The League of California Cities recently honored the City of Cupertino as a 2021 winner of the Helen Putnam Award for Excellence. Cupertino was recognized among 11 California cities recognized for its “outstanding efforts and innovative programs to improve the quality of life and delivery of services in their communities” from a pool of 125 submissions, according to the League.
The awards are given in 12 categories; the City of Cupertino won the Ruth Vreeland Award for Engaging Youth in City Government for its Pizza and Politics program. The event occurs every two years, organized by the Youth and Teen Commissions of Cupertino, Campbell, and Saratoga.
The most recent Pizza and Politics event was held virtually in Oct. 2020, substituting its usual pizza provision for an at-home tutorial of how to make a pizza. The event also featured speakers including the Mayors of Cupertino, Saratoga, and Campbell, as well as mock debates and Q&A sessions with State Assembly District 28 candidates and State Senate District 15 candidates.
Cupertino’s Teen Commission gives local 8th through 11th graders the chance to work with City Council members and staff, advising them on youth-related projects and tasks. Commissioners serve two-year terms, during which they also organize and participate in programs and events like Pizza and Politics.