EAST ORANGE, NJ — East Orange Mayor Lester E. Taylor III was awarded an Outstanding Achievement Award at the 2017 City Livability Awards Program during The U.S. Conference of Mayors’ 85th annual meeting in Miami Beach in June.
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 the mayors. This year’s winning cities were selected by former mayors from a pool of more than 150 applicants.
East Orange was recognized for its comprehensive “Don’t Dump On EO” Campaign, a collaborative community effort that engaged citizens of all ages in helping to keep East Orange clean and raise the standard of living in the city.
“In East Orange, we always say a clean city is a safe city, and a clean and safe city is a profitable city,” said Taylor. “When I took office in 2014, we established a Quality of Life Task Force to tackle the issues that commonly arise as a result of decades of blight. I am extremely proud of how much we have been able to accomplish in three years. From the leadership of our Division of Vacant and Abandoned Properties and aggressive code enforcement to the nearly half a billion dollars in private capital investment and 5,000 square feet of light industrial and commercial retail happening right now, East Orange is continuing to achieve our vision to set the standard for urban excellence and become a destination city.”
“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, chief executive officer 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.”
This is the 38th year in which cities have competed for the award, which is sponsored by the Conference of Mayors and Waste Management Inc., the nation’s largest environmental solutions provider.
Alex Gonzalez, Waste Management’s Florida Area Public Affairs director, presented the City Livability awards during an annual luncheon on Saturday, June 24, 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.”
This year’s first-place winners were Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti for a local program focused on keeping city street and alleys clean, as well as Hattiesburg, Miss., Mayor Johnny DuPree for a local literacy initiative, where young people are able to access free books through library lounges in local restaurants.
In addition to the two top awards, Outstanding Achievement Awards were given to five cities with populations of 100,000 or more — Irvine, Calif.; Gresham, Oregon; Phoenix, Ariz.; Pembroke Pines, Fla.; and Port St. Lucie, Fla. — and five cities with populations of less than 100,000 — Aguadilla, Puerto Rico; Doral, Fla.; Dubuque, Iowa; East Orange and Greenville, Miss.
Honorable Mention citations for cities with populations of 100,000 or more went to: Allentown, Pa.; Bridgeport, Conn.; Las Vegas; and Plano, Texas. Citations for cities with populations of less than 100,000 went to Bethlehem, Pa.; Carmel, Ind.; Johns Creek, Ga.; and Orland Park, Ill.