Residents Challenged to Prove DeKalb is America’s Best

Local team leading DeKalb’s efforts in America’s Best Communities competition calls on neighbors to help with final push to share why city should win

America’s Best Communities, sponsored by Frontier, DISH, CoBank and The Weather Channel, aims to revitalize small towns and rural communities across the country


DeKalb, IL, JANUARY 4, 2016 – In a final push to prove DeKalb should advance in the America’s Best Communities (ABC) competition, residents are being encouraged to take to social media to share personal stories that show why the community is such a great place to live and work.

“We’re issuing this challenge to make sure we have all the help we can get to share DeKalb’s unique story,” said Frank Roberts, who has helped lead the local ABC team. “This truly is one of America’s best communities, and no matter what happens in the next rounds of the competition, we need to be doing everything we possibly can to help more people understand why they should locate their business and raise their family right here in DeKalb.”

The DeKalb ABC team is also asking residents to use the hashtags #ABC50 to connect with the national conversation and #proudlydekalb to link the social media conversation together locally.

“This is an opportunity for all of us to work together to help spread a positive message about DeKalb and the bright future we have,” said Tom Kuschman, local Frontier Communications representative. “Tweet by tweet, Facebook post by Facebook post, we can make an impact on public perceptions of our community and convince even more people to take the time to learn more about all DeKalb has to offer.”

America’s Best Communities has been regularly sharing photos and videos from the towns and cities participating in the competition on its social media pages and with reporters and editors at national media outlets. The DeKalb ABC team is confident an uptick in local social media activity will ensure DeKalb gets a large share of the national attention being focused on this competition.

Egyptian Theatre Van Buer Plaza

“If you’ve been working hard to give back this holiday season — helping our neighbors or supporting our community — share it on social media, and we’ll be able to show the world even more reasons why we are America’s best community,” said Cohen Barnes, a local ABC team member.

Sponsored by Frontier Communications, DISH Network, CoBank and The Weather Channel, America’s Best Communities is a $10 million competition that aims to revitalize small towns and rural communities across the country. About 400 communities entered the competition, and DeKalb was among 50 nationwide that were selected to advance into the quarterfinals.

Each community was awarded $50,000 to develop a Community Revitalization Plan. A group of diverse local volunteers were given six months to work on DeKalb’s plan and were required to submit the plan for review on November 6. A panel of independent expert judges is now evaluating the plans and will select 15 communities for the semifinals, which will be announced January 13.

“The judges’ decisions will be based solely on the revitalization plan and application we submitted, but it certainly does not hurt our cause to ensure competition organizers are seeing more stories from our community in their social media newsfeeds every single day,” said Brett Brown, a local ABC team member.

DeKalb Park District Bike Trail

DeKalb’s revitalization plan will help guide the growth of the local economy and support improvements to quality of life. Specially, it focuses on 7 projects that will create a stronger sense of place, price and identity along with stepping up our economic development efforts.  Many of these projects are already underway with the planning efforts and hope to start showing accomplishments throughout 2016.

To learn more about the revitalization plan submitted for DeKalb and to find out how to get involved, visit  Visit #proudlydekalb on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to share why you are #proudlydekalb!

About America’s Best Communities:
America’s Best Communities is a multi-stage, three-year competition that is providing $4 million in seed money and other support to assist communities as they develop new economic growth strategies. The top three communities — those with the most innovative proposals being effectively implemented — will share a total of $6 million in grand prize money. The winning community will be awarded $3 million, with $2 million for second place and $1 million for third. To learn more, visit