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August 17, 2017 - Social media is becoming a dominant medium of communication, and city leaders are continuing to show a strong commitment to engaging with their residents online. The main platform for this? Twitter. "They are creating a relationship without any filter," said Sharman Stein, the director of communications for What Works Cities. "The more you involve the community in what the city is doing, the more successful you’ll be." Smart Cities Dive has compiled a list of seven mayors that use Twitter to connect with their cities, spread information and advocate for issues they believe in.

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August 16, 2017 - In a contributed Q&A, Brendan Babb, Anchorage’s chief innovation officer, discusses the What Works Cities program and Code for America with Jennifer Pahlka, Code for America’s founder and executive director.

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August 9, 2017 - Michael Bloomberg has been increasingly instrumental in advancing tech and open data efforts in local governments in recent years, largely through an initiative called What Works Cities that was created in 2015. The initiative pairs government agencies and mayors’ offices with university and nonprofit partners, in the service of innovation. What makes Works Cities different from other programs is that the grants don’t go to mayors or their employees. Instead, the money pays partner organizations that specialize in data collection, open data and performance management.

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August 8, 2017 - Police departments across the country are looking for innovative ways to strengthen ties to the communities they serve, and many are hoping to boost the sagging number of police academy applications. Chattanooga, Tenn., and San José, Calif. - both members of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works Cities initiative - have partnered with The Behavioral Insights Team (BIT), a government unit dedicated to behavioral science, to address both challenges by transforming their outreach and recruitment strategy.

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August 8, 2017 - On July 12th, The City of Arlington was one of five cities selected to join the national What Works Cities initiative. Arlington will upgrade its ability to manage and open data as part of a larger city priority to become more efficient, grow the local economy, and increase transparency by embracing new technologies.

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August 7, 2017 - In 2015, the City of Syracuse’s Innovation Team identified crumbling water infrastructure as a critical priority, and began piloting sensors on water mains and developing a model to predict breaks. This helped catalyze broader data capacity improvements as the team began to build out data systems and track infrastructure improvement initiatives. To put this data to work, the Innovation Team partnered with What Works Cities to develop a new open data portal, and implement performance-driven approaches to public policy.

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August 4, 2017 - Mayor Madeline Rogero has launched an open data policy for the release and public accessibility of City of Knoxville data. City departments will now share data and statistics about their operations and programs. Knoxville’s open data policy is a result of the city’s participation in the ‘What Works Cities’ initiative, created by Bloomberg Philanthropies to help city governments make better use of data.

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August 1, 2017

What Works City Feature: San Francisco, CA

Building on longstanding work to use data to inform better policy decisions, Mayor Ed Lee asked What Works Cities to help the City of San Francisco use the tools of results-driven contracting to ensure that workforce development contracts meet their goals and deliver better results for residents.

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July 27, 2017 - Syracuse has launched DataCuse, the city’s first open data portal. In addition to data that comes directly from the city, the portal also includes links to other organizations and levels of government that provide the public with data about Syracuse. Syracuse hired its first chief data officer in March 2016, charging him with creating a process and a platform for releasing data to the public. This effort was completed through a partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works Cities.

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July 26, 2017 - Memphis is the latest city to join the What Works Cities initiative. Started in 2015 by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the program isn’t one that throws money at a problem - it takes a hard look at the numbers. “Decision-making based on data and evidence is at the very core of what we do in our administration,” said Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland. “What Works Cities’ selection of Memphis will help us grow stronger in our use of data – and in how we’re transparent with the public.”

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