Got a city success story? Submissions now open for the Helen Putnam Award for Excellence!

Feb 2, 2022

Each year, the League of California Cities honors the outstanding work of member cities through the Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. The awards, sponsored by Cal Cities League Partners, recognize the successes of California cities, as demonstrated by beneficial innovations, resourceful efficiencies, improved public service, and overall enhanced public trust and support. 

The awards also provide an opportunity for city staff, project partners, and residents to celebrate the outstanding work that happens on the local level to keep California's communities safe and healthy. Winners are featured each month in Western City magazine

Entries must be submitted online by April 14, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. 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 implementation. Particular attention and credit are given to applications addressing top city priorities included in the 2022 Cal Cities Action Agenda, which is determined each year by the board of directors.

 Award categories include:

  • 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
  • Intergovernmental Collaboration
  • Internal Administration
  • League Partners Award for Excellence in City-Business Relations
  • Planning and Environmental Quality
  • Public Safety
  • Public Works, Infrastructure, Transportation
  • Ruth Vreeland Award for Engaging Youth in City Government

Established in 1982, the Helen Putnam Award for Excellence recognizes the outstanding achievements made by California's cities. These winning cities have made unique contributions to community residents and businesses, which have resulted in lower costs or more effective delivery of services.

The award program is named in honor of Helen Putnam, the first woman elected as Cal Cities President. Excellence, to Helen Putnam, was shown by someone who did his or her very best. To Cal Cities, Putnam defined excellence. This prestigious award for excellence is given in her memory.

For questions, email Melissa Tualla or contact her at (916) 658-8216.