California Cities Helen Putnam Award for Excellence

Livermore’s Advance Team Expedites Planning

The City of Livermore won an Award for Excellence for this project in the Internal Administration category of the 2007 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more information about the award program, visit www.cacities.org/helenputnam.

Hemet Involves Landlords to Revitalize Neighborhood

The City of Hemet won an Award for Excellence for this project in the Housing Programs and Innovations category of the 2007 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more information about the award program, visit www.cacities.org/helenputnam.

Fairfield Improves Quality of Life for Residents With Special Needs

The City of Fairfield won an Award for Excellence for this project in the Housing Programs and Innovations category of the 2007 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more information about the award program, visit www.cacities.org/helenputnam.

Cathedral City Neighborhoods Vote to Build Infrastructure

Cathedral City won a Grand Prize for this project in the Public Works, Infrastructure and Transportation category of the 2007 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more information about the award program, visit www.cacities.org/helenputnam.

Walnut Creek Mobilizes the Community for Health and Wellness

The City of Walnut Creek won an Award for Excellence in the Health and Wellness Programs category of the 2007 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more about the award program, visit www.cacities.org/helenputnam.

Santa Maria Takes Steps Toward a Healthier Community

The City of Santa Maria won an Award for Excellence in the Health and Wellness Programs category of the 2007 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more about the award program, visit www.cacities.org/helenputnam.

Chino Shapes Up With a Healthy Coalition

The City of Chino won an Award for Excellence in the Health and Wellness Programs category of the 2007 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more about the award program, visit www.cacities.org/helenputnam.

Pittsburg CARES About Neighborhood Improvement

The City of Pittsburg won an Award for Excellence in the Enhancing Public Trust, Ethics and Community Involvement category of the 2007 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more information, visit www.cacities.org/helenputnam.


Pittsburg is a historic city in the east San Francisco Bay Area with many older established neighborhoods, some of which are showing their age and have fallen into disrepair and blight. In 2004, the city launched a major redevelopment effort aimed at various commercial and industrial areas — but primarily focused on downtown. Longtime residents expressed dismay that they were being left behind and the city didn’t care about their issues or improving older neighborhoods. Although various municipal departments were working to address these issues, there was no uniform action plan among the various departments to effectively demonstrate these efforts to residents.

Article California Cities Helen Putnam Award for Excellence Rod Diridon Jr.

Santa Clara Infuses Ethics Into Campaigns

Rod Diridon Jr. was a founding member of both the Santa Clara Campaign Finance Reform Committee (chair) and the Ethics Ordinance Committee. He is a former two-term city council member and currently the city auditor and elected city clerk for the City of Santa Clara. He can be reached at rdiridon@ci.santa-clara.ca.us.


The City of Santa Clara won the Grand Prize in the Enhancing Public Trust, Ethics and Community Involvement category of the 2007 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more about the award program, visit www.cacities.org/helenputnam.


For many, “ethical government” is an oxymoron. At all levels of government, too many disappointments in promising candidates have made voters skeptical and cynical about the ability of government officials to achieve a high professional standard of ethics.

Elk Grove Targets Street Racers

The City of Elk Grove won the Grand Prize in the Public Safety category of the 2007 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more information, visit www.cacities.org/helenputnam.

Palmdale Fights Identity Theft with Community Education

The City of Palmdale won an Award for Excellence in the Public Safety category of the 2007 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more information, visit www.cacities.org/helenputnam.

Santa Rosa Residents COPE with Emergencies

The City of Santa Rosa won an Award for Excellence in the Public Safety category of the 2007 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more information, visit www.cacities.org/helenputnam.

Santa Clarita Fights Back Against Graffiti

The City of Santa Clarita won the Grand Prize in the Internal Administration category of the 2007 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more information, visit www.cacities.org/helenputnam.

Westminster Collaborates to Solve Parking Problem

Several government agencies worked together to develop and implement a solution that serves the needs of all their customers.

Long Beach Youth Services Provides Opportunities

In 2003, the City of Long Beach created a comprehensive Youth Services Program, involving the Long Beach City Council, city departments, Long Beach Unified School District and local agencies serving youth, to provide equal-access recreational and educational opportunities for youth. In 2005, the America’s Promise Alliance named Long Beach one of its “100 Best Communities for Young People.” The judges noted that Long Beach supports the alliance’s goals for youth, which include having caring adults in their lives, safe places in which to learn and grow, a healthy start and future, an effective education and opportunities to give back to their community.

Ridgecrest’s Youth Energize City Government

City leaders wanted to give kids options for recreation and alternatives to getting in trouble.

Carlsbad – Introduces Students To City Government

The City of Carlsbad, recognizing an opportunity to create a connection between the municipal govern ment and residents through its children, developed the CityStuff elementary school curriculum for third-graders, who were not being taught about local government in the public schools.