The League of California Cities has awarded the City of Lakewood with its “Helen Putnam Award for Excellence” in enhancing public trust for Lakewood’s community-wide race, equity, diversity and inclusion plan. Watch the Lakewood CityTV video below.
Following the murder of George Floyd in 2020, the City of Lakewood initiated a Community Dialogue designed to listen to residents and create or enhance efforts that “build on all the good in Lakewood and make the community the safest, most welcoming place it can be, for everyone.”
Hundreds of residents took part in discussions and recommendations, resulting in a council-approved Action Plan in early 2021 that called for:
A multicultural food and music festival, called the Lakewood Fest-Of-All. Over 7,000 people attended the first and second annual Fest-Of-All in 2021 and 2022 outside Lakewood Center.
Increased opportunities to meet with Sheriff’s Department personnel, such as Coffee with a Deputy, Ice Cream with a Deputy, Cocoa with a Deputy, and National Night Out.
Ongoing opportunities for residents to meet and discuss race, equity, diversity and inclusion (REDI) issues with fellow residents and city leaders.
Recognition of commemorative calendar days and months that celebrate the many people and cultures who call Lakewood home.
Lakewood is considered one of California’s most broadly diversifying communities, with a population of people from all over the nation and world that closely mirrors the diversity of Los Angeles County as a whole.
“I’m extremely proud of our residents and our city for winning this award,” said Mayor Steve Croft. “It’s a testament to the contributions from a lot of people and organizations who are working together in the spirit of enhancing people-to-people relations in our community and keeping Lakewood a great place to live. Thank you to everyone who has played a role in developing our Community Dialogue Action Plan and to everyone who continues to be a good, friendly and welcoming Lakewood neighbor.”
Established in 1982 by the League of California Cities, the Helen Putnam Award for Excellence is given annually to recognize outstanding achievements among California's 482 cities. The purpose of the award is to promote innovative solutions by city governments. The 12 winners in 2022 were chosen from 155 submissions.
See a short video from the League about why Lakewood was selected for the award.