Take home Cal Cities’ most prestigious award: the Helen Putnam Award for Excellence!

Jan 31, 2024

By Cal Cities Staff

Cal Cities is accepting submissions for the Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program. The awards recognize outstanding city programs that support thriving communities, improve public service, and enhance public trust.

The awards also provide an opportunity for city staff, project partners, and residents to celebrate the outstanding work that happens at the local level to keep California's communities safe and healthy. Winners are recognized at the Cal Cities Annual Conference and Expo, Western City magazine, press releases, Cal Cities’ website, and presentations made at city council meetings.

Entries must be submitted online by April 11, 2024, 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 will be given to applications that address Cal Cities’ member-determined advocacy priorities.

 Award categories include:

  • Cal Cities Partners Award for Excellence in City-Business Relations
  • 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
  • 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 Putnam was 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, contact Melissa Tualla at mtualla@calcities.org or (916) 658-8216.