Lexington Idea a Finalist in Bloomberg Mayors Challenge

Nov 5, 2012

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Lexington’s proposal to create an online platform that would post city government data, identify civic problems, and crowd-source innovative solutions is among 20 finalists in a nationwide contest for local governments.

Bloomberg Philanthropies announced Monday that CitizenLex.org made it to the final round of judging in the 2012 Mayors Challenge. Lexington Mayor Jim Gray says CitizenLex.org would allow the city to be more efficient and responsive.

“We have 911 for emergencies, we have 311 for asking for asking for city services. There’s really no system that engages ideas in a really meaningful and robust way. And that’s what this platform has the potential for. So to me, that’s what’s exciting.”

Bloomberg Philanthropies received applications from 305 cities and considered each idea’s creativity, ability to implement, potential for impact, and potential for replication.

Teams from each finalist city will gather in New York next week to refine their idea.

The organization will award a grand prize of $5 million and $1 million dollars each to four runner-up cities to help jumpstart the proposals.

The 20 Finalists

  • Boston, MA: Accelerating student achievement by empowering parents to manage and share information more easily with educators and entrepreneurs, spurring the creation of the next generation of educational tools
  • Chicago, IL: Building the first open-source analytics platform that identifies real-time patterns for city agencies—allowing decision makers to anticipate problems and craft solutions
  • Cincinnati, OH: Reducing infant deaths through an intervention that reaches 100% of new mothers
  • Durham, NC: Creating entrepreneurship hubs in three distressed neighborhoods to generate new solutions and partnerships to strengthen communities
  • High Point, NC: Adapting evidence-based CeaseFire approach to gang violence for domestic violence reduction
  • Hillsboro, OR: Integrating public and private suburban transportation options to provide greater choice and access and create a more sustainable community
  • Houston, TX: Tapping game-changing technology for new "one bin for all" plan that makes recycling easier and captures 75% of all waste
  • Indianapolis, IN: Ensuring access to a research-based, top-tier education for every child in the city, by creating 30,000 high-quality seats through charter and district partnerships
  • Knoxville, TN: Eliminating food deserts through a comprehensive local food system that addresses land, farming jobs, processing, transit, sale, and composting
  • Lafayette, LA: Encouraging community-wide gaming for social good
  • Lexington, KY: Building a new citizen engagement platform focused on civic problem solving
  • Milwaukee, WI: Transforming foreclosed properties into community assets that improve public health and spark economic opportunity
  • Philadelphia, PA: Reimagining the RFP process to better enable civic entrepreneurs to solve city problems
  • Phoenix, AZ: Customizing smart-energy districts in 15 urban neighborhoods in Phoenix to become "smartest energy city in the world"
  • Providence, RI: Closing word deficit of children born into low-income households through home visitations and increased vocabulary exposure
  • Saint Paul, MN: Streamlining online permitting process for residents, developers, and businesses inspired by personal tax preparation software
  • San Francisco, CA: Promoting workforce development and experience-based training through opportunities to volunteer on city projects
  • Santa Monica, CA: Becoming first U.S. city to establish a wellbeing index to spur improvements for the entire city
  • Springfield, OR: Revolutionizing EMS through mobile primary care delivery units
  • Syracuse, NY: Creating "international village" to attract immigrant (especially refugee) populations and promote development of microenterprises