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Paramount : All-American City Award

June 23, 1988

The city of Paramount, which was named one of the eight worst suburbs in America in a study by the RAND Corp. in 1981, has received a boost to its civic pride. The city is one of 10 communities to be designated as an All-American City for 1988 by the National Civic League, a New York-based nonprofit organization, which has presented the award for 39 years.

The award winners were announced June 15 in Houston. Paramount officials are expected to travel to Washington within a couple of months, where President Reagan will formally present the awards to the winners, Deputy City Manager Pat West said.

In 1981, the RAND report ranked Paramount as one of the most financially and socially troubled cities. "We have turned this around," West said. "It has been a municipal miracle. This award congratulates the entire community."

This focuses on the combined efforts of residents, business people and city government to solve specific problems, said Allison Moore, program director for the National Civic League.

Paramount won for three programs. One was its innovative Alternative to Gang Membership Program, which was developed in the early 1980s through a joint effort by the school district and the city. An anti-gang, 15-week curriculum is taught to all fifth-graders. A number of cities have adopted the Paramount anti-gang project.

Another one is the city's Neighborhoods Lookin' Good program, which targets specific neighborhoods for cleanup, using volunteers, residents and city staff in fixing up areas at no cost to the residents.

The third program allows residents to evaluate the performance of the sheriff's deputies who provide law enforcement to the community. Residents complete evaluation cards and turn them in to the sheriff's station commander.

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