Community Services and Economic Development
With the loss of Redevelopment funds, the City of Chico was faced with laying off Redevelopment and Economic Development staff - while simultaneously facing safety and health issues in the downtown that affected Chico's business climate and economic future. The city and five organizations, leveraging resources and expertise, signed an MOU to form TeamChico. TeamChico reached out to over 500 businesses, resulting in 10 expansions, three new locations, 1,315 jobs, four seed-funded projects, $2.35 million in grants/loans, and an economic impact of $31.3 million, as well as initiated campaigns to address Clean & Safe issues with businesses, the university and residents.
Enhancing Public Trust, Ethics, & Community Involvement
On April 17, 2012, the Vallejo City Council established the first city-wide Participatory Budgeting (PB) process in the United States. The community was invited to participate in the decision-making process and help decide how to spend 30 percent of the revenue generated by a voter-approved sales tax - approximately $3.2 million. PB enabled taxpayers to work alongside government to assist in the decision making process, while exposing taxpayers to a unique and innovative method of managing public budgets and more closely engaging people in their government.
Health & Wellness Programs
Live Well Perris was developed to improve the health of the citizens of Perris. The program is noteworthy primarily because of the approach Perris took and the environment in which it was implemented. The residents of Perris are severely economically disadvantaged and the City government itself has undergone a substantial fiscal contraction over the past six years. Despite that, and without grant funding, Live Well Perris provided a wide-ranging community health program that touched thousands of residents in some of the poorest areas of California.
Housing Programs & Innovations
Once it was realized that the cost to repair and rehabilitate the existing neighborhood was infeasible, the wholesale redevelopment of the site was chosen as the path forward. Together, the City and the Housing Authority of Alameda County worked with the existing Arroyo Vista residents to formulate a plan to create a new neighborhood that would continue to serve the low-income residents that relied on the rental units, as well as create new opportunities for home ownership. Construction started at Emerald Vista in 2012 and continued through 2013. 150 units of dilapidated public housing were replaced with 180 affordable apartments -- a net gain in critically needed affordable housing for the region. Fifty of these units serve seniors and 130 units serve families. All of these homes are targeted to households with incomes between 30 - 50% of the Area Median Income. In addition to these affordable apartments, 198 for-sale single family and townhomes offer a range of housing choices to Dublin families and residents. Fourteen of the for-sale units were reserved for moderate income households.
Economic Development through the Arts
The City of Fontana developed the Fontana Arts Program in an effort to address quality of life issues in the community and to foster art education, participation and appreciation through new venues, programming, and partnerships for all ages and abilities. Through a variety of visual and performing arts programs, five venues and a comprehensive marketing and communication program, the Fontana Arts Program has stimulated the local economy by creating new jobs, increasing participation levels in local arts events, classes and programs, and developing new partnerships within the community.
In response to community concerns, the City of Covina developed a community based program and went high-tech in its implementation to improve the community and ensure non-owner occupied properties are in compliance with local and state housing codes. The program is intended to maintain community property values, identify vacant properties that may become targets for illegal activity and ensure rehabilitation and prevention of rental housing that does not meet building codes or is not safe to occupy. The challenge was to develop a comprehensive approach and solution that was cost effective and efficient, resulted in improved property values and delivered real-time status. The city seized the opportunity by utilizing ArcGIS technology combined with custom reporting and field tablets. Electronic portals were established to allow staff real time access to the inspection data. The data can be used not just by Code Enforcement, but by Police, Fire, Finance, Housing, Building & Safety, Environmental Services, Engineering, Transportation, Street Maintenance and any other operational areas that are stakeholders in improving community quality of life. Since implementing this technology the city now has a sustainable, cost effective, real-time delivery program for the rental housing inspection program. Inspections are completed quickly with easy-to-read and understand non-compliance issues. The positive response from the community has been refreshing.
League Partners Award for Excellence in City-Business Relations
"The City of Benicia Business Resource Incentive Program gave us the financial encouragement we needed to do what we knew needed to be done! My employees love our new bright warehouse lighting and I don't mind getting our utility bill!" says Herb Forthhuber, General Manager of Alfred Conhagen, Inc. in Benicia, California. Other industrial park businesses feel the same about the City of Benicia Business Resource Incentive Program (BRIP). Since its implementation 18 months ago, the first 14 businesses will save an estimated $164,000 each year and the City will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions annually by over 438 metric tons, the equivalent to 49,285 gallons of gas or taking 92 passenger cars off the road. This program proves that economic development and business retention can partner with sustainability and generate public and private success!
Planning & Environmental Quality
San José implemented one of the most comprehensive plastic bag bans in the nation. After a comprehensive stakeholder/community engagement process, involving business groups and the general community, San José developed an ordinance that would be a new model for other cities. Two years after the implementation of the ordinance, San José now has results showing a significant reduction of litter. The Bring Your Own Bag Ordinance began on January 1, 2012. It addresses both plastic and paper bags and included a more comprehensive list of businesses that would need to comply. The ordinance prohibits single-use carryout plastic bags provided at checkout by all retail businesses located or doing business in the City of San José. This included a list of over 6,250 grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies, hardware stores, local retailers, national retailers, and mobile retailers. Stores may sell paper bags made of at least 40 percent post-consumer recycled content for a minimum of 10 cents for each bag.
"Goleta Prepare Now/Goleta Prepárese Hoy" is aimed at increasing the level of overall awareness and emergency preparedness in the City of Goleta for residents, visitors, and the workforce. This mission is achieved through bi-lingual public education, the provision of emergency preparedness materials and the training of volunteers. The City designed a tailored approach to address the need for effective emergency preparedness education in Goleta. Through outreach, education, workshops and a strong community presence, the "Goleta Prepare Now/Goleta Prepárese Hoy" program was established with the goal to reach out to every member of the Goleta community to promote disaster preparedness. It was critical in the development of the program that information is available in English and Spanish.
Public Works, Infrastructure and Transportation
Long Beach Airport's new passenger concourse officially opened on December 12, 2012 (12-12-12) and during the first year of operations, it has proven to be a boost for the city and the Southern California region as a whole. The concourse blends Long Beach's rich history with a modern sensibility and comfortable amenities, and most importantly, maintains its charm as the beloved hometown airport. The facility was designed to maintain the airport's ease of use, while accommodating three million annual passengers. It includes a state-of-the-art consolidated security screening area, spacious boarding lounges with improved seating, and quality concessions featuring local businesses that have sparked the creation of many new jobs.
Ruth Vreeland Award for Engaging Youth in City Government
Healthy RC Youth Leaders is an innovative youth leadership program that provides local youth with the opportunity to collaborate with the City of Rancho Cucamonga to develop policies, programs, and strategies to improve the health and wellness of their community. Youth in Rancho Cucamonga have something to say about the health and wellness of their community. The problem however, is there were limited opportunities for them to engage in conversations about local issues. Many policies and programs that are developed and implemented affect youth and, often, youth are viewed as problems that need fixing, but their input is never requested nor sought after. They are interested in actively and meaningfully participating in local issues that affect their health, their peers, and their families, however, the lack of opportunities, organizations, and venues in the city are a significant barrier.
Cities Counties Schools Partnership Intergovernmental Collaboration Award
The Drug Free Youth in Town (DFYIT) Program is a free, school-based, voluntary drug prevention/education program meant to complement law enforcement efforts and local prevention and intervention programs. It is a partnership amongst the City of Santa Clarita, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Los Angeles County Fifth Supervisorial District, and William S. Hart Union High School District. DFYIT gives students ownership, creative control, and responsibility for supporting healthy choices and promoting a drug-free culture in Santa Clarita, as well as accountability to themselves, their peers, and their families. The combination of the DFYIT curriculum, drug testing, community service projects, positive peer influences, and parental involvement is an all-encompassing approach to drug prevention that is proving to be successful in shifting the culture in Santa Clarita.