The National Civic League (NCL), founded in 1894, is an organization dedicated to advancing civic engagement in order to create equitable, thriving communities. NCL works to inspire cities and communities across America to develop innovative strategies to actively engage community decision-making, NCL is best known for their prestigious, nationally-renown All-America City Award.
The All-America City Award is bestowed upon ten cities who showcase innovative, engaging, and inspiring strategies to empower their community. It is one of the highest awards any American city can receive.
Time and again, the people of El Paso have come together – unified and determined in resolving its challenges and rising to support its regional and international neighbors in overcoming extreme adversity and realizing far-reaching and mutually beneficial goals. As evidenced in these highlighted projects, El Paso is a community of excellence, progress, and unwavering resilience.
El Paso’s Response to the Humanitarian Crisis at the Border
El Paso experienced a record number of asylum seekers and refugees from Central and South America. El Pasoans united to volunteer at local shelters operated by various organizations, such as the Catholic Diocese of El Paso and Annunciation House, a non-profit volunteer organization offering hospitality to migrants, immigrants, and refugees. The united approach brought together local community-based agencies, civic leaders, and countless volunteers who donated time, food, medical care, and personal hygiene products to address the immediate needs of the asylees and other migrants and to help them reunite with their families
Community-Wide Mental Health and Emergency Response
As in other communities, there persists a lack of basic understanding and training for people concerning mental health and services available to community members in El Paso. With the Paso del Norte Health Foundation taking a leadership role in addressing this concern, El Paso has made significant headway in building its capacity to meet the mental health needs of its residents. In 2012, the Paso del Norte Health Foundation commissioned a situational analysis to gauge mental health stigma within the community, including neighboring Ciudad Juárez and Southern New Mexico. The analysis revealed that stigma associated with mental illness abounded throughout the region.
People and Pets – Reaching Community-wide “No-Kill” Status
The City of El Paso’s Animal Shelter is the only open admission shelter in the entire region with an annual intake of nearly 27,000 homeless pets. The City of El Paso approved a bold plan that would lead to the large shelter achieving “No-Kill” status by 2020. The formula for No-Kill includes aggressive pet retention programs, spay and neuter programs, community engagement rather than enforcement, and robust adoption programs. As of 2019, the shelter has an 87% live release rate and is on target to reach 90% by the end of 2020.