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Awards/Recognition Won by Redwood City

Each employee of the City of Redwood City strives for excellence in the work they do, every day. We feel it's important to acknowledge and celebrate our successes, and share them with others. Here are a few awards and recognitions that have been won by Redwood City.

  • Redwood City Police Chief Recognized for Technology Leadership
    Computerworld announced thatRedwood City Police Chief JR Gamez is a 2013 Premier 100 IT Leaders honoree. This year’s Premier 100 IT Leader Awards honor individuals who have had a positive impact on their organization through exceptional technology leadership and innovative approaches to business challenges. The Premier 100 awards program showcases the exceptional work of a dedicated group of technology-savvy business leaders who are driving huge change in their organizations through IT.
    (go to the news release)

  • Redwood City Library Ranked Among Highest in Nation
    The Redwood City Public Library has received the coveted "Five Star Rating" from the "Library Journal Index of Public Library Service," the premier public library national rating system instituted by the Library Journal. Based on the 2012 numerical score received from the Library Journal Index, the Redwood City Public Library is top-rated among all mid-sized and large library systems in the entire country! It's also the top-rated library in San Mateo County, and the top-rated library of any size in all of California. This ranking is a remarkable honor for the staff of this four-branch library system, for gaining national recognition for our Library.
    (go to the news release)

  • Police Department Receives International Social Media Excellence Award The Redwood City Police Department has been selected as the first international award recipient of The ConnectedCOPS Excellence at a Small Agency Award for outstanding work using social media. This award is given to a law enforcement agency of 150 sworn officers or fewer that has demonstrated overall excellence in the use of social media to enhance services to the public.
    (go to news release)

  • Redwood City Awarded Silver Level "Walk Friendly Communities" Designation The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center has designated our community a Silver Level "Walk Friendly Community" in recognition of our walkability initiatives and programs. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration and FedEx, Walk Friendly Communities is a national recognition program honoring communities for their commitment to pedestrian safety, mobility, access, and comfort. Redwood City is one of just two Silver Level communities named nationwide during this round of awards, and is the only city in San Mateo County to be recognized.
    (go to news release)

  • Redwood City General Plan Wins Prestigious Award
    Redwood City is proud to announce that its new General Plan, completed and approved in late 2010, has been named as the “Winner of the 2012 Comprehensive Planning Award - Small Jurisdiction.” This great honor comes from the American Planning Association’s Northern California Chapter, recognizing Redwood City’s “outstanding achievement in the planning field” and paying tribute to the City’s innovative plans, projects, and achievements
    (go to news release)

  • Redwood City PAL Names Officer Perry Garcia as "Citizen of the Year"The Board of Directors of the Redwood City Police Activities League (PAL) has announced that the 2010 PAL Citizen of the Year Award has been conferred upon Perry Garcia, an officer with the Redwood City Police Department. This award is in recognition of Officer Garcia’s many contributions to PAL, and his high standards of community involvement.
    (go to news release)

  • Library Director Recieves "Fueling the Fire of Hope" Award
    Redwood City Library Director Dave Genesy wa selected by Project READ as a recipient of the Fueling the Fire of Hope Award in honor of both his vision for a literate community, and his implementation of a literacy-centered library. In honoring Mr. Genesy, Project READ notes that he is a dynamic force in advancing literacy and encouraging a love for reading and the library to the Redwood City community. Because of his knowledge of the problem, the need and most importantly the solutions, he is recognized as a most extraordinary leader and advocate in aid and support of literacy services.
    (go to news release)

  • Redwood City Honored for "Outstanding Government Support for the Arts" Redwood City was honored at the 9th Annual Peninsula Arts Council’s Diamond Awards in recognition for “Outstanding Governmental Support” of the arts! This is a great honor, recognizing Redwood City’s ongoing commitment to the arts by bringing music, art, theater, and more to the community. Redwood City’s Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department was nominated by local artists for its efforts in developing and coordinating numerous special events, music series, arts programs, and entertainment, which supports the promotion of arts, culture, and economic development.

  • Firefighters Receive Recognition from Lions Club
    Thje Peninsula Council of Lions Club has recogniized two Redwood City firefighters with its Heroism Award. On September 2, 2010 the Redwood City Fire Department responded with other Fire Units to a report of a plane down in the Redwood Shores Lagoon. Upon arrival Redwood City Firefighter Julie Badertscher. entered the water to assist any survivors. Her selfless actions and determination led to the removal of a female passenger of the plane. Firefighter Badertscher continued to stay in the water to search the submerged aircraft for other survivors. She returned to shore only when she determined there were no other survivors. During the same event, while returning to fire station 9 from a previous detail, Redwood City Fire Captain Terry Condon heard on the radio that one member from the E20 crew was going in the water to assist any survivors. He responded to the incident. Upon arrival he entered the lagoon to assist the member from E20. Captain Condon’s courage and determination led to the removal of a female passenger. He continued to search the submerged aircraft for any other survivors.

  • City Receives Sustainable San Mateo County Award for Civic Engagement. Redwood City was selected from among many very qualified nominees as the winner of Sustainable San Mateo County’s Award for Outstanding Civic Engagement. This award honors and recognizes Redwood City’s community building efforts in the area of sustainability, which strive to bring community members into key decision-making processes, and engage them in joining with the City to take responsibility for addressing the many sustainability issues which are faced together, as a community.
    (go to news release)

  • Parks Department Honored with Creating Community Award of Distinction. The City of Redwood City has received a 2009 “Creating Community Award of Distinction” from the California Park & Recreation Society (CPRS) for its “Downtown WOW!” program of events and activities. Redwood City gained this statewide recognition in the award category of Marketing and Economic Impact. It was one of just two such Awards of Distinction given out in all of California.
    (go to news release)

  • City Receives Silicon Valley Water Conservation Award for Innovation. Redwood City’s Water Conservation Program received the Silicon Valley Water Conservation Award in the “Innovation” category, for its work in assisting large landscape irrigation customers to save water. This award, presented by the Silicon Valley Water Conservation Coalition (, reflects the City’s commitment to providing its large landscape water customers with conservation tools, tips, incentives, and techniques, and recognizes Redwood City’s leadership and innovation in water conservation.
    (go to news release)

  • Redwood City Public Library Wins National 5-Star Award. The Redwood City Public Library has received the coveted “five star rating” from the Library Journal Index of Public Library Service, a new public library national rating system instituted by the Library Journal.

    This makes the Redwood City Public Library the top-rated library of any size in San Mateo County, and it’s the top rated mid-sized library in all of California. Only 16 libraries in California achieved the five star rating, which is based on per capita measurements including number of items borrowed, number of visits, number and types of programs offered, attendance at activities, level of public Internet use, and other elements.

    The LJ Index of Public Library Service, identifies 256 "star" libraries in the United States. Overall, it rated 7,115 public libraries, and the top libraries in each group got three, four, or five Michelin guide-like stars.

  • Historic Courthouse/Courthouse Square Project Wins APWA "2008 Project of the Year" Award. The American Public Works Association (South Bay Chapter) has recognized Redwood City's exemplary work on the renovation of the Historic Courthouse, and the creation of the Courthouse Square. The project has received APWA's "2008 Project of the Year" award.

    The APWA Award recognizes this outstanding project with a number of critical public works criteria, including:
    • Use of good construction management techniques, and completion of the project on schedule;
    • Safety awareness and performance;
    • Community relations for the project;
    • Environment protection and special considerations given to particular environmental concerns during the project;
    • Unusual accomplishments under adverse conditions such as age or condition of the facility, adverse weather, soil, or other site conditions;
    • Exceptional efforts to maintain quality control; construction innovations; time and/or money-saving techniques.
    (go to news release)

  • Project READ Receives Kent Award, Congressional Recognition. Redwood City’s Project READ, in collaboration with Cañada College, has received a J. Russell Kent Award, sponsored by the San Mateo County School Boards Association, as well as a Certificate of Recognition from the California Senate and a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from the U.S. House of Representatives. These accolades are in recognition of Project READ’s outstanding and invaluable service to the community.

    The Kent Award was presented for Project READ’s Inmate Peer Tutor Program, offering college credit to inmates who successfully complete a literacy program with Project READ tutors. And, a tutor-training course is offered at Cañada College– Literacy Tutoring in the Community – providing students with new skills and abilities to help enhance literacy. The State Senate and Congressional Certificates honor Project Read and Canada College for their exemplary efforts on behalf of the community, in achieving the Kent Award.
    (go to news release)

  • Redwood City PAL Board President is Volunteer of the Year. Redwood City Police Activities League Board of Directors President Alpio Barbara has been named the National Police Activities League (NAPAL) Volunteer of the Year. He was presented with this award on May 29th in Denver, Colorado at the National Association of Police Athletic/Activities Leagues Annual Conference.

    The National PAL Volunteer of the Year award is the crown jewel of awards for PAL programs across the Nation. “We are honored that our Board President, Alpio Barbara, has been chosen for this award. His hard work and dedication to Redwood City PAL has made a difference to the youth in our community, and he well-deserves to be recognized,” stated Redwood City Police Chief Louis A. Cobarruviaz. Alpio was also recognized as the 2007 “Volunteer of the Year” for the California Police Activities League on Monday, April 7th in Sacramento. And, he was the first Redwood City PAL Citizen of the Year in 2004, and that award is now named in his honor.
    (go to news release)

  • City Wins American Planning Association Award. Redwood City's Downtown Precise Plan has won the 2008 "Comprehensive Planning - Small Jurisdiction" award from the American Planning Association, Northern California Chapter. This award represents Redwood City's visionary approach and innovative concepts in addressing the needs of our community, focusing on our Downtown. Redwood City's Downtown Precise Plan is recognized as a model for other jurisdictions, excellent use of professional planning principles, high value to the community, public participation, and coordination both in-house and with consultants.

  • Redevelopment Agency Wins Statewide Award. The Redevelopment Agency of Redwood City has won a California Redevelopment Association (CRA) “Award of Excellence” for the Courthouse Square, the Courthouse façade renovation, and the Broadway and “ Theatre Way” streetscape improvements.

    Each year the CRA recognizes redevelopment projects from around the state that have significantly benefited their communities. Redwood City is proud to accept this Award of Excellence, which honors the City’s investments in the heart of downtown, fostering a sense of place, enhancing community pride, and creating the city’s comfortable, inviting “outdoor living room.”
    (go to news release)

  • City Wins "Diamond Award" for Courthouse Square and Events. Redwood City has been recognized by the Peninsula Arts Council with its annual "Diamond Award" for the City 's vision in developing the Courthouse Square, which has permanently enhanced the downtown business area and has created a vibrant artistic forum for the public 's enjoyment.

    The Peninsual Arts Center says that Redwood City 's expansive schedule of events such as Art on the Square, Dancing on the Square, Movies on the Square, Music on the Square and the Friday Night Art Walk are now an integral part of the Downtown experience, for the entire community to enjoy, for free. The combination of the City of Redwood City, the Redwood City Library with its many hosted readings, musical performances, and film nights, plus the cultural offerings of the San Mateo County Historical Association, has created an "...artistic synergy that has enlivened the downtown environment and has made Redwood City a year-round cultural destination."

  • Senior Center Gains National Accreditation. Concurrent with its 25th Anniversary, Redwood City’s Veterans Memorial Senior Center is celebrating its recognition as the first nationally-accredited senior center in San Mateo County, only the third center in California to reach this status, and just the 148th to be accredited out of the 15,000 senior centers across America. The senior center’s accreditation status is bestowed by the National Institute of Senior Centers (NISC) a unit of the National Council on the Aging.

    With this recognition, the Veterans Memorial Senior Center is considered to be in the top one-percent of all senior centers nationwide, and is commended for its vision, collaborative relationships, volunteer programs, outreach programs, wide range of health and fitness programs, and other supportive services.
    (go to news release)

  • Caltrans "Excellence in Transportation Award - 2007." This prestigious award from the State Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is for the Route 101/Ralston Avenue Interchange Reconstruction project, of which the City was the lead agency. The project boasts innovative engineering and design, functinal efficiency, outstanding safety, maintenance, and operational factors, and environmental compatibility. Also featured are a focus on preservation and conservation of natural resources, and visual appeal. Caltrans noted that the on-time delivery of the project is also a factor in the City winning this award.

  • Recycled Water Project Wins National Award. The WateReuse Association has awarded its 2007 Large Project of the Year Award to the Redwood City Recycled Water Project.This prestigious Project of the Year Award recognizes successful recycled water projects that have exhibited effective management practices, found innovated uses for recycled water, and established noteworthy public/private partnerships. For more information about the WateReuse Association, please visit
    (go to news release)

  • Redwood City’s Building & Inspection program gains exemplary rating. The Building & Inspection program, a division of the City's Community Development Services department, has been rated in the top 6.7% in California and the top 1.8% nationwide, by the Insurance Services Office (ISO). This means that the division provides the greatest prospect of reduced injuries and loss of life, reduced property losses, and reduced economic and social disruption caused by catastrophes. And, it means that owners of newly-built buildings in Redwood City have the greatest prospect of lower insurance rates.
    (go to news release)

  • International City/County Management Association (ICMA) "2007 Award for Career Excellence" awarded to City Manager Ed Everett. This award recognizes an outstanding chief local government administrator who has fostered representative democracy by enhancing the effectiveness of local elected officials and by consistently initiating creative and successful programs.
    (go to news release)

  • Downtown wins Congress for New Urbanism "2007 Charter Award" for Redwood City's Downtown renaissance projects

  • On Broadway wins San Francisco Business Times "2006 Award for the Best Mixed-Use Project" on the peninsula for Redwood City's Downtown On Broadway retail-cinema project.

  • Library wins San Mateo County Reading Association's award for "Exemplary Service in the Promotion of Literacy" - presented to the Redwood City Public Library, for it's program to train volunteers to read to Redwood City children in home day cares or preschools each week for thirty minutes. The Library's program serves as a wonderful opportunity to share the love of books and reading with young children, as well as helping children pepaare for kindergarten.

  • International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA-HR) "2004 Agency Award for Excellence" Northern California Chapter, in recognition of the overall quality, accomplishments, and contributions of an agency human resources program, that exceeds the normal operation of a good government human resources program.

  • 3CMA Awards Redwood City "Best Website" for 2004
    Redwood City's website won the prestigious “Savvy Award” in 2004, presented by the City/County Communications and Marketing Association (3CMA). The City’s website won the top prize in the category, “Best Technology Services – Websites” for jurisdictions with a population of 75,000 – 126,000.

With over 800 local government members, 3CMA is the leading national organization for local governments that are innovating new and better ways of communicating with their communities. Here’s what the 3CMA judges said about Redwood City’s website:

“ Redwood City’s personality shines through with this fun and easy-to-navigate Redwood City, CA website. We loved the rotating combination of photos on the home page, the drop down menus and hot topics feature. This is what a government website should be. In the spirit and words of Astronaut Neil Armstrong: One small step in web design, one giant leap for web kind.”
(go to news release)

  • Skate Park Wins "Award of Excellence" from CPRS
    The City of Redwood City received a 2004 Award of Excellence from the California Park & Recreation Society (CPRS) for the design of its Phil Shao Memorial Skate Park located at Red Morton Park. Redwood City 's recognition was in the category of "Facility Design/Skate Park," which was one of over 400 award contenders.

The CPRS awards program is the highest recognition a parks agency can receive and the this award is a credit to the staff and volunteers who made the skate park a reality. The Phil Shao Memorial Skate Park provides a state-of-the-art-facility to a unique and growing sport. As one of the most widely used features in any Redwood City park, nearly 200 skaters a day have an opportunity to enhance their skills and enjoy a wonderful facility. (go to news release)

  • City's GIS Program Receives American Planning Association's "Innovative Use of Technology" Award. The Northern Section, California Chapter of the American Planning Association presented an Award to Redwood City's planning division for "Outstanding Planning: Innovative Use of Technology" for the City's on-a-shoestring Geographic Information System (GIS) program. The 2004 award recognized Redwood City's ability to provide an innovative and useful internal GIS program with virtually no dedicated budget.

  • Finance Department Receives "Certificate of Achievement"
    In 2004, capping a remarkable 19 consecutive years, the City's Finance Department recieved a "Certificate of Achievement" from the Government Finance Officers Association, in recognition of that department's Excellence in Financial Reporting.

  • International City/County Management Association (ICMA) "Certificate of Distinction"
    In fall of 2002, Redwood City was one of only 12 cities and counties nationwide to receive a "Certificate of Distinction" in recognition of its collection, analysis, and use of performance measurement information in the management of their local governments. Redwood City participates in ICMA's Comparative Performance Measurement Program as a means of continuous improvement of its management practices, processes, and evaluations.

Performance measurement information is an important element of each City department's annual budgeting process, through the goals and objectives which it helps them develop. The City also "benchmarks" its performance and accomplishments with other cities of similar size, and uses that information for further improvement. ICMA's Comparative Performance Measurement Program currently assists approximately 120 cities and counties in the United States and Canada with the collection, analysis, and application of performance information.

The cities and counties recognized by ICMA all use performance data in budgets, management reports, goal-setting, and as an information tool. Many of the awardees, including Redwood City, link the performance information to their strategic plans and have achieved a high degree of longevity and breadth in reporting performance data, and have provided significant training and support for staff in performance management.

  • International City/County Management Association (ICMA) 2002 "Program Excellence Award"
    In 2002, ICMA honored the Redwood City Family Centers with its 2002 "Program Excellence Award for Innovation in Local Government – Inter-Governmental Cooperation." This prestigious international award illustrates the progressive, creative, and resourceful nature of Redwood City's programs addressing the needs of youth and families in the Redwood City community.

The Redwood City Family Centers (RCFC) program is sustained by an unprecedented interagency agreement between the City of Redwood City, the Redwood City School District, and the County of San Mateo. Redirected services from sixteen agency partners and private foundations contribute to the program's sustainability. Together, RCFC and its partners are working to expand services to additional areas. This unique partnership and the program's measurable success in helping families are two key elements that led to this ICMA award.

The RCFC serves under-performing schools in neighborhoods that are primarily low income, with a high percentage of mono-lingual Spanish-speaking residents and immigrants who are often unfamiliar with the educational and health systems. It provides comprehensive, integrated family support services including: mental health services, tutoring, parenting education, adult education, basic health services, community involvement and parent leadership opportunities, cultural activities, home visiting, and basic needs assistance.

  • City Manager Credentialed
    Redwood City's City Manager, Ed Everett, was one of only seven managers in California (and one of only 110 City Managers nationally in 2002) to be designated a "Credentialed Manager" by ICMA. This credential program was initiated by ICMA in order to promote the highest level of professionalism and to support constant education and learning among city managers. Mr. Everett was honored to be one of the first to receive this prestigious designation.
    (go to news release on the above three items)

  • Redwood City Among Safest Cities for 2002
    Redwood City is the 13th safest city among those California cities studied. Eighty-four cities in California were ranked as part of the national study, putting Redwood City in the top 15-percent of safest cities in California. When compared with the nine other ranked California cities of a very similar population (+/- 5,000), Redwood City came in second place.

Of the 327 cities nationwide that were ranked, Redwood City came in as the 36th safest city overall, and the 7th safest among the 30 cities of a very similar population. This is the first year that Redwood City has participated in the Quitno rankings.
(go to news release)

  • California Psychological Association 2002 "Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award"
    The California Psychological Association has awarded Redwood City the 2002 "Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award" for the City's creative and innovative practices in ensuring the health and well-being of its workforce. The award will be presented on Monday, May 6 during the City Council Meeting, which begins at 7:00 pm in the Council Chambers in Redwood City.

    Redwood City is the first public agency ever to receive this award, earning the honor for its exceptional efforts in providing a psychologically healthy workplace for its 580 employees. The City is being recognized for excellence in the areas of employee involvement, family support, employee growth and development, employee morale, and employee health and safety.
    (go to news release)

  • San Mateo County Economic Development Association (SAMCEDA) "2001 Award of Excellence" to Redwood City recognizing outstanding contributions to the San Mateo Peninsula

  • San Mateo County Economic Development Association (SAMCEDA) 1999 "Award of Excellence" to Redwood CIty for its economic development strategy, improved permit process and innovative school and community cooperation.

    (go to all news releases)


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