California Cities Helen Putnam Award for Excellence

Irvine’s Community Energy Partnership Program Focuses on Changing Behavior

The City of Irvine won an Award of Excellence in the Planning and Environmental Quality category of the 2006 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more information, visit www.cacities.org/helenputnam.

Glendale’s Trash Exclusion Program Helps Keep Downstream Beaches Clean

The City of Glendale won an Award of Excellence in the Planning and Environmental Quality category of the 2006 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more information, visit www.cacities.org/helenputnam.

Livermore Looks at Street-Level Imagery

The City of Livermore won the Grand Prize in the Internal Administration category of the 2006 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more information, visit www.cacities.org/helenputnam.

Porterville Revitalizes Orange Avenue Neighborhood

In the mid-1990s, the City of Porterville was searching for solutions to the problems in its Orange Avenue area. The avenue, a gateway to the city’s downtown area, had become known for drugs, crime and vagrants. Its infrastructure was substandard, with crumbling sidewalks and no traffic signals to help pedestrians cross the street. Decaying buildings dotted the area. Orange Avenue was desperately in need of repair. 

Sonoma Cultivates Small Business Growth and Economic Development

Home of the last Spanish Mission, the Bear Flag Rebellion and world-class wines, the City of Sonoma has long partnered with the Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau to sustain tourism, its number one industry. But small businesses, which make up the majority of the city’s economy, were on their own.

Long Beach’s Health Education Center Serves a Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Community

The City of Long Beach won an Award of Excellence in the Community Services and Economic Development category of the 2006 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more information, visit www.cacities.org/helenputnam.

Livermore Connects Families with Vital Services to Help Children Succeed in School

The City of Livermore won a Grand Prize in the Community Services and Economic Development category of the 2006 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more information, visit www.cacities.org/helenputnam

La Mesa Makes a Project Out of Parks

The City of La Mesa won an Award of Excellence in the League Partners category of the 2006 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more information, visit www.cacities.org/helenputnam.

Fairfield’s Community Heroes Provide Fun on the Run

The City of Fairfield won an Award of Excellence in the League Partners category of the 2006 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more information, visit www.cacities.org/helenputnam

Roseville Makes Smart Choices to Reduce Sprawl

By 2050 the population of the Sacramento region, including southwest Placer County, is expected to double to almost 4 million people. If traditional low-density development continues, this growth is likely to reduce the quality of life as open space and agricultural land is lost, traffic increases and air quality declines.

Signal Hill Revives a Failing Neighborhood

Las Brisas, a vibrant and attractive neighborhood in the City of Signal Hill, now thrives where dispiriting conditions once made any notion of improvement difficult to envision. This small but decisive urban victory was orchestrated by the Signal Hill City Council and redevelopment agency, which set their sights high and developed a clear plan to improve their community.

Eureka’s Multiple Assistance Center Maximizes Support for Homeless

The concept of a multiple assistance center (MAC) aims to break the cycle of homelessness by successfully transitioning program participants toward stable employment and permanent housing. The City of Eureka’s MAC project was first introduced in 1996 as a new approach to solving issues of homelessness. By integrating on-site specialized care and support services with on-site transitional housing and multiple-step programs, the MAC is designed to help families and individuals achieve self-sufficiency.

Lincoln Puts Neighborhood Electric Vehicles on the Road

The City of Lincoln won an Award of Excellence in the Public Works, Infrastructure and Transportation category of the 2006 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. For more information, visit www.cacities.org/helenputnam.


With its population expecting to hit approximately 50,000 residents by 2010, the City of Lincoln’s Department of Public Works had to address the following concerns: 

Los Gatos Builds Community Unity

“Imagine what could be done if you had 50 volunteers, or a hundred or more.” This was the challenge presented by the Los Gatos Town Council and the idea behind the creation of Community Unity. 

Santa Clarita Strives to Keep Teens Alive

So fast, so furious — and so dead. Santa Clarita’s 16- to 18-year-olds make up 12 percent of the driving population, yet they are involved in 25 percent of all driving collisions. Traffic accidents are the leading cause of death for those aged 16 to 19, and more than 60 percent of teen passenger deaths occur while another teen is driving. 

Carlsbad Makes Sportsmanship a Priority

Poor sportsmanship creates an unpleasant environment, impacts safety and results in huge declines in participation across many types of activities. In celebration of its mission to promote respect, unity, safety, enrichment, encouragement and teamwork, the City of Carlsbad’s Recreation Department pioneered a local solution. The Teaching Respect, Unity and Sportsmanship through Teamwork (TRUST) program integrates the value of good sportsmanship at all levels — including city leadership, staff, parents, children and volunteers — through a comprehensive training and communications program that has significantly increased satisfaction among the participants.

Monterey Park Improves Traffic Safety for Drivers and Pedestrians

The City of Monterey Park covers 7.73 square miles in the San Gabriel Valley east of Los Angeles, and the roadway system comprises 350 miles of paved streets. Most of the business districts and older residential sections have roads that were designed and installed in the 1920s. Traffic-related problems have increased due to the physical constraints of the streets, a burgeoning multilingual immigrant population and the city’s location between three of the most frequently traveled freeways in Los Angeles County. 

Cathedral City Launches “Stop Identity Theft” Program

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), approximately 10 million people are victims of identity theft each year. Each victim spends an average of $1,500 and 175 hours to recover a portion of their losses. 

Eureka Establishes Mobile Live-Fire Training Program

Consistent training on essential firefighting skills is critical for the protection of communities, citizens and firefighters. But the City of Eureka Fire Department and members of surrounding allied agencies lacked the ability to practice realistic structural firefighting techniques on a frequent, consistent basis. Unfortunately, this problem is not unique to the city’s fire department. There are no agencies within the tri-county area of Humboldt, Del Norte and western Trinity counties that operate facilities capable of simulating structural fire conditions in a controlled environment – despite the existence of qualified instructors. 

Cities of Los Angeles County Form Interagency Communications System

Before Sept.11, 2001, most public safety agencies lacked the resources to communicate directly with one another via radio. In some cases, even police officers and firefighters within the same city were unable to communicate over radio. Add the inability of public works crews to communicate with first responders, and the end result was a generally less-than-efficient emergency response.