New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants other mayors to offer creative programs that solve a problem or enhance city life.
Bloomberg Philanthrophies is offering a grand prize of $5 million and four prizes of $1 million for initiatives that could be used elsewhere if successful.
We all have similar problems, Mr. Bloomberg told the Associated Press. Everybodys got financial problems. Everybodys got health problems. Everybodys got problems in how they bring crime down and improve education. How they communicate with the taxpayer, the citizens. How they provide services and make sure theyre targeted and efficient.
Mr. Bloomberg thinks mayors are well positioned to provide services. Governors and presidents redistribute and work at a different level, a policy level. Mayors have to get stuff done, he said. Organizations tend to talk a lot, and some do some things. Mayors dont have that option. Mayors, if you dont deliver something, you are out of office pretty quickly.
Applications for the Mayors Challenge are due Sept. 14. Teams from finalist cities will attend an Ideas Camp to hone their proposals. Winners will be announced next May.
The contest seeks ideas that improve city life by addressing a major social or economic issue, improving the customer service experience for citizens or businesses, increasing government efficiency, and/or enhancing accountability, transparency, and public engagement.
May the best ideas win.