City among finalists for 2014 All-America City

The city is awaiting word on whether Chelsea has been selected by the National League of Cities as a 2014 All-America City. Chelsea was among 25 communities — four in Massachusetts — named as finalists for this year’s awards. The league annually presents the awards to communities that “collaboratively tackle challenges and achieve results,” according to the group’s website. Chelsea received the award in 1998. This year’s awards will be presented in Denver on June 15. A delegation of 55 Chelsea officials and other community members led by City Manager Jay Ash were set to travel to Denver this past Friday. All the finalists were scheduled to make presentations Saturday and Sunday to a panel that will decide the awards. Chelsea is highlighting three initiatives. One is a partnership between Roca, the youth development agency, and the Police Department to reduce gang activity and violence among young men. Another is the work of the Healthy Chelsea Coalition to fight obesity and other public health risks. The third is the North Bellingham Hill Plan, which began as a neighborhood planning exercise to fight crime and blight and has expanded to address poverty and unemployment in the Shurtleff-Bellingham neighborhood.