Institute for Local Government logoEvery year, communities across California experience more severe and frequent impacts from climate change. Local governments are leading the way to increasing resilience and improving health and equity for all communities through innovative climate action solutions. This week the Institute for Local Government (ILG) is presenting the City of Piedmont with its most prestigious Beacon Vanguard Award for illustrating a comprehensive approach to adopting policies and programs that foster sustainability and help meet aggressive state climate goals. Additional awards will be presented to the cities of Redwood City, Santa Rosa, Irvine, and San Jose. All the Beacon Awards and winners were announced at the League of California Cities Annual Conference and Expo held in Sacramento from September 20-22.

“Cities across the state are dealing with increased climate impacts and threats like extreme precipitation, wildfires, drought, and extreme heat,” said Erica L. Manuel, CEO and Executive Director of the Institute for Local Government. “We are excited to celebrate our city partners for their proactive efforts to develop innovative and collaborative solutions to make California more resilient.”

The City of Piedmont worked closely with the community to adopt a reach code that addressed both new and existing building renovations. The city has further engaged the community around building electrification by providing rebates for residential electrification upgrades and creating a Task Force to guide the path to zero emissions in existing buildings. The city will soon open doors to their new all-electric Aquatic Center Facility.

In addition to the Vanguard Award, which honors comprehensive achievements in community and agency greenhouse gas reductions, energy savings, and sustainability best practices, the Beacon Program also celebrates cities for their creativity and collaboration in making California more sustainable. The Beacon Leadership and Innovation Awards celebrate local governments’ efforts to implement collaborative, inclusive and equitable climate resilience and adaptation programming. This year, ILG is recognizing the cities of Redwood City, Santa Rosa, Irvine, and San Jose with Beacon Leadership and Innovation Awards.

  • The City of Redwood City was recognized for leadership in climate resilience for creating a rebate program to reduce the cost burden for residents to access building, transportation, and mobile equipment electrification.
  • The City of Santa Rosa (on behalf of the Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership) received an award for cross-agency collaboration across 13 agencies in Sonoma and Marin Counties to develop a regional outreach and education campaign to save water.
  • The City of Irvine earned an award for equity and engagement for the Cool Irvine program, which empowers residents as “Cool Block” leaders to take on water use, waste, and energy use reduction in their neighborhoods.
  • The City of San Jose was recognized for innovation in clean energy for the Solar Access program, which successfully expanded solar energy access to residents in low-income, under-resourced communities.

Local government leaders often need additional expertise to assist with meeting the immediate needs of their communities while still being able to make meaningful progress on long-term goals related to equity, climate, and resilience. ILG provides local leaders with capacity building services, technical support, partnership development, and educational resources to make informed policies, plans and decisions around climate planning, land use, housing, infrastructure, and engagement that results in more equitable, sustainable and resilient communities. ILG’s flagship Beacon Program provides a framework for local governments to share best practices that create healthier, more efficient, and vibrant communities. The program is free and open to cities, counties, and special districts in all stages of climate action planning and implementation.

Currently, 172 California cities, counties, and special districts participate in the Beacon Program. ILG established the Beacon Program to provide recognition and year-round support for California local agencies that are working to build more vibrant and sustainable communities. The Beacon Awards honor voluntary efforts by cities, counties, and special districts that are reducing greenhouse gas emissions, saving energy and adopting policies that promote sustainability. For more information about the Beacon Program and current participants, visit

For a complete list of achievements, please visit

 About the Institute for Local Government

The Institute for Local Government (ILG) is the non-profit training and education affiliate of the League of California Cities, California State Association of Counties, and the California Special Districts Association, which represent 1000s of local agencies across the state. ILG helps local officials and staff navigate the constantly changing landscape of their jobs by offering training, technical assistance, written resources, and facilitation services specifically designed for local agencies. From leadership to public engagement to housing and workforce, ILG helps local leaders with a wide range of issues. Visit to find out more.

About the Beacon Vanguard Award Winners