Why Gallatin Was Named The 2017 Nicest Place in America

The Gallatin, Tenn., town square in 2010. Gallatin was named the Reader's Digest 2017 Nicest Place in America.
Image: Flickr

Reader’s Digest credits Gallatin for how it handled an officer involved shooting in April 2016 and named it the 2017 Nicest Place in America.

The Reader’s Digest partnered with Nextdoor, a social network for neighborhoods, and Random Acts, a television show by BYUtv, in its first annual 10 Nicest Places in America competition — “places where trust and civility are winning.” Last week, Gallatin, Tennessee, was proclaimed the magazine’s 2017 Nicest Place in America.

Gallatin is a story that is years in the making, “and will restore your faith in America,” according to the Reader’s Digest announcement.

The community rebounded from a tragic officer involved shooting in April 2016. Reader’s Digest credits Police Chief Don Bandy and civic officials for an open investigation into what happened that brought the town closer together.

The national crowd-sourced contest asked for submissions on exceptional places where people exemplify ideal ways of life. Americans submitted more than 250 nominations for the Nicest Place in America, from cities overcoming tragedy and towns that figured out how to stamp out bullying to places that embrace community in remarkable ways, according to the official news release.

The top ten Nicest Place in America finalists announced last month were:

  • Gallatin, Tennessee
  • Franklin, Nebraska
  • The India Point Park Area in Providence, Rhode Island
  • KidsCycle in Shorewood, Wisconsin
  • Pflugerville High in Pflugerville, Texas
  • Rock Hall, Maryland
  • South Whidbey on Whidbey Island in Puget Sound, Washington
  • The Doak’s House in Waterford, Ohio
  • Hayesville, North Carolina
  • Oriole Park in Baltimore, Maryland

Random Acts co-host Lisa Valentine Clark wrote that she is proud to be part of the search to find the “place where people are nice to each other and kindness is the golden rule.”

On it’s blog, Nextdoor said:

Gallatin stands out as a community dedicated to charity and volunteer work. As one of the last towns in the South to integrate, the town now aims to increase racial diversity by supporting youth career development and mentorship programs. We’re inspired by the good neighbors of Gallatin for coming together and building a stronger and safer community, every single day.”



About the author

Andrea Fox

Andrea Fox

Andrea Fox is Editor of EfficientGov.com and Senior Editor at Praetorian Digital. She is based in Massachusetts.