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Mayor Barrett, City of Milwaukee to Join “What Works Cities” Initiative

March 11, 2016

MILWAUKEE – Mayor Barrett announced that the City of Milwaukee has been selected as one of six cities to participate in Bloomberg Philanthropies’ “What Work Cities” initiative – one of the largest-ever philanthropic efforts to enhance the use of data and evidence in the public sector. Launched in April 2015, the initiative is currently providing support to 21 cities and will admit up to 100 cities on a rolling basis through 2017.

Working with Bloomberg Philanthropies, Mayor Barrett and the City of Milwaukee will increase access to government data and support app development around City services and amenities. In addition, performance information will be provided for citizens to show them how City government is doing in delivering services effectively.

“People want open data and want to know what their government is doing, from licenses to libraries,” Mayor Barrett said. “Open data and performance measurement places information front and center for residents. The City of Milwaukee will continue to lead the state on transparency in government."

What Works Cities, launched by Bloomberg Philanthropies in April 2015, collaborates with participating municipalities to review their current use of data and evidence and provide technical assistance and strategic guidance on cities’ areas for growth. Cities commit to enhancing their use of data and evidence to improve services, inform local decision making and engage residents. The initiative is also focused on expanding the national movement toward the use of data in City Halls by celebrating cities’ accomplishments, connecting cities to form a network of support and making resources publicly available.

“Local leaders know that the unprecedented amount of data available today has the potential to help them to bring dramatic changes to their cities,” said Michael R. Bloomberg. “What Works Cities can help them fulfill that potential.”

The consortium of leading organizations that has been assembled by Bloomberg Philanthropies to provide a program of support includes Results for America, the Center for Government Excellence at Johns Hopkins University, the Government Performance Lab at the Harvard Kennedy School, Sunlight Foundation and the Behavioral Insights Team.

With the addition of the new cities to the program, What Works Cities is now working in 27 cities in 18 states. The selected What Works Cities represent almost 11 million Americans, with annual budgets exceeding a combined $38 billion.

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