On behalf of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, I am pleased to participate in 'The Jefferson Awards' for the tenth year and open the nominations. The Jefferson Awards for Public Service is a prestigious local and national recognition program honoring service in America. This program was founded in 1972 by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, U.S. Senator Robert Taft, Jr., and Sam Beard, a former staffer for Robert Kennedy, to create a nationally recognized award for outstanding community and public service. The Jefferson Award program, known for promoting civic engagement in communities around the country, promotes civic efforts through leaders in the media, civic organizations, businesses, governments, schools, colleges, and foundations. The annual national winners are selected by a non-partisan Board of Selectors that includes public figures such as Teresa Heinz Kerry, Lesley Stahl, Ronnie Lott, Michael Douglas, Neil Simon, and Whoopi Goldberg, to name a few.
The Jefferson Awards are presented on three levels – national, regional and local. The County of Sonoma will facilitate the selection of five award winners at the local level. Local award winners may be forwarded to the regional (San Francisco Bay are) recognition program. You may have seen or heard the regional program in action. KPIX CBS 5TV and KCBS-AM regularly highlight regional award winners. Each December regional selects five 'Silver Medalists' from the local Jefferson Awards winners and submit them to the national level. Each year in June, one recipient from regional winners travels from Washington D.C. to be honored at the national ceremony, along with the national recipients. Past national recipients include Jimmy Carter, Colin Powell, Sally Ride, Paul Newman, Barbara Bush, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Billie Jean King, and Harry Belfonte.
We have developed the Sonoma County Jefferson Awards criteria to spotlight "Excellence in Community Leadership and Civic Engagement." We have been very careful to complement, and not compete, with other community recognition programs. I feel we cannot have too many programs to recognize people who form the bedrock of our exceptional community. I hope you will participate by nominating a local individual, non-profit agency, board, commission, or advisory board who you believe best demonstrates "Excellence in Community Leadership and Civic Engagement" here in Sonoma County.
The program criteria and nomination materials are available at www.sonomacounty.ca.gov. Deadline for submissions is Monday, August 7, 2017 at 2:00 pm. The awards ceremony will be held on November 14, 2017, during a regular meeting of the County of Sonoma Board of Supervisors. If you have questions, please contact Sylvia Lemus at (707) 565-1702 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
c: Board of Supervisors