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San José Accolades
Business | Capital Projects | Financial | Livability |
Parks & Neighborhoods | Public Safety
San Jose/Silicon Valley remains the world's leading center for innovation--the #1 area for entrepreneurs and companies that compete on innovation.
Venture Capitalists' #1 Investment -- One-third of all venture capital invested in the United States is invested in companies in the San Jose area ($5 billion in 2003)
National Leader in Patents -- San Jose leads the nation in patent generation, and is home to more patent holders than San Diego and Los Angeles combined.
Productivity Double the Nation -- Employee productivity in the San Jose area is more than double the national average. More than 40% of the workforce has a bachelor's degree or higher, compared with 25% nationally.
Exceptionally Well-Educated --More than 40% of the workforce has a bachelor's degree or higher, compared with 25% nationally.
#1 in Technology Expertise --The San Jose area is home to the largest concentration of technology expertise in the world--more than 6,600 technology companies employing more than 254,000 people.
Most Diversified Tech Economy --San Jose is the most diversified of any innovation-based community; specializations span seven technology fields and foster innovation across disciplines.
Entrepreneurial Energy --More than 85% of new job growth in the region comes from companies less than 10 years old.
Highest Disposable Income in the Nation --San Jose households have the highest median disposable income in the nation.
Best Companies to Work for --2 of the top 10 "Fortune Best Companies to Work For" are headquartered in San Jose: Adobe Systems and Xilinx.
Hottest Long-Term Job Market --San Jose ranks second nationally in its capacity to create high-wage, high-skill jobs over the next ten years (Business 2.0, 2004).
The Building Owners and Managers Association of Silicon Valley honored the West Valley Branch Library in August with a Green Building Award. Presented at the 2004 Building and Earth Awards, the honor recognizes the principles of sustainable design that were incorporated into the building as part of the City's Sustainable City Project Program. Earlier in 2004, the West Valley Library became the first library in the nation certified as meeting the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards.
The San José Public Library and the San José State University Library have jointly been awarded the prestigious Thomson Gale/Library Journal 2004 Library of the Year Award for their collaboration on the new Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library. Announcing the award in the Library Journal, the magazine praised the city and university's combined efforts in cooperative planning and skillful integration of two distinct facilities.
The California League of Cities selected San José's King Library as the recipient of its top honor, the 2004 Helen Putnam Award of Excellence. The King Library is a shining example of an innovative approach to service delivery - partnering with San José State University to serve its users alongside the broader San José community.
Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal named the New San José City Hall the best Redevelopment/Public Project of 2004. The award recognizes the building's distinctive architectural features, and also the many public benefits it will bring, such as consolidated customer services and attractive locations for public events.
San José maintained its impressive ranking as the number one recycler among the nation's largest cities this year, diverting 62 percent of the solid waste stream away from landfills and into productive lifecycles. San José is also recognized as a leader in recycling building materials, diverting about 200,000 tons of construction and demolition debris from landfills last year.
San José's Water Pollution Control Plant again met 100 percent of state and federal water quality regulations this year, and was recognized with the Peak Performance Gold Award from the American Municipal Sewerage Agencies.
The American Lung Associations of the Bay Area presented a Clean Air Hero Award to Mineta San José International Airport in the category of Leadership in Adoption of Technology to Promote Air Quality for the conversion of multiple aspects of airport operations to the use of alternative fuels. The Airport's Clean Air Program has been specifically developed to reduce or control emissions from stationary, mobile and fugitive sources at the Airport.
The Government Finance Officers Association awarded its Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting to the City of San José for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the sixteenth consecutive year. This same report has been recognized for the past decade by the California Society of Municipal Finance Officers. The City's annual budget has also been honored repeatedly by these two well-respected organizations.
In addition, San José consistently maintains very high credit ratings of Aa1, AA+ and AA+ through strong financial management and prudent borrowing.
In 2004, the City of San José met and surpassed its goal of creating 6,000 affordable homes in the five year time period of 1999 - 2004. This total surpasses the combined affordable housing created in all the cities within Santa Clara County over the same time period. As the region's largest City, San José recognizes its role as a leader in affordable housing creation both in the Bay Area and throughout the State of California. In the last five years, the City has spent over $195 million and has leveraged more than $740 million in outside funds, totaling more than $935 million to help San José families live in affordable homes.
In April 2004, the 400th San José teacher utilized the San José Teacher Homebuyer Program to become first time homeowners. The San José Teacher Homebuyer Program is part of the City's effort to support quality education in San José public schools by recruiting and retaining quality teachers for San José schools. In fiscal year 2003-04, 91 public school teachers received city assistance, resulting in a total of 428 first time homeowners. The League of California Cities presented the City with the prestigious 2003 Helen Putnam Award of Excellence in recognition of the San José Teacher Homebuyer Program.
The City of San José's Housing Department picked up several awards in 2004 for its many innovative projects.
Markham Plaza in Council District 7 was granted an Award of Merit from both the National Association of Local Housing Finance Agencies (NALHFA) and the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) , and was also nominated for an Award of Excellence. Two miles south of downtown, Markham Plaza offers 305 extremely low income units for service employees and persons with disabilities.
NAHLFA also granted an Award of Merit for Betty Ann Gardens in the Berryessa area, which consists of 76 rental units for extremely low, very low and low-income families.
Japantown's Mabuhay Court for very low-income seniors also received NAHRO's Award of Merit and a nomination for an Award of Excellence.
Street Smarts, a San José traffic safety education program targeted toward changing driver, pedestrian and bicyclist behavior to improve safety on San José streets, has been awarded the national 2004 Pedestrian Project Award by the Institute of Transportation Engineers and the Partnership for a Walkable America. This latest award follows the "Tranny" Award received by Street Smarts earlier this year from the California Transportation Foundation.
The City of San José was recently announced as one of only five large cities to win the United States Conference of Mayors "City Livability Outstanding Achievement Award." San José was chosen due to the great success of the Anti-Graffiti Program. Through a combination of eradication staff, enforcement staff, and over 2,500 anti-graffiti volunteers, the City's Anti-Graffiti program has reduced graffiti by 96% in the last five years and is recognized as one of the most innovative and successful anti-graffiti programs in the nation.
The International City/County Management Association for the second year in a row gave the City of San José a Center for Performance Measurement Certificate of Distinction. The certificate recognizes the City's efforts not only to gather the data to evaluate success, but to incorporate the data into decision-making. This Certificate puts the City of San José in good company, as only 16 cities in the country received the Certificate of Distinction this year.
The American Public Works Association gave its Management Innovation Award to the City of San José's Capital Project Management System. This award recognized the transformation of the City's project-tracking database into a comprehensive collection of project management tools that help the many projects in the City's $3.5 Billion Capital Improvement Program come in on time and on budget.
The International City/County Management Association awarded San José City Manager Del Borgsdorf its 2003 Mark Keane Career Award for Excellence in public management.
Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services
San José's Alum Rock Youth Center was given the 2004 Award of Excellence in Facility Design by the California Parks and Recreation Society, for promoting participation in recreation, strengthening community image and sense of place, facilitating community problem solving, strengthening safety and security, increasing cultural unity and protecting environmental resources.
The Watson Dog Park in San José was given the 2004 Award of Excellence in Parks Planning by the California Parks and Recreation Society. The award acknowledges that Watson Dog Park strengthens community through a common interest with its canine-specific amenities developed to serve neighborhood needs.
San José's 930 square foot replica of the popular Parker Brothers' game "Monopoly" has collected the 2004 Guinness Book of World Records honor of being the world's largest permanent Monopoly game board. The Monopoly in the Park game board size is 930 square feet located in Guadalupe River Park, Discovery Meadow in downtown San José.
For the third consecutive year, the City of San José was recognized as the "Safest Big City in America." The "Safest Big City in America" designation is based on findings compiled by Morgan Quitno Press, a Kansas-based research and publishing company that ranks U.S. cities based on analyses of FBI crime data from cities with populations of more than 75,000 residents.
In 2004, the San José Fire Department is celebrating 150 years of existence. On January 27, 1854, City Ordinance No. 239 officially established the San José Fire Department. At the same time, "Hook and Ladder Company No.1" was approved. A fire engine, "Old 41" a hand-pumper-engine from the New York Volunteer Fire Department, was purchased later that year.
San Jose's Office of the Independent Police Auditor (IPA) marked its tenth anniversary in 2003. An important component of the City's high-quality delivery of public safety services, the IPA oversees the citizen complaint process. First established on a trial basis, the office has become an international model for effective civilian oversight of law enforcement.
The San José Police Department launched one of California's first online sex offender databases in December 2003. The site includes a map with approximate residences of high-risk offenders living in San José, offenders' profiles, photographs, physical descriptions and summaries of their crimes.