West Hollywood has swept up dozens of awards this year recognizing the city for excellence in arts, communications, financial reporting, historic preservation, social services and planning and development.
Officially incorporated as an independent city on November 29, 1984, West Hollywood has earned a reputation for its progressive and innovative approach to local government. The honors received in 2018 confirm that the City remains fully committed to its founding principles and that it continues to excel in its innovative approach while keeping the interests of the community at the forefront in its planning and implementation of policies.
“What a year it’s been! It is such an honor that the City of West Hollywood has been recognized by so many outstanding organizations,” said West Hollywood Mayor John Duran. “West Hollywood City Hall is committed to leading the way among small cities, and we are a model for countless communities across the nation. I’m so proud of the excellent work that our city’s staff members do. These awards affirm that West Hollywood is one of the most outstanding places anywhere to live, work, and play.”
The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) “Art Works” program recognized the city’s Arts Division, which is part of the Economic Development Department, by awarding a grant of $35,000 to support the production of “Señor Plummer’s Final Fiesta,” which was a site-specific, interactive theater experience that celebrated, illuminated and magnified the life of Eugenio Plummer (also known as “Don Eugenio”) whose family once owned 942 acres in the Los Angeles area. Plummer died in 1943 at the age of 92 in a house on Vista Street in what is now Plummer Park in the City of West Hollywood.
The city’s Arts Division was also recognized in the Americans for the Arts Public Art Network Year in Review program for its “WeHo Arts: The Plan Data Visualization Projects. “ In works commissioned by the city, three artist or teams created projects that used a myriad of physical and digital spaces to communicate with community members about the city’s cultural planning process.
The city’s Communications Department was honored with three awards recognizing excellence in communications by the national City-County Communications and Marketing Association (3CMA). The awards recognize the communications and outreach efforts of local governments throughout the United States. 3CMA conferred its Savvy Award for Promotional Video and its highest honor, the best-in-show Silver Circle Award, for Public Service Announcement to recognize the city’s short documentary-style video “Getting to Zero. “ The video highlights the city’s support for local HIV/AIDS organizations and its vision to build an HIV Zero future. In addition, the city’s “WeHoTV NewsByte: Domenic Priore,” received the Award of Excellence in the video category Interview/Talk Show/News Programming. The NewsByte focuses on author Domenic Priore speaking about the history of the Sunset Strip.
The California Association of Public Information Officials (CAPIO) gave the city its top award, the EPIC Award, in the Marketing Plans/Campaigns category for the city’s colorfully illustrated traditional advertising and outreach campaign — “Social Media Connect @WeHoCity” — which encourages community members to follow the city’s primary social media channels.
The city’s Communications Department also earned six awards recognizing distinction in communications by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Los Angeles Chapter. The city took home these honors while facing competition from the likes of several major public relations agencies, including MGA Media Group, Golin and H+M Communications. PRSA-LA conferred its highest honor, the PRism Award, to the City of West Hollywood in three categories: Public Service Announcement:”Linus and the Meaning of Pride;” Marketing Campaign, Government: “ Social Media Connect @WeHoCity,” and, Streaming Media, Livestream: “#ResistMarch Livestream.” In addition, the city also received the PRSA-LA Award of Excellence in three categories: Creative Tactics, Teaser or Other Collateral: Drag Queen Story Hour Fans; Video Programs, Government: “ Getting to Zero,” and Video Programs, Government: “WeHo City Budget Animated Video.”
The National Association of Government Web Professionals (NAGW) honored the city’s Communications Department with two awards recognizing excellence in website design taking home both the Pinnacle and Members’ Choice awards. The NAGW Pinnacle Awards are judged by a group of web professionals inside and outside of the government web industry and are awarded to the best entries based on the following judging criteria: team size, content, organization, design, performance and flexibility, accessibility standards, interactivity, open data, and responsive design. Additionally, the NAGW membership voted on the Members’ Choice awards from every entry in each category.
The West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce honored the City’s Communications Department with its 2018 Creative Communications Award in recognition of its efforts to engage community members in innovative ways, such as video PSAs, WeHoTV News, and social media.
The city’s Communications Department was also honored with a Los Angeles Area Emmy Award nomination in the category of Public Service Announcement (PSA) for the City’s WeHoTV Channel’s 60-second PSA (“Pride Service Announcement”) video: “Linus and the Meaning of Pride,” a short parody of the 1965 animated television special “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” based on the comic strip “Peanuts,” by Charles M. Schulz. The one-minute PSA substitutes ‘Pride’ for ‘Christmas’ and reconstructs an animated scene in which Linus tells Charlie Brown about the beginnings of LGBT pride marches.
The city’s Finance and Technology Services Department was honored by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) with a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2017. This is the twenty-fourth consecutive year that the city has achieved this recognition, which is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and reporting. It is awarded to governments that publish easily readable and efficiently organized financial reports which must satisfy both generally accepted accounting principles and applicable legal requirements.
The city’s Planning and Development Services Department received the Governor’s Historic Preservation Award for the city’s Commercial Historic Resources Survey, Context Statement, and Preservation website. This award is the only official preservation award presented by the State of California in recognition of exceptional achievements in the field of historic preservation. The department also took home three Sustainability Beacon Awards from the Institute for Local Government. The awards recognize individual accomplishments of cities and counties participating in the Beacon Program as they work to complete the five elements necessary to achieve a Beacon Award. The city earned the Platinum Spotlight Award for Sustainable Best Practices; the Gold Spotlight Award for Greenhouse Gas Reductions; and, the Gold Spotlight Award for Agency Electricity Savings.
The department also received two prestigious local awards from the American Planning Association, California Chapter, Los Angeles Section (APA Los Angeles). Each year, APA Los Angeles celebrates the region’s most outstanding planning work. Its annual awards recognize the exceptional efforts being carried out by urban planners, advocates, elected officials, and others to make great communities happen. The department took home an Award of Excellence for Neighborhood Planning for the city’s Eastside Community Priorities Plan. This award recognizes a neighborhood plan, program, design, or related effort that demonstrates innovative planning principles and measures that create sustainable neighborhoods of lasting value. The second award is the Planning Landmark Award for the city’s 1988 General Plan. This award recognizes a planning project, initiative, or endeavor that is at least 25 years old and is historically significant, having initiated a new direction in planning or impacted California planning, cities, or regions over a broad range of time.
The California Preservation Foundation also awarded the Planning and Development Services Department with a Preservation Design Award for the West Hollywood Commercial Survey and Preservation website.
The city’s Social Services Division, part of the Human Services and Rent Stabilization Department, received an Innovative Sustainability Award from the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce at its Creative Business Awards for its new Sunset Strip-oriented trolley service, the Sunset Trip, which joins the Cityline and The PickUp in offering free transportation alternatives.