March 20, 2012
The National League of Cities (NLC) chose the city of Phoenix to receive its 2012 Cultural Diversity Award. Phoenix won first place for the City Manager’s Community Engagement and Outreach Task Force. The task force was established in 2010 as a community-based, long-term effort to enhance the relationship between the Phoenix Police Department and the community.
“This award honors and recognizes the hard work and spirit of collaboration of our residents and businesses, faith-based and nonprofit organizations,” said Vice Mayor Michael Johnson. “By engaging and collaborating with the Phoenix community through a process of open dialogue and new partnerships, the Phoenix Police Department has introduced new and innovative programs to promote cultural diversity and heighten the level of service it provides to city residents, and has strengthened its relationship and ties to the community it serves.”
The City Manager’s Community Engagement and Outreach Task Force included volunteers from a cross-section of the Phoenix community. The task force implemented a public outreach process that included six public hearings at senior centers and community centers, three Teen Summits and Young Adult Summits, and nine focus groups. From those meetings the task force developed and implemented 34 specific recommendations covering five broad categories, presented to and approved by the Phoenix City Council on Jan. 11, 2011.
One of the recommendations called for creation of an Implementation Review Team to monitor progress made in implementing the task force recommendations and the action steps of the Police Department in improving its relationship with the community. This team, comprised of 11 members of the original task force and other community and religious leaders, continues to meet and report quarterly to the Phoenix City Council on its progress. More information is available at phoenix.gov/publicsafety/outreach/index.html.
Sponsored by the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials of the National League of Cities, the City Cultural Diversity Awards were created to showcase examples of how cities achieve excellence in diversity, encourage residents to participate in local government-sponsored activities, and enhance and show the appreciation of cultural diversity as a way of life in our communities.