The League of California Cities, at its San Jose convention in mid-September, granted a Helen Putnam Award to Chula Vista for its Residential Abandoned Property Registration Program.

Through Helen Putnam Awards, the League of California Cities recognizes cities for innovative initatives. The awards are named for the late Helen Putnam, former president of the league and mayor of Petaluma.

“The awards are sponsored by our League Partner program, which is comprised of more than 100 companies that do business with California cities,” said Eva Spiegel, communications director for the league. “Along with the league, our partners are always looking for ways to foster collaboration and forward thinking solutions to the challenges facing local government.” 

This year’s Putnam award winners by category also include:

  • Health & Wellness Program — Through its Ready, Set … Live Well Community Wellness Initiative, La Mesa has established a network of community partners to perform outreach, provide educational presentations, and demonstrate accessible opportunities that promote physical activity and good nutrition.

  • The Ruth Vreeland Award for Engaging Youth in City Government — La Mirada’s Youth Development Program encourages youth to grow and develop professional skills, while engaging in leadership activities in the community, including Youth Council, Leaders in Training and Youth in Government programs.

  • Public Safety — Lincoln’s Grandma Cop Children trains community volunteers to teach safety lessons to elementary-age children. Topics include personal safety, being at home alone, avoiding gangs, what to do when strangers ask for help and bullying.

  • Community Services & Economic Development — To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Rotary International, Long Beach Rotary raised $100,000 to help design and build a 1.2-acre park in an area of the city that was lacking in open space. Long Beach Rotary holds monthly work parties for maintenance and beautification.

  • Enhancing Public Trust, Ethics, & Community Involvement — Burbank’s Connect with Your Community program built public trust by giving residents input into community project designs and equity issues through the efforts of the Neighborhood Leadership Program.

  • Planning & Environmental Quality — West Covina’s Commercial Center & Sportsplex was built with community support to transform the BKK landfill from a toxic waste site to a landmark for commercial and recreational use, including the creation of more than 1,000 new jobs, improved property values and an estimated $74 million regional benefit to the economy.

  • Housing Programs & Innovations — La Quinta’s Vista Dunes is the nation’s largest multi-family affordable workforce housing project to receive the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design platinum certification. The development incorporated new green technologies.

  • Public Works, Infrastructure and Transportation — Cupertino built a bicycle footbridge over Mary Avenue, the first cable-stayed bridge to cross an interstate in California. The piece of public art completed two countywide bicycle arteries.

  • The League Partners Award for Excellence in City-Business Relations — Fontana worked with residents and stakeholders to design Fontana Park as a model of community gathering, supplanting a parcel of blighted disuse that had been hurting local home values.