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Mesa selected as one of first cities to participate in Bloomberg Philanthropies’ “What Works Cities” initiative

Post Date:08/05/2015 8:32 AM

Mayor John Giles announced today that Mesa is one of the first cities selected to participate in Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works Cities, a $42 million initiative to help 100 mid-sized American cities enhance their use of data and evidence to improve the lives of residents.

Mesa is one of eight cities that will receive expert on-the-ground support and peer-to-peer learning opportunities to make local government more effective. Since the launch of the What Works Cities initiative in April 2015, mayors from every region of the country have expressed their desire for assistance to address local challenges using data and evidence and within the first six weeks alone, 112 U.S. cities across 41 states applied.

"Making better use of data is one of the best opportunities cities have to solve problems and deliver better results for their citizens. The first group of cities in the What Works Cities program represent the range of local leaders across the country who are committed to using data and evidence to improve people's everyday lives," said Michael R. Bloomberg.

What Works Cities collaborates with participating municipalities to review their current use of data and evidence, understand where they are utilizing best practices and identify areas for growth. Through its expert partners, What Works Cities then designs a customized approach to help mayors apply tools to address a variety of local issues including economic development, public health, job creation, and blight.

“In today’s technologically driven world, data and evidence are the fuel that powers the innovation and efficiency of our city services,” Mesa Mayor John Giles said. “Mesa is excited to be one of the first cities in the country to partner with What Works Cities to create data driven outcomes that make Mesa an even better place to live.”

Working with the What Works Cities world-class partners, Mesa will implement open data practices for the first time. The City will also define desired results and share progress towards key city functions with residents.

In addition to Mesa, the other inaugural cities selected to participate are Chattanooga, Tennessee; Jackson, Mississippi; Kansas City, Missouri; Louisville, Kentucky; New Orleans, Louisiana; Seattle, Washington; and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

One hundred cities will be admitted to the program on a rolling basis through 2017, adding momentum to the national movement among cities to use data and evidence to improve the delivery of government services and advance cities’ strategic goals. The What Works Cities initiative capitalizes on Bloomberg Philanthropies’ belief in the importance of data and evidence to improve people’s lives and make government more effective.

The consortium of leading organizations that has been assembled by Bloomberg Philanthropies to provide a program of support, includes Results for America, the Center for Government Excellence at Johns Hopkins University, the Government Performance Lab at the Harvard Kennedy School, Sunlight Foundation and The Behavioral Insights Team.

Partners will inspire, challenge, and support cities to:

  • Create sustainable open data programs and policies that deliver results, increase resident engagement, and promote transparency;
  • Better incorporate data into budget, operational and policy decision making;
  • Conduct low-cost rapid evaluations that allow cities to continually improve programs; and/ or
  • Focus funding on effective approaches that deliver results for citizens.

For more information on What Works Cities, visit whatworkscities.bloomberg.org

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