Data & Resources

MuniExLogoWeb200Congratulations 2018 Municipal Excellence Award winners!

AWC’s Municipal Excellence Awards recognize innovative city projects that significantly improve the quality of life for their communities. The competition is open each year to any Washington city or town.


2018 award categories and winners

Economic development

Kenmore: Connecting and growing local businesses
The City of Kenmore created a business alliance and incubator to demonstrate that the city is a place of opportunity that cultivates existing businesses, and invites new ones. The economic development strategy seeks to promote Kenmore, support old and attract new business, provide a walkable downtown, and connect the community to the waterfront. The city actively works to direct funds and resources to better connect the business community with the city.

Community engagement

Sequim: Neighborhood revitalization project
The City of Sequim partnered with local nonprofits, residents, and businesses to form a neighborhood revitalization coalition. The coalition conducts surveys, holds events, and addresses revitalization needs. Because of the coalition, community conversations increasingly focus on projects to improve the community and residents explore how neighbors can feel more connected. The city successfully created a program that actively engages the community, improves service delivery, enhances community networks, and informs policymaking.

Homelessness, affordable housing and mental health services

Walla Walla: Homeless challenge
After a particularly harsh winter negatively affected Walla Walla’s homeless population, the city created a plan to help residents experiencing homelessness find better emergency shelter. Working with a local housing alliance, the city helped build 31 insulated, weatherproof, lockable shelters (Conestoga huts) to replace instable and weather-exposed tents. The city contracted with the housing alliance to provide sanitation and security services and help residents find permanent housing.

Public safety

Lakewood: Lakewood Police Department phlebotomist program
The Lakewood Police Department and the Washington Traffic Safety Commission developed a program that allows officers to draw blood during impaired driving investigations. Lakewood PD certified six officers as phlebotomists to draw blood under specific circumstances. Because the program is the first of its kind in Washington, it was critical to educate the community about the reasons behind the blood draws and the immediate impacts on public safety.

Small city success

Friday Harbor: Breezeway Pocket Park
Growing concerns about pedestrian safety at a congested downtown intersection, coupled with increasing tourism in Friday Harbor, prompted the Breezeway Pocket Park idea. An average narrow sidewalk was transformed into an open, inviting space. The sidewalk area was expanded into the street, reducing crosswalk lengths and improving sight lines. The pocket park includes custom wood and stone seating, public art, landscaping, decorative concrete pavers, and an unobstructed view of the surrounding streetscape.


More information

Judges look for these elements in each entry:

  • Did you clearly explain all program aspects?
  • How well did the program achieve its goals? Be sure to clearly state your objectives and accomplishments.
  • How well did you use your resources? Talk about your budget, any grants you received, and highlight any person-power behind your project.
  • What is the program’s current and long term community value? Did your program have community support?
  • Can other cities or towns learn from your program and adapt your ideas to their community?




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