The Bloomberg Innovation Team is HereRelease Date: 2015-05-18
Today our new Innovation Team (i-team), funded by a $3 million grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies, begins work at City Hall.
The i-team, led by my office and City Manager Pat West, is comprised of creative thinkers, and will function as an in-house research and development unit. The i-team will be able to work on a number of city priorities, focusing first on economic development, and advising the City on how best to stimulate growth, create jobs, and leverage City resources, including through online delivery of City services. The i-team will also help the City develop and implement solutions to improve city services, enhance civic engagement, and improve neighborhoods and business districts, among other efforts.
The City of Long Beach is focused on innovative economic development for the 21st Century, and we are honored and grateful to Michael Bloomberg and his team at Bloomberg Philanthropies for providing the resources to put this amazing team together. The new team includes Innovation Team Director John Keisler, Innovation Deputy Ryan Murray, Researcher Kelly Okonkwo, Programmer Alex Chavez, and Innovation Fellows Alma Flores, Eric Romero, and Heidi Wiersma.
Long Beach was one of more than 90 cities invited to apply for this grant in August 2014. As I announced at the State of the City speech in January, the the i-team is a key component of our economic development strategy, and will help connect residents to city services, and improve efficiency, through technology.
In addition to the grants, we will receive implementation support from Bloomberg Philanthropies and opportunities to exchange lessons learned and best practices with peers in other cities. Newly formed innovation teams will also go to Albuquerque, NM; Boston, MA; Centennial, CO; Jersey City, NJ; Los Angeles, CA; Mobile, AL; Minneapolis, MN; Peoria, IL; Rochester, NY; Seattle, WA; and Syracuse, NY. Bloomberg Philanthropies also announced that two international cities will receive innovation team grants: Jerusalem and Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel.