US & World

14 cities including LA and Long Beach get Bloomberg 'innovation team' grants

File: The Downtown Los Angeles skyline on the morning of Al Gore's visit in which he congratulated Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the city for committing itself to cleaner energy alternatives, May 22, 2013. Fourteen cities ranging from Los Angeles, California, to Jerusalem are getting money from former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's foundation to create
File: The Downtown Los Angeles skyline on the morning of Al Gore's visit in which he congratulated Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the city for committing itself to cleaner energy alternatives, May 22, 2013. Fourteen cities ranging from Los Angeles, California, to Jerusalem are getting money from former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's foundation to create "innovation teams."
Christopher Okula/KPCC

Fourteen cities ranging from Los Angeles to Jerusalem are getting money from former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's foundation to create "innovation teams" to jump-start new approaches to poverty, public safety, job growth and other issues.

New York-based Bloomberg Philanthropies announced the winners Monday. They'll receive from $400,000 to $1 million annually for three years.

Michael Bloomberg says in a statement the innovation teams help cities generate ideas and execute them.

James Anderson, head of Government Innovation programs for Bloomberg Philanthropies, said in a press release that there are few tools or reliable approaches available to mayors who want to innovate more often.

“The Bloomberg Philanthropies’ i-teams program helps City Halls get better at innovation, which is vital given the increasing constraints under which so many of our mayors work today,” Anderson said.

Five U.S. cities got similar awards in 2011. The new round expands the program internationally.

The 12 U.S. cities were chosen from over 30 applicants. Winners range in size from Centennial, Colorado, with about 106,000 residents, to Los Angeles, with nearly 3.9 million.

Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, Israel, were invited to apply after expressing interest.

Bloomberg Philanthropies shared the following interesting facts about the group of cities selected:

  • 5 of the 12 U.S. mayors are in their first 12 months of office (Boston, Long Beach, Minneapolis, Seattle, Rochester)
  • 4 of the 12 U.S. cities are led by female mayors (Centennial, Minneapolis, Rochester, Syracuse)
  • 5 of the 12 U.S. cities will initially focus on economic development (Albuquerque, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Mobile, Seattle)
  • 4 of the 12 U.S. cities have populations less than 200,000 (Centennial, Mobile, Peoria, Syracuse)
  • Largest city by population receiving grant: Los Angeles (3,884,307)
  • Smallest city by population receiving grant: Centennial (106,114)

Below is the full list: