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What’s Next for Iowa’s All-America City

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) Cedar Rapids is starting its week as a brand new All-America City, after applying for the award from the National Civic League.

It recognizes ten communities from across the country each year for civic accomplishment and paves the way for increased economic development.

The McGrath Amphitheater isnt just a spot to see concerts and take a great shot of downtown, its also a great example of Cedar Rapids Recovery from the 2008 flood. The city says it was stories like the one attached to this new structure that are just a taste of whats possible.

"Well good afternoon everyone. My name is Ron Corbett and I'm proud to be the mayor of an All-America City, Mayor Corbett told a crowd gathered to welcome the Cedar Rapids delegation back to town.

Cedar Rapids might be proud of its new award, but before that, it still had plenty of pride in the reasons that it won in the first place.

"This is my city, this is my home, said Blue Zones Ambassador Lynn Stansbery. I live in the house I grew up in so it was very important for me to tell our story."

"It was very emotional at first but when we got there and told our story, I was proud to tell that story, said Gary Stansbery, who also took part in the presentation.

Much of Cedar Rapids presentation to the National Civic League focused on how just six years to the day after the flood, Cedar Rapids says its rebuilding bigger, and in some places, better than before.

By sharing the story of its recovery, Cedar Rapids can help other communities.

"They will be able to come to us and say, 'Oh my gosh you guys did this, let me know how you did this, said Lynn.

But the City of Five Seasons isnt done growing.

"It will go into a trophy case but that's not where it's going to sit, said Mayor Corbett. We're going to market this award to the rest of the United States."

He says itll go a long way towards increasing local jobs and holding on to the population that could fill them. Not only can the city already boast a growing downtown district, but now, an outside organization is saying that Cedar Rapids is the whole package.

"I think this is a good house-keeping seal of approval that this is a great community to live and work, said Corbett.

For an example of whats possible, Cedar Rapids points to Dubuque. They say IBM created more than a thousand jobs there with a new technology service delivery center partially because of the citys All-America City Award in 2007.
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