Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced that the City of New Orleans is one of five cities selected to receive a three-year, $4.2 million Innovation Delivery Team grant as part of Bloomberg Philanthropies' Mayors Project, a new program aimed at increasing innovation capacity within municipal government and disseminating effective programs and policies across cities. The Innovation Delivery Team will help the City effectively design and implement solutions to pressing challenges including high murder rates and a need to improve customer service across City Hall departments. The team, which will be comprised of high-performing staff, will generate innovative solutions, develop implementation plans and manage progress towards defined targets. Other cities selected for the program are Atlanta, Chicago, Louisville, and Memphis.
"I am honored that New Orleans continues to be recognized as a hub for innovation and change," said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. "I look forward to working with Bloomberg Philanthropies and my colleagues in the other selected cities to implement this powerful new approach. In New Orleans, the Innovation Delivery Team will help us with two of our most important priorities - reducing homicide and improving customer service at City Hall."
"Mayors are uniquely positioned to tackle some of our most pressing challenges - from growing jobs to fighting climate change to keeping quality of life high," said Mayor Bloomberg. "The Mayors Project will fuel these efforts by spreading effective programs and strategies and helping mayors work together in new ways around solutions. We are excited to kick off this first initiative - the Innovation Delivery Team program - in partnership with New Orleans and these other great American cities."
To assist the City in achieving the Innovation Delivery Team Grant goals, Bloomberg Philanthropies will fund the salaries and operating costs for staff members who will be assigned specifically to developing innovative strategies to reduce murder holistically and improving customer service, specifically reducing wait times and processing times for key city services. To address the City's high murder rate, the Mayor recently hired former City Councilmember James Carter as Criminal Justice Commissioner to work with NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas on the root causes of violence and murder. The team will support that work. Meanwhile, the customer service component includes implementing a one-stop shop for permitting.
The Innovation Delivery Team model draws from successful approaches used around the world. In New York City, Mayor Bloomberg established teams to develop and implement bold anti-poverty, sustainability, and efficiency agendas. Former Prime Minister Tony Blair formed the Prime Minister's Delivery Unit to achieve impact in transportation, education, health, and criminal justice. In Malaysia, Prime Minister Najib Razak's Performance Management and Delivery Unit has documented critical gains in advancing that nation's government and economic transformation plans.
Bloomberg Philanthropies focuses on the arts, education, the environment, government innovation and public health.
Vincent Sylvain is publisher of The New Orleans Agenda.com, the leading local alternative for information on News, Arts, Culture & Entertainment in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast Region.
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