View a pdf of this press release here.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Brittany-Rae Gregory
NEXT CENTURY CITIES RELEASES
ANNOUNCING CHANGE MAKER AWARD RECIPIENTS
Washington D.C. (December 21, 2020) – Today Next Century Cities released the 2020 Year in Review, a first-of-its-kind yearbook-style summary of the organization’s impact, accomplishments, and collaborations during the calendar year. In addition to staff reflections and outlooks plans for 2021, the publication showcases recipients of the inaugural Next Century Cities Change Maker Awards in addition to Local Leaders Making a Difference.
Mayors Making Strides with Broadband
Mayor Andy Berke – Chattanooga, Tennessee
Mayor Jim Coppinger – Hamilton County, Tennessee
Mayor Trey Mendez – Brownsville, Texas
Mayor Wade Troxell – Fort Collins, Colorado
The Community Advocacy Award
Winner: Nathaniel Watkins – Garrett County, Maryland
Honorable Mention: Irv Thomae – Norwich, Vermont
The Community Activism Award
Winner: Joshua Edmonds – Detroit, Michigan
Honorable Mention: Kim Maxwell, Ph.D. – Norfolk, Connecticut
The Digital Equity Award
Winner: Monica Gasparetto – Broward County, Florida
The Digital Inclusion Award
Winner: Candelaria Mendoza – San Antonio, Texas
The Innovation Award
Winner: Becky Lehman – Holland, Michigan
The State Champion Award
Winner: Barbara Fuller – Washtenaw County, Michigan
Winner: Ben Fineman – Washtenaw County, Michigan
The Mission Award
Winner: Rondella Hawkins – Austin, Texas
Winner: Aldona Valicenti – Lexington, Kentucky
Leaders Making a Difference
Catherine Tkachyk – Cuyahoga County, Ohio
Steven Buck – Sanford, Maine
David Williams – Ponca City, Oklahoma
Kathryn Greiner – Condon, Oregon
Nishal Mohan – San Diego, California
Dorothy Baunach – Cleveland, Ohio
Executive Director, Francella Ochillo, remarked on the publication’s significance,
“In a year that forced so many communities to double down on support for broadband access and adoption, Next Century Cities set new benchmarks for success. Our yearbook documents the many ways in which we helped to advance universal connectivity goals and highlights our collaborations with local officials. Stitched in between the tributes to local leadership is an underlying story of how NCC made an indelible mark on policymaking this year.
“We are also thrilled to announce the Change Maker Awardees who inspire our work. They have created new success models for data collection, policy proposals, partnerships, and community engagement strategies, largely in underserved communities. We encourage officials at all three levels of government, private sector partners, and public interest allies to collaborate with them on connectivity solutions.
“In 2021, NCC will continue to elevate community-level perspectives. Local governments are working tirelessly to provide affordable and reliable high-speed connectivity for residents. They need strategic and long-term investments, namely from Congress, that reflect the enormity of the digital divide. The $7 billion for broadband in the latest COVID-19 relief package is the first of many critical steps.”
The digital version of the publication can be accessed here and via the Next Century Cities website. Change Maker Award recipients, profiled local officials, and Next Century Cities member municipalities will also receive hardcopies of the publication.
Next Century Cities is a non-profit organization of over 200 communities, founded to support communities and their elected leaders. Our membership includes mayors and other officials who are working to ensure that all have access to fast, affordable, and reliable internet access. For more information, visit www.nextcenturycities.org .