Boston, Hattiesburg named “Most Livable Cities” in America

San Francisco (CA) —Mayor Johnny Dupree has been awarded first place in the 2015 City Livability Awards Program during The U.S. Conference of Mayors’ 83rd Annual Meeting in Dallas.

According to a press release by the United States Conference of Mayors, Mayor Dupree was recognized for his mayoral leadership in developing programs that improve the quality of life in America’s cities. The award is also focused on leadership, creativity, and innovation demonstrated by mayors. The winners were selected by former mayors with over 200 applicants.

This is the 36th 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.

Boston, MA Mayor Martin J. Walsh was also awarded first place in the 2015 City Livability Awards Program.

Below is a description of the First Place program:

HATTIESBURG, MS (small city): Education Initiatives

While there are many programs serving the youth of Hattiesburg, Mayor Dupree felt there needed to be greater visibility and coordination of these efforts, so he developed a series of educational initiatives including youth engagement in local, state and national policy through the Mayor’s Youth Leadership Council and “Take a Look, Find A Book”, a reading initiative intended to bring young people into a greater culture of literacy. The city constructed 31 little free libraries and installed 8 public art sculptures with literary themes. The city has also rolled out the “Hub City Access-Hattiesburg Area Youth Master Plan,” which seeks to create a blueprint to broaden services for youth. The Master Plan is the product of a yearlong collaboration between the City, The University of Southern Mississippi School of Social Work, and the community.

“Our community is absolutely thrilled to win this prestigious award. It is a salute to the many individuals within our community who tirelessly lend their time, expertise, and creativity towards the mission of inspiring and educating our youth. Furthermore, this special recognition challenges us to remain innovative, inclusive and consistent in our quest to rid our nation of its disparities.” — Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny Dupree

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