WASHINGTON -- President Bush has lauded Baltimore and nine other cities for giving the country reason for optimism as he officially designated them "All-America Cities."
"Often people ask why we ought to be optimistic about our nation's future," Bush said at a presentation ceremony yesterday in the White Houses Rose Garden. "But I think there is reason to be optimistic: Look at any of the 10 cities that are appropriately being honored. . . ."
Afterward, Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke said he was "very excited for the city" and said the All-America designation is an award for the citizens.
"There are a number of citizen-action projects that are under way, and we're just pleased to see the president recognize that there are some good things going on in cities," Schmoke said.
All-America City awards are a program of the Nation Civic League and are presented to communities that show collaborative approaches to problem solving -- successful community action involving the public, private and nonprofit sectors.
The 10 cities honored were named June 8 in San Antonio from a field of 30 finalists. They range in population from 3,232 in Gothenburg, Neb., to 736,014 in Baltimore.
Others are Gadsden, Ala; Greencastle, Ind.; Newark, N.J.; Albany, N.Y.; Greensboro, N.C.; Dayton, Ohio; Austin, Texas; and Winchester-Frederick County, Va.