Salinas Now a "What Works City:" Open Data, Safer Neighborhoods

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News Date: 
January 24, 2017
We are a Bloomberg Philanthropies What Works City!

City leaders today announced that Salinas has earned a place in Bloomberg Philanthropies' What Works Cities program, which will help the City use and share data to make neighborhoods safer.

Examples might include providing public safety data in more usable forms, or using data in new ways to inform decisions about allocating resources.

Participation will give Salinas no-cost access to technical assistance from What Works Cities' world-class partners in evidence-based policy -- that is, policy based on "what works." This approach to governing takes advantage of ever more powerful data tools both to guide decision-makers and improve civic engagement. It has gained growing support across the globe in recent decades, including in Salinas.

Posted by City of Salinas on Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Over a four-month period, City staff will be assisted in achieving its goals through the What Works Cities Standard, a framework with these four main tenets:

  • Commit: make powerful, public commitments to getting better results by using data and evidence.
  • Measure: use the data and tools to measure progress and engage residents along the way.
  • Take Stock: review and reflect to measure progress, learn, and make corrections and improvements.
  • Act: use data and evidence to inform major decisions and take action.

Salinas will be receiving expert technical assistance from the Center for Government Excellence (GovEx) at Johns Hopkins University and the Sunlight Foundation, two of What Works Cities' partners. The initiative's other partners are the Behavioral Insights Team, the Government Performance Lab at the Harvard Kennedy School, and Results for America.

"I am excited and proud that Salinas is part of What Works Cities," said Mayor Joe Gunter. "We have long been committed to using data and civic engagement to guide decision-making, for example in our economic development planning, priority-based budgeting, and community safety strategy. Thanks to Bloomberg Philanthropies, we can now take it to a new level."

"We are very excited to welcome the newest What Works cities -- including Salinas -- to our growing roster of world-class cities working across America for better outcomes," said Simone Brody, Executive Director of What Works Cities. "These cities have declared their commitment to using data and evidence to enhance decision-making in local government to improve residents' lives."

Salinas was selected for What Works Cities based on an application submitted last fall. A memorandum of understanding was executed by the City and Johns Hopkins / GovEx on Nov. 8, 2016.

Salinas, together with several other cities who also planned to announce their selection today, joins these 57 other What Works cities:

Albuquerque, NM; Anchorage, AK; Baltimore, MD; Birmingham, AL; Boulder, CO; Buffalo, NY; Bellevue, WA; Boston, MA; Cambridge, MA; Cape Coral, FL; Chattanooga, TN; Charlotte, NC; Denton, TX; Denver, CO; Des Moines, IA; Downey, CA; Fort Lauderdale, FL; Fort Worth, TX; Greensboro, NC; Gresham, OR; Hartford, CT; Independence, MO; Jackson, MS; Kansas City, KS; Kansas City, MO; Knoxville, TN; Las Vegas, NV; Lexington, KY; Lincoln, NE; Little Rock, AR; Louisville, KY; Madison, WI; Mesa, AZ; Milwaukee, WI; Naperville, IL; Nashville, TN; New Orleans, LA; Olathe, KS; Portland, OR; Providence, RI; Raleigh, NC; Riverside, CA; Salt Lake City, UT; San Francisco, CA; San Jose, CA; Seattle, WA; Scottsdale, AZ; Saint Paul, MN; South Bend, IN; Syracuse, NY; Tacoma, WA; Topeka, KS; Tulsa, OK, Victorville, CA; Virginia Beach, VA; Waco, TX; and Wichita, KS.

The What Works Cities announcement was made at a City Hall press conference this morning attended by Mayor Joe Gunter, City Manager Ray Corpuz, and Public Works Director Gary Petersen.

About What Works Cities

What Work Cities, launched in April 2015, is one of the largest-ever philanthropic efforts to enhance cities' use of data and evidence. The initiative is providing technical assistance to 100 cities on a rolling basis through 2018. Cities around the country are receiving support, guidance and resources to succeed through a consortium of leading organizations assembled by Bloomberg Philanthropies. For more information or to apply, visit whatworkscities.bloomberg.org.

About Bloomberg Philanthropies

Bloomberg Philanthropies works in more than 120 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg's charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2016, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed over half a billion dollars. For more information, please visit bloomberg.org.