Letter: Kingman will always be one of America’s Best Communities

Just days remain in the America’s Best Communities competition; a $10 million prize competition supported by Frontier Communications, DISH Network, CoBank and The Weather Channel.

The goal was to create incentives for communities and towns to come together across rural America to support revitalization and improve lives and livelihoods. As we prepare to announce the three grand-prize winners, we’re reflecting on the impact of this campaign.

More than 350 communities entered the competition in 2014, and 50 were selected as quarterfinalists. Kingman was among this vibrant group of villages, towns and cities that earned its status as one of America’s Best Communities.

We cannot thank you enough for your hard work, dedication and tenacity.

You brought your community together – people from different walks of life, people who did not typically work in collaboration – and together, you rallied behind a vision for a more prosperous future, and you set about bringing it to life.

The innovative ideas you incorporated into your Community Revitalization Plan are now part of a bank of solutions that live at AmericasBestCommunities.com. The 50 plans developed with funding from the competition are accessible at each community’s page on the website.

It has become a resource for rural communities and small cities that are seeking effective ideas for economic growth and community development.

When Frontier Communications joined with our partners to sponsor this program, we were proud to provide incentives to inspire towns and cities to create revitalization strategies, and you should be proud of how your work is inspiring other communities to pursue their own revitalization programs. Your ideas will help others reimagine their future.

In recent months, the term “Rural America” has been used frequently in the national media. The focus tends to be on the challenges facing rural communities and small towns.

However, we believe it’s time to shift the conversation and focus on the vast potential of rural cities and regions across our country. We need to emphasize the grit and determination, the innovation and collaboration, the creativity and competitive spirit that epitomizes rural America.

No community is without its challenges, but your community continues to show what it means to be one of America’s Best Communities.

The best communities are the result of people working together to boost the local economy and enhance the safety, health and vibrancy of neighborhoods. These communities strive to improve lives and livelihoods and create new opportunities.

And that’s why Kingman will always be one of “America’s Best Communities.”

This campaign was never only about finding one “best” community. Rather, it was about finding new solutions and new strategies to spark economic revitalization and helping our nation understand what makes communities like yours America’s best.

Kathleen Abernathy is former Executive Vice President for External Affairs at Frontier Communications and Chair of the America’s Best Communities campaign.