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August 21, 2019 - There will be others, but there can only be one first. And in this instance, that is the City of Arlington. Arlington made history recently by winning the first Sharman Stein Award for Storytelling Changemakers. The new award was created by Results for America — the lead partner in the Bloomberg Philanthropies data-driven local governance initiative What Works Cities. It highlights local governments doing strong work in communications and resident engagement.

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August 20, 2019 - To move the ball forward, we've created a checklist for an important element of public leadership: encouraging a culture of evidence-based decision-making -- a culture that values the use of research, evaluation, data and other analytical tools to strengthen results for residents and taxpayers. Our checklist draws on the useful Invest in What Works State Standard of Excellence from the nonprofit Results for America.

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July 30, 2019 - Arlington, Texas, has won the first-ever Sharman Stein Award for Storytelling Changemakers, a new accolade created to highlight local governments doing strong work in communications and resident engagement. Results for America — the lead partner in the Bloomberg Philanthropies data-driven local governance initiative What Works Cities — is the creator of the award, and officials with the organization praised the robust and innovative ways Arlington communicates with its residents.

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July 29, 2019 - Environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing is a go-to framework for asset managers focused on making investments that generate both financial returns and positive societal impact. However, investors are overlooking significant opportunities when evaluating municipal portfolios against this framework because a common definition of ESG still does not exist. In our work with more than 150 cities through the What Works Cities initiative, we have seen that, when cities improve the way they leverage data for decision-making, they deliver higher-quality services, maximize resources, and are more resilient in the face of challenges.

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July 12, 2019 - Recognition once again as the best run city in Texas could not have come at a better time for Arlington. That’s because the city has been named a finalist, along with Denver, for the future location of the National Medal of Honor Museum. In addition to WalletHub’s announcement, which came at the first of this month, just days later the International City/County Management Association awarded the city its Certificate of Achievement in Performance Management. In April, as I wrote then, Arlington became the first city in Texas to achieve Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works Cities certification.

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July 3, 2019 - A group of major philanthropic organizations recently announced support for 10 local government projects aimed at boosting economic mobility in American communities. As part of this effort, the participating cities are currently being coached in how to use data to better serve their work. This effort is a joint collaboration between Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Ballmer Group, which together have invested $12 million in the work. Last month, organizers announced that the participating cities will be Albuquerque, N.M.; Cincinnati; Dayton, Ohio; Detroit; Lansing, Mich.; New Orleans; Newark, N.J.; Racine, Wisc.; Rochester, N.Y.; and Tulsa, Okla.

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June 26, 2019 - Money from some of the world’s biggest philanthropies will be spent on addressing greater economic mobility for Lansing residents. Lansing was selected as one of the 10 cities nationwide to participate in the initiative. The cities will share funding from a grant of $12 million donated in partnership by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies and Ballmer Group. According to a press release by Mayor Andy Schor, the next 18 months will see Lansing increase access for residents to financial empowerment tools lead by the City of Lansing Office of Financial Empowerment with the funding.

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June 25, 2019 - Clarence Wardell, Director of City Solutions at Results for America, joined the Smart Cities Week Podcast ahead of his appearance in The Real-Time City session at Smart Cities Week Washington, D.C.

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June 24, 2019 - Rochester is one of ten American cities selected to participate in an initiative to identify and measure ways to accelerate the economic stability of its residents, according to Mayor Lovely Warren. The initiative is sponsored through Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Ballmer Group. The Mayor’s Office of Innovation and Community Wealth Building has found that financial instability is a major challenge for many families in Rochester. Kate May, chief performance officer for the city, says the idea is to help these families be better prepared for emergencies.

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June 24, 2019 - Cincinnati officials are turning to data analytics as a way to develop evidence-driven programs that improve the ability of community members to improve their economic statuses. As one of a handful of cities participating in a new national initiative announced last week that uses data to address challenges surrounding economic opportunity, Cincinnati is aiming to connect low-income workers with job-readiness and job-placement services. “The city of Cincinnati has a robust system to track a multitude of data about what is happening locally,” Audrey Treasure, executive director of the Cincinnati USA Regional, said.

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