Santa Clara Honored in White House Ceremony
The Mayor and two Council Members joined the 9 other All-America City winners from 2001 and the ten selected communities from 2002 in a special White House ceremony July 31, 2002 in Washington, D.C. Mel Martinez, Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, made presentations to the All-America City winners. "The Bush Administration is proud to recognize the accomplishments of these 20 All-America Cities," said Martinez. "Their work has made their communities stronger and has strengthened the entire nation at the same time." The presentations to the 2001 winners had been delayed as a result of the tragic events of September 11, 2001.
Santa Clara earned this prestigious award in 2001 by exemplifying the spirit of grassroots citizen involvement and collaborative problem solving to address critical community issues. "Santa Clara blends the best of a modern, urban metropolis with the comfortable charm of small town, USA," the City's application said. "This unique combination of America past and present is evident throughout the community, from the way government serves its residents to the grassroots activities that draw thousands of citizens into active participation in community life."
A 54-member delegation - - representing business, government, community groups, and private citizens - - went to Atlanta for the 2001 competition and persuaded a panel of judges that Santa Clara deserved the recognition for its achievements. Community programs highlighted in Santa Clara's application included the Intel Teacher Housing Fund in partnership with the Santa Clara Unified School District, the City's First Time Home Buyers Program -- a cooperative program of the City and Cal Fed Lending, housing assistance programs for special populations such as the Estancia apartment complex which sets aside units for low income households and the disabled, and the Sobrato Family Living Center operated by the Emergency Housing Consortium. Santa Clara's Redevelopment Agency provides funding in support of most of these programs, and for many other housing assistance programs as well. Other community members in the delegation talked about the innovative way in which the City, the community and Sun Microsystems came together to develop the best use of the last remaining large parcel of land in the City. They also outlined the benefits of the nearby Ulistac Natural Area, and the highly successful Youth Skate Park, originally proposed by members of the City's Youth Commission.
The All-America City Award, a program of the National Civic League, is America's oldest and most prestigious community awards program, recognizing civic excellence in communities of all sizes in which citizens, government, businesses and volunteer organizations work together to address local needs.