The City of West Hollywood is honored to have been the recipient of several prestigious awards from esteemed and respected local, regional, and national organizations in 2017. The honors recognized the City of West Hollywood’s continued commitment to best serve the community with innovation, creativity, and dedication.
The awards reaffirm that the City of West Hollywood continues to excel in its efforts to keep the interests of the community in mind in its planning, programs, sustainability practices, and its public outreach.
“Recognition by so many esteemed organizations is an honor and an affirmation of the hard work that City staff does throughout the year to serve our community,” said West Hollywood Mayor John Heilman. “We put great effort into our programs, all of which help to make West Hollywood an excellent place to live and work.”
The American Planning Association (APA), California Chapter, which is a network of more than 5,000 practicing planners, citizens, and elected officials committed to urban, suburban, regional, and rural planning in the State of California, recognized the City with the following honors:
- Award of Merit for Implementation, Small Jurisdiction for the City’s inclusionary housing program, which requires a 20-percent set-aside of affordable units in all multi-unit housing or an in-lieu fee, and which has realized a substantial number of affordable housing units equitably distributed in new projects throughout the city; and
- Award of Merit for Communications Initiative for the City of West Hollywood’s Communications and Community Engagement Strategic Plan, which is a comprehensive toolkit that provides urban planners, staff members, and others at West Hollywood City Hall a roadmap to increase effectiveness in communicating with the public and engaging with the community.
In order to be eligible for consideration for the APA California Awards, planning initiatives must first win at the local level. In 2017, the American Planning Association, California Chapter, Los Angeles Section, which is one of eight local sections of the APA California Chapter, and consists of more than 1,300 members that are the Los Angeles County region’s most active and innovative urban planning professionals from cities, agencies, nonprofit organizations, and consulting firms, recognized the City of West Hollywood with the following honors:
- Implementation Award, Small Jurisdiction, for the City’s inclusionary housing program, which was later recognized at the state level;
- Communications Initiative Award for the City’s Communications and Community Engagement Strategic Plan, which was also recognized at the state level;
- Planning Landmark Award for rent control and rent stabilization programs; and
- Social Change and Diversity Award for the City’s Aging in Place/Aging in Community five-year strategic plan, which is a community-based approach to wellness that embraces a vision for older adults to remain in their homes as they age, supported by a continuum of services.
The Los Angeles Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, a professional organization with more than 90,000 members worldwide, presented its top-level Next LA Award of Honor to the City in recognition of its forthcoming Sunset Strip Pilot Creative Off-Site Advertising Sign project, “West Hollywood Belltower,” which is a collaboration of the City of West Hollywood; Orange Barrel Media; Tom Wiscombe Architecture; MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles); and Walter P. Moore.
The City of West Hollywood also received two prestigious recognitions highlighting its sustainability initiatives:
- The Institute for Local Government awarded the City its Silver Level Beacon Spotlight Award for Sustainability Best Practices. The Beacon program, sponsored by the Institute for Local Government and the Statewide Energy Efficiency Collaborative, honors voluntary efforts by local governments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save energy, and adopt policies that promote sustainability.
- The U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative recognized the City with a SolSmart Gold Designation for its Go Solar West Hollywood program in partnership with EnergySage, which provides information and resources to property owners to implement solar systems.
In recognition of the City’s continued efforts to communicate effectively and creatively with the community, the City-County Communications and Marketing Association (3CMA), a national organization which recognizes the communications and outreach efforts of local governments throughout the United States, honored the City’s Communications Department with three awards:
- A Savvy Award , 3CMA’s first-place honor, in the category of Video Education/Training for the City’s Hakuna Truvada PrEP education public service announcement. Hakuna Truvada, a fun a lyrical parody of the mega-hit song, Hakuna Matata, was produced by and stars YouTube sensation and Broadway star Todrick Hall. It raises awareness of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) with dancers in wild animal prints dancing over to the Los Angeles LGBT Center WeHo for a health checkup and PrEP prescription.
- A Silver Circle Award, 3CMA’s second-place honor, in the category of Social Media – Best Campaign Use for the City’s innovative and leading-edge Social Media Takeover of LA Pride. Conceived as a fresh new way to promote LA Pride in West Hollywood, the Social Media Takeover consisted of the City giving the “keys” to its social media platforms to celebrity drag queen Willam Belli during LA Pride weekend in June 2016.
- A Silver Circle Award in the category of Special Events – One Time Event for the City’s Automated Garage Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting. The Automated Garage at West Hollywood City Hall is a technological marvel and the City’s exciting grand opening event was equally forward-thinking and engaging. The City was recognized for its efforts in creating specific themed areas that emphasized the project’s art installations, engineering feats, accessibility, and innovation.
The City of West Hollywood was also awarded the Building Excellence Shaping Tomorrow (B.E.S.T.) Award by the American Public Works Association (APWA) Southern California Chapter for its Automated Parking Garage. The APWA is a not-for-profit, international organization that serves its members by promoting professional excellence and public awareness through education, advocacy and the exchange of knowledge.