-America City Committee is happy to share its story of its efforts to strengthen democracy in our community and encourages all communities in America to apply for the AAC award. It is an outstanding civic and community building program.