On June 13, Mayor Mark Holland announced that Kansas City has been selected as 1 of 12 new cities to participate in Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Work Cities initiative – one of the largest – ever philanthropic efforts to enhance the use of data and evidence in the public sector. Launched in April 2 015, the initiative is now providing support to 39 cities in 25 states and will work with up to 100 mid-sized cities on a rolling basis through 2018.“I am very grateful to Bloomberg Philanthropies for giving KCK an opportunity to coordinate the redevelopment of our blighted urban neighborhoods, and, in the process, reduce our taxes by increasing the value of our properties,” says Mark Holland, Mayor/CEO of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas. “What we need more than ever is data – driven, smart government, and this program will help us achieve that. I am especially grateful that Michael Bloomberg, who has been very fortunate in life, is choosing to leverage his vast wealth to help improve government’s capacity to create social change.”
Kansas City is one of the newest cities to join a rapidly growing movement among City Halls whose leaders are making a public commitment to enhancing their cities’ use of data and evidence to improve services, inform local decision – making and engage residents. The cities of Baltimore, Maryland; Buffalo, New York; Cape Coral,
Florida; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Greensboro, North Carolina; Gresham, Oregon; Naperville, Illinois; Providence, Rhode Island; Scottsdale, Arizona; Topeka, Kansas; and Wichita, Kansas, were also selected to join the initiative today.
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. Kansas City will work with the What Works Cities expert partners to expand the city’s use of data and evidence to achieve progress with tackling a challenging housing rehabilitation and renewal environment. The Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, KS is excited to work with What Works Cities to establish open data on housing issues that will help us work across the organization, with community stakeholders and residents to help move the needle in renewing our built environment. Additionally, the Unified Government will establish metrics to benchmark performance for everyone to monitor and analyze going forward, which is a priority for the organization as it works to improve the appearance, safety and health of Kansas City, KS.
OPEN DATA: The Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas will establish and improve open data practices in order to make the City’s data more accessible to the city managers and the public. They will engage residents by increasing transparency and accountability around housing and blight data. The goal is to make this data more consumable and readily available for residents and departmental stakeholders by developing the policies and processes to inventory,prioritize, release and maintain data publicly.
PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT: The Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas will develop a performance management framework focused on improving the Unified Government’s understanding of the housing issue, and improve the use of data and evidence in decision making to address the housing rehabilitation and demolition issue.
The consortium of leading organizations that has been assembled by Bloomberg Philanthropies to provide a program of expert support includes the Behavioral Insights Team, the Center for Government Excellence at Johns Hopkins University, the Government Performance Lab at the Harvard Kennedy School, Results for America and the Sunlight Foundation.
The new cities join the following cities as What Works cities: Anchorage, Alaska; Bellevue, Washington; Boston, Massachusetts; Cambridge, Massachusetts; Charlotte, North Carolina; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Denton, Texas; Denver, Colorado; Independence, Missouri; Jackson, Mississippi; Kansas City, Missouri; Las Vegas, Nevada; Lexington, Kentucky; Little Rock, Arkansas; Louisville, Kentucky; Mesa, Arizona; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; New
Orleans, Louisiana; Raleigh, North Carolina; Saint Paul, Minnesota; San Francisco, California; San Jose, California; Seattle, Washington; Tacoma, Washington; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Victorville, California, and Waco, Texas. To receive updates on the What Works Cities initiative, please visit whatworkscities.org.