“Our hope is we have a robust group of nominees to consider, not just from Patterson, but from the whole West Side,” said Jeff Lustgarten, a West Side Democratic Committee member who is overseeing nominations for the award.
The award is in honor of the late Cuellar, who served as a Patterson City Council member and as a trustee of the Patterson Joint Unified School District board for many years.
Cuellar had just been elected to another four-year council term in November 2010 when he died of a heart attack in January 2011 at age 65.
Lustgarten stressed that the community service award was a nonpartisan honor meant to carry on Cuellar’s legacy.
“(Cuellar) was less about being a Democrat than about serving the community at large,” he said. “He didn’t look at people in terms of party labels or see them within the lens of a party advocate. He was a servant of the community.”
In that vein, nominees for the award do not need to be Democrats., Lusgarten said. In addition, they will not be measured on their longevity of service, he said.
Instead, the committee will weigh their dedication to a community cause, leadership and a verifiable track record of accomplishment in serving the public.
The award is open to all residents of Stanislaus County’s West Side, including Patterson, Newman, Westley, Grayson, Vernalis and other unincorporated areas.
Organizers hope to evaluate submissions in July and announce the winner later this summer, perhaps in August.
Nomination forms can be emailed to email@example.com or mailed to 1347 Kern Creek Lane, Patterson, CA 95363.
Nominations are due by June 30. All nominees will be considered by the West Side Democratic Committee.
For information: 892-3775 or wsdemocrats.wordpress.com