Mayor Gregory J. Oravec received national recognition this weekend for Port St. Lucie's efforts to confront issues on race relations, unity, inclusion - and to enhance our promise to be a City for all people.
Mayor Oravec received an Outstanding Achievement Large City 2017 Livability Award in support of the Forum on Race Relations & Inclusion at the U.S. Conference of Mayor's 85th Annual Meeting in Miami Beach on Saturday June 24.
The award recognizes mayoral leadership in developing and implementing programs that improve the quality of life in America's cities, focusing on the leadership, creativity, and innovation demonstrated by mayors. This year's winning cities were selected by former mayors from a pool of more than 150 applicants.
"Our City Livability Awards Program gives us the chance to express our pride in cities' mayoral leadership in making urban areas cleaner, safer, and more livable," said Tom Cochran, CEO and Executive Director of the Conference of Mayors. "We are grateful to Waste Management for its many years of support for the City Livability Awards Program, and for the opportunity to showcase the innovation and commitment of mayors and city governments across the country."
The Port St. Lucie City Council agreed to move forward with the Forum on Race Relations & Inclusion in response to acts of violence in the United States stemming from racial tension, terrorism, hate and a lack of understanding. The Forum was an opportunity for the public to engage in honest dialogue, express ideas and learn about others. The Forum's mission is to bring the people of Port St. Lucie together to listen, share concerns, learn, plan and act and report progress on maintaining and enhancing the City's promise of being a City for all people.
"Since our founding fathers declared independence, our citizens' safety and prosperity have been the primary mission of American governments at all levels, including cities. Here in the City of Port St. Lucie, we have much to be proud of in fulfilling this mission. We are the safest large City in Florida and a growing City for all people, not just in words but in statistical facts," Oravec said. "However, if we are to maintain and enhance these high standards, we can never take our success for granted. We must be prepared to proactively address the great challenges of our day, and one of the largest challenges currently facing us and the world is hate-based violence. The Forum on Race Relations & Inclusion was an important waypoint in our effort to confront hate and to maintain and enhance the unity of our community."
This year, the City will build off of the Forum by conducting additional "bridging the gap" training and reviewing our internal administrative policies as we strive for continuous improvement.
This is the 38th year in which cities have competed for the Livability Award, which is sponsored by the Conference of Mayors and Waste Management, Inc., the nation's largest environmental solution provider.
Alex Gonzalez, Waste Management's Florida Area Public Affairs Director, presented the City Livability awards during the annual luncheon in Miami Beach.
"Through the City Livability Awards, Waste Management is immensely proud to honor US Mayors who are committed to strengthening our communities and enhancing the lives of their residents across the nation," said Susan Moulton, Waste Management's Senior Corporate Director of Public Sector Solutions. "For more than 28 years, Waste Management has sponsored the Awards, because the work these Mayors do to keep our communities safe, healthy, and vibrant aligns directly with our commitment to community vitality by providing innovative, safe and sustainable recycling and waste services."
In addition to the two top awards, Outstanding Achievement Awards were given to five cities with populations of 100,000 or more: Irvine (CA), Gresham (OR), Phoenix (AZ), Pembroke Pines (FL), Port St. Lucie (FL) -- and five cities with populations of less than 100,000 - Aguadilla (PR), Doral (FL), Dubuque (IA), East Orange (NJ) and Greenville (MS).
Honorable Mention citations for cities with populations of 100,000 or more went to: Allentown (PA), Bridgeport (CT), Las Vegas (NV), and Plano (TX). Citations for cities with populations of less than 100,000 went to Bethlehem (PA), Carmel (IN), Johns Creek (GA), and Orland Park (IL).
"We are grateful for the USCM's partnership and recognition and Waste Management's sponsorship of the Livability Awards Program," Oravec said. "I am proud of our community, City Council and staff members for making our first Forum a great success."
The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are nearly 1,400 such cities in the country today, and each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor. For more information and descriptions for the Outstanding Achievement and Honorable Mention award programs please go to: https://www.usmayors.org/city-livability/