Helen Putnam Award
Application Deadline Extended for
Helen Putnam Award for Excellence
In light of the disruption that the COVID-19 situation has caused for city officials and staff across the state, the League has extended the Helen Putnam Award application process to provide additional time to complete the application. The new application deadline is Friday, May 8th by close of business
. The application process can be completed completely online at http://www.helenputnam.org/
More about the Helen Putnam Award for Excellence:
Each year, the League of California Cities honors outstanding work in member cities throughout the state through the League Partner-sponsored Helen Putnam Awards for Excellence. The award recognizes the successes of California cities that have created innovative solutions to help their communities thrive, implemented resourceful efficiencies, improved public service, and enhanced public trust and support. The award also provides a great opportunity for local communities to celebrate the work of the city.
If your city has accomplished remarkable, inventive work in any of the 12 categories listed below, now is the time to apply. The Helen Putnam Awards for Excellence are also a great opportunity to thank employees and collaborators, connect with residents, and celebrate outstanding contributions that have enhanced the city.
Award categories include:
- CCS Partnership Intergovernmental Collaboration Award
- Community Services and Economic Development
- Economic Development through the Arts
- Enhancing Public Trust, Ethics, and Community Involvement
- Health and Wellness Programs
- Housing Programs and Innovations
- Internal Administration
- League Partners Award for Excellence in City-Business Relations
- Planning and Environmental Quality
- Public Safety
- Public Works, Infrastructure, and Transportation
- Ruth Vreeland Award for Engaging Youth in City Government
Your city must be a member of the League of California Cities to apply. To qualify, simply demonstrate that your city offered a program or service that has proven measurable and successful within a minimum of one year of actual implementation. Particular attention and credit is given to applications specifically advancing the League's strategic priorities
, which are determined each year by the board of directors.
Online entry deadline is Thursday, May 8 at 5 p.m. Submit your application online at www.helenputnam.org
Please contact Melissa Tualla
with any questions at (916) 658-8216.
2019 Helen Putnam For Excellence Award Winners
CCS Partnership Intergovernmental Collaboration Award
Program Title: SMART Camp
SMART Camp (Sports, Music and Arts Camp) is a free, 4-week summer camp run by the City as a partnership program with the Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD). The camp is offered at Costa Mesa High School, to incoming 4th through 8th graders. SMART Camp is intended to draw students from Costa Mesa based schools, with the goal of offering free, introductory and intermediate level sports, music and arts programs to encourage youth to engage in, and explore, new areas of school related extracurricular activities. There has been a steady increase in participants since the program’s inception, topping out at more than 500 enrolled participants in 2018. This partnership culminates in an end of summer performance/activity, allowing the youth to highlight their acquired skills and newfound talents.
Community Services and Economic Development
Program Title: Camp Achieve
To combat summer learning loss, the City of Richmond Community Services Department (Recreation Division), in partnership with the Ed Fund, the West Contra Costa Unified School District, and local nonprofit enrichment organizations, provide high quality summer programs by bringing together academics, enrichment, and recreation in a new way for 300 children between the ages of six and 12. The programs are offered free of charge at four community centers in Richmond.
Economic Development through the Arts
Program Title: Napa Lighted Art Festival
Napa Lighted Art Festival does Art After Dark! This 9-day free festival features iconic architecture becoming the painting in this unique lighted art walk. Original artwork created by local and international artists are installed at approximately 15 locations in Downtown Napa and the Oxbow District. Supporting the innovative techniques using light and light technologies as a growing art medium, the Napa Lighted Art Festival is a celebration of creative arts, technology and lights. Artwork displayed at the Napa Lighted Art Festival includes light art, video art, 3D video mapping projections, lighted sculptures and projects that use technology or interactivity. Residents and visitors can enjoy art, entertainment and delicious food both day and night during the festival in the heart of Napa Valley.
Enhancing Public Trust, Ethics, & Community Involvement
Program Title: Campeones para La Comunidad
In the face of low resident involvement from diverse populations, Healthy RC, an innovative City-community partnership, developed an inclusive community empowerment program known as the Campeones para la Comunidad, Community Champions, to meaningfully engage with Latino, Spanish speaking residents to build trust among this community to successfully develop policies and programs.
Health & Wellness Programs
Program Title: Fontana Walks!
Fontana Walks! initially challenged Fontana residents to a communitywide goal of walking 2 billion steps in one year (August 1, 2017 to July 31, 2018) and encouraged participation through promotional giveaways, walking events, advertisements, rewards, and an easy-to-use on-line site for logging pedometer readings. The community surpassed the initial goal within 8 months and has now logged more than 5 billion steps (and counting!) in less than 20 months.
Housing Programs and Innovations
Program Title: Housing for Generations
The Housing for Generations program is a multifaceted effort of the City of Encinitas to address our housing demand challenges, and its title reflects the need to provide housing for a diverse population. The combination of limited undeveloped land and community concerns regarding up-zoning and increases in density and height limits, make it difficult to construct new housing. Density had to be found within the existing fabric of the community. To do so, the City created new ordinances, sponsored state legislation, and developed an innovative permit ready accessory dwelling unit (PRADU) program.
Program Title: Together San Rafael
The scope and ambition of Together San Rafael is not common. We are not forming an “innovation team” but instead every employee is the innovation team. It is not about being innovative by designing a new performance evaluation system, a new training program, or using some new technology. It is about transforming government from the inside out.
League Partners Award for Excellence in City-Business Relations
Program Title: Valor Crossing
Valor Crossing – an affordable housing development focused on veterans – exemplifies the spirit of collaboration between the public and private sector. A public-private-nonprofit partnership among the City of Dublin, Bay West (a private housing developer) and Eden Housing (a not-for-profit housing developer) resulting in a 66-unit 100% affordable residential project supporting veterans in downtown Dublin. When Valor Crossing opened, 35 of the new residents were either homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless. The Valor Crossing project would not have been feasible without the City of Dublin’s Development Pool and Community Benefit programs, two valuable economic development tools to encourage downtown revitalization.
Planning & Environmental Quality
Program Title: Project GreenSpace
Project Green Space (PGS) is an urban forestry and green infrastructure program that is convened and led by the City of Daly City and driven by our citizens through impact volunteering. As one of the most prominent community engagement programs in the City, PGS allows the City to partner directly with citizens to solve a range of civic issues together. PGS aims to develop community resilience to climate change and disaster by empowering citizens to actively reshape the future of their neighborhoods with new green space and trees. PGS is growing Daly City’s small and beleaguered urban forest and is actively adapting the species mix and diversity to prepare for longer-term trends with the changing climate. Our urban canopy is essential to resilience in the concrete jungle of one of the densest cities in the country. Our citizens have transformed new green spaces and trees into living community assets. It is the first initiative of its kind in Daly City and will catalyze a much larger effort to revitalize the urban forest and embed resiliency efforts into all aspects of City work.
Program Title: King City Comprehensive Plan to End Youth Violence
The King City Comprehensive Plan to End Youth Violence is a plan developed by a 23-member community task force appointed by the City Council to address the youth violence problem faced by the community through a comprehensive and proactive approach. It consists of 24 measures under the categories of prevention, intervention, enforcement, re-entry and community outreach. The majority of the Plan has been implemented by the City in partnership with other agencies, community groups, and the community at-large.
Public Works, Infrastructure and Transportation
Program Title: West Sacramento On-Demand Rideshare
West Sacramento On-Demand is an innovative public transportation program deployed in partnership with private ridesharing company, Via Transportation Inc. At its core, West Sacramento On-Demand brings convenience and a high quality user experience to the previously underserved or transit dependent, while preserving critical social functions of public transit by safeguarding accessibility across ages, incomes and abilities. Via’s state-of-the-art technology balances speed of service with optimized vehicle occupancies, using a smart algorithm to predict demand and pick up multiple passengers along the way. The program has improved mobility for all, and especially among Seniors, Youth, lower income households and female riders.
Ruth Vreeland Award for Engaging Youth in City Government
Program Title: Tech Day
Tech Day is a monthly event that provides one-on-one learning sessions for senior citizens. Keeping in touch with family via email, Skype and Facebook is not an easy task for our aging population. Technology changes just when they learn how to log in. Tech Day was created by the Youth Commissioners to assist seniors with keeping in touch with ever changing technology and software.
Archive of Winners
Who was Helen Putnam?
Helen Putnam was a mother, school teacher, principal, mayor, and county supervisor. But most of all, Helen Putnam was a person who viewed meeting one's potential as the measure of success. Excellence, to Helen Putnam, was shown by someone who did his or her very best. She was as supportive and loving of people who did their best as she was of people who did the best. To the League and to California cities, Helen Putnam defined excellence. The Award for Excellence is given in her memory.