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The City of Long Beach is a national leader in government innovation. The Innovation Team has delivered successful Economic Development and Public Safety Initiatives since 2015 that have tackled large local government challenges with innovation solutions.  To expand on the great work, the City launched the Office of Civic Innovation in the City Manager’s Office. With funding from departments and foundations, the Office of Civic Innovation serves as in-house consultants to City departments and together co-create effective approaches that address the most pressing issues.

The City of Long Beach is grateful for the $3 million three-year Bloomberg Philanthropies Innovation Team Grant received in 2015. Now working in more than 20 cities across four countries, the Innovation Teams Program helps cities solve problems in new ways to deliver better results for residents. Although the grant is coming to an end, the Innovation Team is creating an evolution of the work through the Office of Civic Innovation.

The Office comprised of a Director, Data Scientist, Designer, Project Managers and Graduate Interns deploy a six-pronged approach to problems.

  1. Rigorous research to understand the problem and find best practices both nationally and internationally.
  2. Analyze quantitative and qualitative data to understand trends and enhance productivity.
  3. Conduct in-depth interviews and focus groups with customers and employees to have a deeper understanding of the problem.
  4. Co-create goals, objectives and timelines with City departments that outline measurable and attainable metrics for success.
  5. Prototype solutions with a quick turnaround based on the research, data and customer and employee interviews. Building upon successful prototypes and eliminating unsuccessful ones to help mitigate financial risk.
  6. Develop and execute long term implementation strategies of the successful prototypes jointly with departments.

As important as what projects the Office of Civic Innovation supports are the principles that guide how the team does their work.

  • Customer-centered
  • Collaborative
  • Data-driven
  • Innovative
  • Open source
  • Research Informed
  • Race-informed
  • Inclusion and equity based

Bloomberg Philanthropies continues to invest in the City’s innovation practices through the following initiatives.

Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative: The Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative is the most ambitious executive education program ever designed for mayors and city leaders. Each year, hundreds of mayors and their senior staff enroll, free of charge, in a program that blends the best of Harvard Kennedy School’s public sector innovation expertise with Harvard Business School’s management expertise. Mayor Robert Garcia and Assistant City Manager Tom Modica currently participating in the initiative.

What Works Cities: Cities have access to more data and evidence than ever but need better tools and approaches to engage citizens and increase government’s effectiveness. The What Works Cities initiative is a three-year, $42 million effort to support mayors and local leaders in 100 mid-sized U.S. cities with technical assistance, access to expertise, and peer-to-peer learning opportunities. The City of Long Beach is an active member of What Works Cities and has formed a Data Committee and a Data Learning Community to enhance the use of data in developing policies and programs.

Cities of Service: The Cities of Service coalition is a vibrant and growing network of municipal governments that leverage citizen service as a tool to drive public sector innovation and achieve measurable impact on pressing local challenges. Member cities harness the power of volunteers to solve problems and make real change for their communities. Nearly 200 mayors, representing more than 50 million citizens, have joined the coalition, working together to engage citizens in addressing critical city needs through impact volunteering.