CCS Partnership Intergovernmental Collaboration Award
The City of La Mesa has been proactive in promoting walkability. Since 2010 La Mesa has partnered with the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District in La Mesa Kids Walk 'n' Roll Safe Routes to School program. Although the Walk 'n' Roll program considered parental concerns and incorporated them into the project when identifying suggested routes for eight schools in La Mesa, there continued to be parental concerns over student safety. Working with community partners, the City of La Mesa has implemented a successful intergenerational program to enhance the safety of students at critical high traffic intersections, walkways, and bus loading zones at elementary and middle schools.
Community Services and Economic Development
Salinas' Industrial Cluster - dubbed the Steinbeck Innovation Cluster - leverages an innovative network of civic, academic, technological, corporate, and philanthropic partners to help youth become entrepreneurs, drive innovation in the fields and factories, and bring high tech to industrial zones. The world's innovation experts have been focused on Smart Cities. Salinas is shifting that focus to Smart Farms, because of the importance for future Precision Agriculture. The Steinbeck Innovation Cluster is galvanizing our region's agricultural industry, educational resources, and innovative drive - not only building local jobs and prosperity, but also cultivating a competitive industry focused on solving the world's food, water and energy related challenges.
Enhancing Public Trust, Ethics, & Community Involvement
In May of 2013, the City of Rocklin launched a centralized online volunteer recruitment portal known as "Rocklin Cares". Having a central location to register for events on a widely known portal or website location has increased both awareness of volunteering opportunities and the number of Special Events the City of Rocklin is able to offer. Rocklin Cares is available to Businesses, Service Organizations, and Social Groups as a way to recruit and manage volunteers. Non-profit groups in Rocklin are now able to expand their search for volunteers by using the City of Rocklin's website. The volunteer program was put in place to match community needs for senior citizens, low-income, and the disabled with community volunteers. Seniors or disabled citizens in need of repairs and maintenance are now able to rely on community support and utilize volunteer efforts. Having a centralized volunteer resource has resulted in the beautification of City property, an increase in community engagement, and improved cost savings for the City of Rocklin.
Health & Wellness Programs
The Cathedral City Garden Program is a remarkable health and wellness initiative that provides everyone from local youth to elderly residents with the opportunity to embark on a unique physical fitness and educational wellness journey. City staff offers free supplies and labor to build garden beds for local schools, over 55 communities and the Boys and Girls Club. Program participants plant and tend their own gardens. This incredibly popular program teaches kids and adults how to grow a sustainable garden, promotes healthy eating habits, and encourages physical activity. One vital function of local government is to promote a safe, healthy and sustainable way of life for its residents. Several years ago, the City Council of Cathedral City asked Deanna Pressgrove, the Environmental Conservation and Public Works Manager, to start a garden program. The concept was to locate a City-owned lot, install garden beds and invite community members to plant their own fruits and vegetables. With space to maintain and harvest your own crops, City government would be providing a healthy alternative to processed foods and store-bought produce, often grown with pesticides.
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
Learn how the City of Santa Clarita successfully harnessed the arts to boost the bottom line of its oldest neighborhood. Through investment in public infrastructure and the arts, the City of Santa Clarita transformed a town that was past its prime into the thriving Old Town Newhall Arts & Entertainment District, attracting new visitors, boosting revenue and giving the area a second chance to make a first impression. Understanding the challenges of attracting developers, merchants and visitors to Old Town Newhall was the first step in developing an effective solution. After surveying property and business owners, residents and local media, research revealed that although the community was connected to Old Town Newhall's roots, the area lacked the arts, entertainment and nightlife amenities necessary for continued visitor attraction.
The cities of Brea and Fullerton Fire Command Resource Sharing program began in 2011 in an effort to lower costs, maintain local control and continue to provide exceptional fire services to both communities. The genesis of the initial Brea-Fullerton agreement was the work of the North Orange County Cities Coalition (NOCCC) group, which was formed in 2009 during the Great Recession. The success of the Brea-Fullerton Fire initiative, and others initiated by NOCCC has led to additional potential joint efforts, such as of animal control services, police dispatching.
League Partners Award for Excellence in City-Business Relations
The Sanger Job Training Initiative is a public-private collaboration between the City of Sanger, multiple local businesses, primarily manufacturing, the area's only community college and the county rural transit authority with the objective of enabling training in high-skills vocations to fill an unmet need for qualified applicants and to consequently reduce the chronic unemployment and underemployment among residents. Sanger is a small community in California's San Joaquin Valley that suffers from the high, chronic unemployment and underemployment common to many other Central Valley communities where agriculture is the primary economic driver. In order to elevate the quality of life for its residents and the entire community, Sanger city officials began researching obstacles to local businesses' ability to fill open positions requiring specialized skills.
Planning & Environmental Quality
The City of Clovis transformed a three-acre unsightly vacant lot into a shady, educational, drought-tolerant, low-maintenance facility that captures stormwater runoff and replenishes the underground aquifer. The Dry Creek Trailhead is an innovative open space facility that tackles the issues of drought, health, air quality, land use, and planning for the future. The Trailhead is a hub that connects the extensive existing trail system and thereby encourages alternative transportation to improve health and reduce air pollution. The trails provide connection to downtown Clovis, local mass transit, recreational destination points, places of business, retail and educational facilities, and also the adjacent City of Fresno. The Trailhead includes: a parking lot, seating walls, landscape plantings, irrigation system, tables, benches, lights, pedestrian trail bridges, drinking fountains, bike racks, bike repair stations and restroom facilities. With the lack of grass, it is estimated that water usage is reduced by 85% to 90%, a savings of 3 million gallons of water per year compared to a park of similar size; staff hours are significantly decreased as well. The Trailhead is environmentally and fiscally sustainable and meets the needs of existing and future residents. The Trailhead shows that aesthetics and community open space can happen without grass and shrubs and it will set the bar for other cities seeking to preserve natural resources and improve community health.
The City of Menlo Park is located in southern San Mateo County, encompassing over 13 square miles, with a population currently estimated at 32,000. The community is home to one of the most culturally and economically diverse populations in Silicon Valley. Despite being recognized nationally as the epicenter of venture capitalism, the Belle Haven neighborhood has been the focus of the city's revitalization and redevelopment efforts since 1981. Over the past two years an extensive effort has been made to reintegrate community policing within the neighborhood in order address significant crime and violence concerns. The Menlo Park Police Department began their extensive community engagement process to coincide with the Visioning Process. Four forums were held throughout 2013. The top concerns/issues identified were gangs, violence, traffic, and lack of a cohesive program for involving the community in the public safety strategy. These forums have continued and are conducted on a quarterly basis. The City of Menlo Park is a prime example of how a small agency, partnering with residents and private entities, can work together to create a city committed to our community. Over the past two years, it is clear that everyone is becoming an active participant in making Menlo Park a safer place to live, work and play.
The Reedley Peace Building Initiative (RPBI) is a restorative justice program addressing the success of our children and health of our community. This innovative initiative is a powerful partnership between the City and community organizations that reduces violence and increases safety by keeping juvenile offenders in school and out of the juvenile justice system, reintegrating offenders back into the community as productive citizens. The Reedley Peace Building Initiative, RPBI, started in 2009 as a partnership between the Reedley Police Department and the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), a global relief organization. Modelled after Fresno Pacific University's Victim Offender Reconciliation Program, it targeted juvenile crime in Reedley. Shortly after its establishment, RPBI was introduced to Reedley High School in KCUSD, as part of a five-year plan to use it district-wide. Since then, RPBI's core group has grown to include Reedley Peace Center, and Reedley Rotary Club.
Public Works, Infrastructure and Transportation
City of Palmdale's Season of Service community engagement events utilize an innovative approach to addressing real challenges - aging infrastructure, reduced staff and diminishing financial resources. The City of Palmdale realized a significant challenge during the Great Recession when the economic difficulties resulted in a significant reduction in City staff and funding levels, especially within Public Works Maintenance Division which is responsible for the staff and financial resources required for renovating and revitalizing the City's infrastructure. Overall, the City staff was reduced from 357 to 184 with Public Works Maintenance alone experiencing an approximate reduction of fifty percent. As a result of this reduction, much of the day to day "routine" maintenance of the parks and landscapes was contracted out, leaving little staff to address the renovation and revitalization projects. The vast majority of the City's parks are over twenty years old and highly utilized. Maintenance challenges included dilapidated fencing, sports fields with significant wear and tear, aging landscapes, outdated playgrounds and obsolete lighting fixtures.
Ruth Vreeland Award for Engaging Youth in City Government
Menifee Youth Advisory Committee (MYAC) promotes public service and community involvement , with, for and by youth, review proposals for programs, projects and facilities as they pertain to youth; promote youth involvement in community events, programs or volunteer projects through public education, the schools and community organizations; and act in an advisory capacity to the City Council in all other policy matters pertaining to youth. The YAC is one of the stakeholders that are to be interviewed for the Park Master plan and will assist with input on history, culture, ecology, connections, and topography. An intended outcome is that the city will address health concerns with growing obesity in the area since there are limited trails, walking paths or opportunities for recreation, as well as provide an outlet for youth to get involved in programs that will keep them safe, out of trouble, and focused on positive recreation within the city and through extended city partnerships. As such, one item that has surfaced was the need for a regional park for the entire area to create a healthy, safe, and thriving environment, all community residents could enjoy to address this underlying issue.